Alleged 'Flakka face-eater' is the media's new 'bath-salts zombie'

Four years after the media frenzy erupted around the notorious Miami “bath salts zombie” (who was not actually on bath salts), eerily similar reports—out of, you guessed it, Florida—have surfaced.

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'I want people to see the way I am' -- Meet the self-glamorizing 'Junkies of Instagram'

[Warning: This article contains images and video of injecting drug use and self-harm. If you do not wish to view such material, please do not continue reading.]

Online spaces where people display stigmatized behavior are often scrutinized for their perceived promotion of harm—”Proa-Ana” websites and instructional suicide pages are perhaps the best known examples. At the same time, the internet has become a useful tool in empowering marginalized people to reclaim their narrative and assert their own identity to a potentially hostile audience.

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How the myth of the 'addicted' baby hurts newborns and their mothers

This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

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Virginia cops using bizarre legal code to secretly blacklist 'habitual drunkards'

Virginia cops and prosecutors in four counties are using a bizarre legal code to secretly blacklist and outright ban residents deemed “habitual drunkards” from purchasing alcohol, a Daily Beast report on a class-action lawsuit filed by the Legal Aid Justice Center claims. The penalties can range from huge fines to jail time.

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These four countries prove decriminalization works better than prohibition

In 2012,  the presidents of Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico called for a United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs, scheduled for 2019, to be reassigned an earlier date, given the crisis of drug trafficking and related violence in Latin America. As the session’s April 2016 date approaches, drug policy reform groups across the globe areorganizing to educate and influence world leaders on the advantages of ending the criminalization of people who use drugs. Most recently, civil society groups condemned the UN for failing to acknowledge and work to resolve “the devastating consequences of punitive and repressive drug policies.”

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Here are 4 things you need to know about Molly

Thanks to a string of name-checks by pop stars like Miley Cyrus, Madonna and Kanye West, as well as several tragic deaths at music festivals, ”molly”—aka MDMA—has rarely been far from the headlines in recent years.

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These five Super Tuesday states have serious drug problems

This week is Super Tuesday, the biggest event of the 2016 presidential primary elections, with 13 states and one territory voting on which candidates to send to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Large-scale losers will stand little chance of progressing, given the breadth of demographics and cultures that these states represent. This year, the burning issues of opioid overdose and marijuana legalization have forced presidential candidates to repeatedly comment, however foolishly, on drug policy—something they typically prefer to avoid.

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Medical marijuana is not a 'reefer madness' scam -- but doctors say it's also not a cure-all

This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

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The stereotype is dead: Researchers show that Native Americans drink less than whites

This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

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How Harper Lee used 'To Kill A Mockingbird' to force her readers to confront addiction

Literary legend Harper Lee died today at the age of 89. Acclaimed for her masterful depiction of the United States in the 1930s Deep South, Lee leaves a legacy of enlightening analysis on race, gender, and class. And while drugs and addiction were by no means the focus of her work, Lee’s words on these subjects are also illuminating.

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Media jumps the gun to fearmonger about 'LSD overdoses' in Pennsylvania

Last weekend, three students at Villanova University, near Philadelphia, were hospitalized for “LSD overdoses.” This led to the arrests of two young men: roommates Justin Yim, 18, and Daniel Jin, 19. Jin was among those hospitalized, and he was also charged with assault for an alleged attack on campus. Yim was not on-scene when the chaos broke out, but was later arrested for distribution.

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Miss Australia disfigured after cops threw a grenade into her bed while she was sleeping

Twenty-eight-year-old former Miss Australia Felicia Djamirze is reportedly recovering from third-degree burns after a flash grenade exploded in her face during a police raid at her Queensland home.

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What Harvard-era Obama said about pregnant women who use drugs

A quarter-century or so before he became president of the United States, Harvard Law student Barack Obama was studying constitutional law. And amid the crack (and “crack baby”) era, he turned his focus on the rights of pregnant women.

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'I'll Get Mine!' Here are 13 vintage pulp book covers that depict 'loose women' getting high

Trashy pulp fiction reached its height in the 1920s and ’30s, fostering a plethora of book covers destined to be made into the posters of today.

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Happy Holidays!