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Woman accused of killing C.H.P. officer gave birth six weeks before preliminary hearing

From ksby.com:

We learned exclusively today that California Highway Patrol Officer Brett Oswald and Kaylee Weisenberg were not the only ones involved in the June crash that took Oswald's life.

It was revealed that Weisenberg, who is accused of hitting and killing Oswald with a car, was pregnant at the time of the crash.

She gave birth six weeks ago to a baby who has been present for both days of Weisenberg's preliminary hearing.

She is facing four charges, including murder and driving under the influence.

Investigators say Weisenberg tested positive for meth after the crash.

"With the concentrations that are here, it would be my opinion that Ms. Weisenberg was affected at the time by her methamphetamine use," said Barry Logan, a toxicologist who testified.

Posted: 12/23/2010 1:43:00 PM

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Does 'Club Drug' Ecstasy Have Therapeutic Value?

From HealthDay News:

The recreational drug known as ecstasy may have a medicinal role to play in helping people who have trouble connecting to others socially, new research suggests.

In a study involving a small group of healthy people, investigators found that the drug -- also known as MDMA -- prompted heightened feelings of friendliness, playfulness and love, and induced a lowering of the guard that might have therapeutic uses for improving social interactions.

Yet the closeness it sparks might not result in deep and lasting connections.

The findings "suggest that MDMA enhances sociability, but does not necessarily increase empathy," noted study author Gillinder Bedi, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University and a research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City.

The study, funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and conducted at the Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory at the University of Chicago, was published in the Dec. 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

The researchers (also) suggested that MDMA might help people with PTSD as well those with autism, schizophrenia or antisocial personality disorder cope with a variety of emotional difficulties.

"More controlled research is needed to establish whether MDMA can safely and effectively add to psychotherapy for some conditions and, if so, what the mechanisms of these effects are," Bedi said.

Posted: 12/22/2010 9:32:00 AM

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'Smart drug' abuse on the rise among students

From The Chippewa Herald:

Two University of Wisconsin-Madison journalism students last school year walked into a campus library with a mission: See how quickly they could score some Adderall, a popular prescription “smart drug” that users say improves their ability to study.

They were good to go in 56 seconds.

All it took was a tap on the shoulder of one woman, asking if she knew where to buy some. The woman offered to call her friend who was selling it.

Experts say such easy access and casual acceptance is increasingly common on campuses, including UW-Madison, where students coping with high academic demands are turning to illicit use of Adderall and other stimulants. Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Posted: 12/21/2010 10:53:00 AM

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Candy-Like Cough Capsules May Pose Serious Risk to Young Children

From Medscape Today:

Accidental ingestion of benzonatate (Tessalon) by children younger than 10 years can result in serious adverse effects or death, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today.

Benzonatate, a round, liquid-filled gelatin capsule, is approved for symptomatic relief of cough in children older than 10 years but may represent a danger to younger children because of its candy-like appearance.

"The FDA encourages healthcare professionals to talk with their patients and those caring for children about the risk of accidental ingestion or overdose," Carol Holquist, RPh, director of the FDA's Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis, said in a news release. "Benzonatate should be kept in a child-resistant container and stored out of reach of children," she added.

Posted: 12/16/2010 9:02:00 AM

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Miley and her salvia, stimulating everybody

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

"I want what Miley's smoking!" So chant the nation's youth, gripped by a new, intoxicating fever spread by that - very cute - corrupter of the young, Miley Cyrus. It's called salvia. It's a drug.

TMZ says Miley fans have been rushing to their local head shops following reports that the substance she was smoking was not pot but the psychoactive plant salvia divinorum, which is legal in 35 states.

Posted: 12/14/2010 8:57:00 AM

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BPA: Are Your Dollar Bills Contaminated?

From CBS News:

Potentially toxic BPA (bisphenol A) has been found on dollar bills in a recent investigation conducted by the Washington Toxics Coalition in Seattle.

All but one of the 22 bills tested were contaminated with the pollutant.

The bills were likely contaminated due to their proximity to receipts, many of which have a thermal ink coating with BPA in it.

Posted: 12/10/2010 11:09:00 AM

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December Named National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

In a presidential proclamation, President Barack Obama named the month of December National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.  In his proclamation he states, “Impaired driving and its consequences can seriously alter or even destroy lives and property in a moment. This reckless behavior not only includes drunk driving, but also the growing problem of drugged driving. Drugs, including those prescribed by a physician, can impair judgment and motor skills. It is crucial that we encourage our young people and fellow citizens to make responsible decisions when driving or riding as a passenger, especially if drug use is apparent.”

This statement coincides with the recent release by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of new data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). One in three fatally injured drivers (33%) with known drug test results in the United States tested positive for drugs other than alcohol in 2009. While the number of drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes has declined over the past five years, the number of drivers positive for drugs has increased by 5%.

Posted: 12/3/2010 12:15:00 PM

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What Are the Dangers of Ingesting Eye Drops?

From eHow:

A primary ingredient used in over-the-counter eye drops, particualrly to relieve redness associated with eye irritation, is tetrahydrozoline, a form of imidazoline. According to the National Institute of Health, tetrahydrozoline, when ingested, is poisonous and emergency medical help should be sought immediately.   Possible dangers include:
  • Breathing Difficulty
  • Eye and Skin Irritation
  • Heart Complications
  • Stomach Upset
  • Disorders of the Nervous System
Posted: 12/2/2010 11:13:00 AM

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