Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why be a vegetarian?

Give up meat to save the Planet  reducing  Methane gas which is a greenhouse gas.

People must consider turning vegetarian if the world is to conquer climate change, according to a leading authority on global warming, Lord Stern.

?Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world?s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.?

Direct emissions of methane from cows and pigs is a significant source of greenhouse gases. Methane is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas.

The influential 2006 Stern Review on the cost of tackling global warming, said that a successful deal at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December would lead to soaring costs for meat and other foods that generate large quantities of greenhouse gases.

He predicted that people?s attitudes would evolve until meat eating became unacceptable. ?I think it?s important that people think about what they are doing and that includes what they are eating,? he said. ?I am 61 now and attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed radically since I was a student. People change their notion of what is responsible. They will increasingly ask about the carbon content of their food.?

Fries with that?

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Friday, October 2nd 2009

MEXICO CITY — Two raids by security forces have netted the largest seizures of methamphetamine precursor chemicals in Mexico’s history, federal officials announced Friday.

Agents seized 20 tons of chemicals used to produce methamphetamine at Manzanillo port in the Pacific coast state of Colima and 17 tons at the border city of Nuevo Laredo, across from Laredo, Tex., Mexico’s federal attorney general’s office said in a news release.

Mexico is a leading producer of methamphetamine, according to the U.S. government.

The seizures are part of a national crackdown launched in 2006 against drug gangs. The cartels, under increasing pressure, have responded with unprecedented violence; more than 13,500 people have died in drug violence in three and a half years.

Officials say most of the dead are traffickers killed in battles with rivals, but police, soldiers and even bystanders have died as well.

Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Tex., is Mexico’s deadliest city with more than 1,700 killings so far this year.

source: AP

Murder in Mexico: the police are no better than criminals.

The Police are one of the most feared and powerful organisations in Mexico, a group whose members seem far beyond the law.
Plainclothes detectives with the Procuraduría General de la República (Office of the Attorney General), are responsible for investigating and prosecuting federal crimes.  But the force solves nearly zero cases.  They are hampered by officers from rival police departments, many of which provide protection to drug cartels or run their own criminal operations. If police raid a “narco store” in the wrong part of town, they risk being shot or thrown in jail by fellow detectives.

Public distrust of the police has reached paralyzing levels and an almost total collapse of law and order in recent months has created a terrifying state of affairs.  Much of the evidence is anecdotal, but it is said that 99 per cent of crimes in Mexico go unpunished.

 Recently, a study declared that Mexico now has a worse kidnapping rate than Iraq, with three or four hostages taken each day.  It is a lucrative trade, with scouts looking for new wealthy victims by attending high society events or joining social networking websites.

Mexicans have tolerated kidnappings for many years, but the sheer number of them in recent months, combined with the allegation that police officers were involved in the capture and murder of a 14-year-old boy, has shocked the country. The police have too much power, are arrogant, never follow the rules, torture people, and act with impunity. The corruption is huge and a destroyer of hope.

Mexico City is an apocalyptically dysfunctional place at the best of times, what with the pollution, the flooding, the teetering concrete slums, and the city sinking into the lake bed upon which it was built. Now the fear is turning into anger.

Amid the political chaos, however, it is not clear where change will come from. The Mayor of Mexico City, Marcelo Ebrard, does not even recognise the authority of President Calderón after a disputed election two years ago. And Mr Calderón's use of the military against the drug cartels has worsened the situation, causing extreme poverty and more crime in rural areas dependent on drug-trafficking for income.

Source: Agencies
Chris Ayres in Mexico City

Right on the border between the U.S. and Mexico

This is old news of a continuing story.

September 4, 2009  Across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, is the city of Juarez. It's known as the murder capital of Mexico. During a 48-hour stretch this week, 37 people were killed — including residents at a drug rehab clinic.

Outside the Aliviane Rehabilitation Center there's yellow police tape, a pool of dried blood and half a dozen mismatched shoes strewn across the entry way. Some neighbors say the barrage of gunshots lasted 15 minutes. The gunmen lined up, and then killed 18 of the residents. They even shot the center's dog.

Looking north up their gritty street you can see the U.S. border fence.

They say the problem at the rehabilitation center was that rehab has become part of the whole drug cycle. People start using drugs, then they're selling drugs, then they're trying to get off drugs and then they're using again. So people in rehab often are right in the middle of the drug life.

This week's slaughter was the fifth mass shooting at a Juarez drug rehab facility in the last year. And this particular place, the men say, catered to Aztecas, one of the numerous street gangs fighting for a slice of the Juarez narcotics trade. ...this massacre occurred because some of the people inside the center crossed La Linea, the Juarez cartel, and thus everyone inside had to pay.

In March, the Mexican Army took over the police department in effort to stem the killings.  But by August there were 338 homicides — the highest number recorded in a single month.

The mass killing at the drug rehab has only added to a widespread sense of fear... despite the Mexican government sending thousands of soldiers and federal police into the streets. Military and police helicopters buzz in the sky.

President Felipe Calderon this week defended what's come to be known as his drug war. Calderon acknowledged that it's a bloody war and there have been setbacks, but he said it's one that Mexico has to fight.

Police officials stand guard in front of the El Aliviane drug rehabilitation center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Thursday. Gunmen broke into the drug rehabilitation center Wednesday night, lined people against a wall and shot 17 dead in a particularly bloody day in Mexico's relentless drug war.

B.C. men gunned down poolside at Mexican condo in Puerto Vallarta.

The aforementioned pair of geniuses are part of new generation making the same mistakes other would be Mafioso have made before them.   They get in the line of fire while the graduated crime bosses sit back and get fat.

My comment was prompted by the 'living' picture where they have the World by the short hairs and one is pointing his finger like he has an invisible 9mm and he is pulling the trigger foreshadowing his own fate.

The picture of them dead is interesting because it was not explained well. I think the bodies are in the back of a pick up truck. If you look closely, you can see the formed metal floor. This explains the lack of blood which would have been spilled where the bodies fell in the first moments of death.

In Mexico, they do not wrap you up in a Body bag and put you away in a big black car for your trip to the morgue. They throw your body in the back of a Toyota and drive you naked-in-death through the streets on your way to the deep freezer. Just like a slaughtered goat. This is the stuff of crime writers, Archie.

Tijuana is many things: a sprawling city approaching two million in population, a vibrant and prosperous business center with many foreign-owned factories, the main entry to the entire Baja California peninsula, and much more.  It is only 18 miles south of San Diego, California.

Tijuana experienced thousands of murders in the recent drug war and many of the headless and mutilated bodies are strewn around town by the killers for the terror of it.

Today:  Frontera (Tijuana, Baja Calif.) 10/2/08
The cadavers of eight murdered men were found before dawn today in an empty lot next to the “Geppetto” children’s school in Tijuana. A ninth body was found elsewhere in town, shot, dumped and “wrapped.” According to police, at least one of the eight had a finger cut off and its hands tied. 69 shell casings were located at the scene.

The bodies of 36 individuals, the majority murdered by organized crime methods, have been located in Tijuana in the last few days. Two of them were hung from overpass bridges and fell onto the road below when the ropes broke. The crime wave in the area has also cost four lives in Playas de Rosarito and one in Tecate.

In Mexicali, the governor of Baja Calif., Guadalupe Osuna, said that “we are winning” the war against criminal elements."

La Cronica (Mexicali, Baja Calif.) 10/2/08
Funeral wreaths were delivered at the District Attorney’s office in Mexicali, Baja Calif., yesterday, as a form of threat against its personnel. The wreaths had a message reading: “For the District Attorney’s Office and the whole bunch of rats.”


La Jornada (Mexico City) , El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon) 10/2/08
- Mexico’s Dep’t. of Justice reported that during the first 18 months of Felipe Calderon’s administration four thousand 785 persons have been “executed” (sic) in Mexico by groups linked to organized crime. Of this total, 472 were members of some police or military entity.  The macabre tally by state:
Chihuahua leads the nation with 664 homicides; Sinaloa follows with 647 and Michoacan with 423. Then Guerrero 409; Baja Calif. 331; Distrito Federal 245; Mexico (state, not country) 201; Nuevo Leon 176; Durango 165; Sonora 152, Jalisco 119, Tamaulipas 109; Oaxaca 103, Veracruz 83. And so on.
- El Porvenir also reported that 1.5 tons of weed were found in a truck coming from Guanajuato and headed to Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas.
All part of Mexico's crime wave:
— A record 2,500 drug-related murders were committed in Mexico last year
— In the first six months of this year there were 323 reported kidnappings in Mexico City

Tijuana is a small border town like other border towns that have similar murder epidemics tied to the drug trade. Canadian news papers cover this war because Vancouver and other of our cities participate fully in the drug trade and  experience the effects of the Mexican drug war with murders and shortage of product/drugs on the street.

More Mexican news today:   
El Diario (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 10/2/08
Short takes from the local news section:
- Homicides and vehicle thefts dropped in Juarez in September (there were only 114 homicides, compared to 224 in August; vehicle thefts went from 1,799 in August to 1,500 in Sep’t.)
- Two murdered in bar
- “Narcomessage” found on body of decapitated man
- Two more men killed by gunfire
- Juarez residents hit by drop in individual monetary remittances

Four young adults from Southern California were found strangled to death -- after having been "tied up, beaten and stabbed" -- in a car in Tijuana, Mexico after a night of clubbing in the border town according to an Associated Press story.
One of the victims tested positive for cocaine, and the relative of another victim "told authorities they knew alleged drug traffickers." The victims were all Mexican-Americans, and the Baja California Attorney General stated that "we are presuming that these people had connections in Mexico and the United States with criminals" .

Tijuana Policeman

The Canadian guys in the story were murdered in a town, Puerto Vallarta where drug money builds condos and in other ways is reinvested that city.  Drug money owns a big percentage of small businesses in many towns and not just the tattoo parlors and strip bars.

Marijuana is a billion dollar industry in British Columbia where the grow operations steal hundreds of millions of dollars in electricity from the provincially owned hydro company. This increases the cost of living for the rest of us. But people give respect to  crime groups because they are rich and powerful. Like the Mafia in NYC getting respected while robbing the city and state blind. People do not make the connection or they turn a blind eye.

Remember the old saying, " if you can't do the time, don't do the crime"? Now they need to add reference to murder - kill or be killed for illicit drugs you have undertaken to distribute on behalf of a crime group like the Columbian or Mexican drug cartels.

Vancouver is littered with Guatemalan drug dealers rumored to have been imported by a seemingly respectable businessman who helps them get refugee status, a place on the welfare roles, an apartment and a 'connection' for drugs to sell at Hastings and Main Streets which is the Downtown Eastside where two thirds of the Hookers have HIV and there are persistent rumors of airborne hepatitis, etc. The police are aware of what these guys are up to criminally but trying to prove it in a court of law is the problem.  The under world seems to have all the money for defending themselves from prosecution while the police bemoan a lack of funding and resources to fight crime.

Maybe, like Lao Tzu, the wisest thing to do is get on your water buffalo and ride out of town and into the sunset.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mending a broken mind

Mental illness presents one of the great challenges to modern society, a leading cause of disability, absenteeism and deaths due to suicide. Not only does it strike one in five Canadians, usually in their prime, but too often it defies the ability of modern medicine to treat it.

Depression, which affects one in 12 people in this country, is one of the trickiest disorders to cure. While 80 per cent of patients find effective relief with standard drug or psychotherapies, the latest numbers suggest that only 40 per cent truly feel well. Worse, experts estimate that, for 10 to 20 per cent of sufferers, nothing works.

The most promising treatment for intractable depression on the horizon is not a designer drug, a new form of talk or even genetic therapy. It's electricity that can lift the human spirit with deep brain stimulation (DBS),where surgeons implant metal rods that aim steady pulses of electrical current at the faulty neural circuits believed to underlie mental illness.

Society has long separated neurological diseases from psychiatric ones, as though physical conditions can stem from concrete malfunctions of the brain but maladies of the mind cannot.  Dr. Lozano says more than 40,000 Parkinson's patients have already had DBS ease their tremors by targeting parts of the brain where motor neurons misbehave.

In 2003, University of Toronto researchers tested DBS on depression,  it proved safe, it also made some subjects better.  Since then, 50 patients in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, as well as at least 30 in the United States, Europe and South America, have undergone the procedure in a bid to see whether electrical implants can indeed mend a broken mind.

The Toronto researchers point out that it's not the use of electricity that makes their treatment a major advance – it's where they direct it. “With brain surgery, it's like real estate – it's location, location, location,” says Andres Lozano, the neurosurgeon and senior scientist who has led the trials at Toronto Western Hospital.

The only difference in using DBS for depression is that the electrodes target the brain area where sadness lives, behind the eyeballs, four centimetres back in from the forehead. That's where Dr. Mayberg found it after 20 years of brain-imaging studies, in Boston, Texas and then Toronto in the late 1990s.

Seated in the ancient limbic lobe, 'Area 25' connects to the brain structures involved in human function – emotion, memory, stress, sleep, libido, appetite, energy levels and learning. “It's linked into all the core areas involved in depression,” Dr. Mayberg says. The images led to a hypothesis: If they had found one of the sites where a feeling runs amok, could they find a way to fix it? Would the type of DBS used for Parkinson's charge the cells in Area 25 out of their “on” position?

In 2001, Dr. Mayberg and Dr. Lozano met at a conference of neurosurgeons.  Dr. Lozano was world renowned for his brain-stimulation operations. He had performed DBS for Parkinson's and other neurological disorders since 1992 – about six times a month. When Dr. Mayberg suggested that they try it for depression, he thought it was “a long shot” – but right up his alley.

Deciding who makes the cut is in part the job of Sidney Kennedy, the health network's head of psychiatry. Deeply involved in planning the DBS trial, he describes the procedure as a “major paradigm shift” in the treatment of a mood disorder. “It has been an interesting role for the psychiatrist: He's evolved from psychotherapies, to pharmacotherapy … to adjustments with stimulators. … It's one of the best examples where psychiatry meets neuroscience.”

Dr. Lozano stresses that, unlike other psychosurgeries, DBS can be reversed, the electrodes removed, and five years since their first patient, none has suffered serious side effects.

The risk experience with DBS for Parkinson's suggests that one in every 500 patients will suffer a hemorrhage during the surgery. Four in a thousand will suffer a serious complication, such as a permanent neural deficit or even death. If the numbers of patients being treated rise appreciably, “it will happen” for depression as well, he says flatly.

The positive affects rarely appear right away.  Dr. Giaccobe says, it can be difficult for people who have been profoundly depressed for so long suddenly to reclaim their lives. “They still have ups and downs,” and even their relationships change.  Patients can have their moods improve, but still have a lazy libido or erratic appetite and need reminders that it can be tricky to distinguish depression from a mere mood swing.

Mr. Miller says. “You have to remember that every bump in the road is not a return of the depression.”

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pill Popping in Pop Culture

Michael Jackson's Death Adds to the List of Pop Icons Who Battled Prescription-Drug Addiction

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weight gain more likely from beverages

NEW ORLEANS, April 24 (UPI) -- Weight gain is more likely to increase as a result of liquid calories, particularly sugar-sweetened beverages, than solid food calories, U.S. researchers said.

Lead author Dr. Liwei Chen of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center said the study reports four principal findings:
  • a reduction in liquid calorie intake was significantly associated with weight loss at both six months and 18 months;
  • the weight-loss effect of a reduction in liquid calorie intake was stronger than that of a reduction in solid calorie intake;
  • a reduction in sugar-sweetened beverage intake was significantly associated with weight loss at both six and 18 months;
  • and no other beverage type was associated with weight change.

The findings are published in May 1 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Recovery and Exercise - Using Exercise to Aid Alcohol and Drug Recovery

Many professional alcohol and drug treatment and rehabilitation programs include exercise as part of an overall program to help patients maintain abstinence and develop a more healthy lifestyle. Many residential treatment centers feature fully-equipped exercise facilities on the premises.

Traditionally, the main reason exercise has been recommended for those trying to quit alcohol and drugs is because it keeps them focused on something other than their withdrawal symptoms or cravings. Now, however, there may be evidence that exercise has additional benefits to those who want to avoid drinking and using drugs.

Research Shows Exercise Can Help: The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has set aside $4 million for scientific research to explore a possible role for physical activity in substance abuse and relapse prevention.

When announcing the funding, NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow cited two studies that have shown exercise to be a benefit. In one, adolescents who exercised daily were half as likely to smoke cigarettes as their sedentary counterparts, and 40% less likely to experiment with marijuana.

In another study, women who were in a smoking-cessation program doubled their chances of quitting by adding exercise to their routines three days a week, compared to women in the study who did not exercise. They also had less weight gain.

Everyone Can Benefit from Exercise:  If exercise can help people in residential treatment facilities and subjects in scientific studies, it can benefit anyone trying to quit drinking and drugging or striving to maintain abstinence.

Exercise is something to which everyone has access. You don't have to become a world-class athlete to enjoy the benefits of exercise as part of your recovery. You don't have to join a professional gymnasium, hire a personal trainer or buy expensive equipment, although those options can be beneficial also. Exercise is something that you can do on your own.

Source:   National Institute of Drug Abuse. "NIDA Explores Exercise as Drug Abuse Prevention Tool." June 2008.