"Bedazzled by the prospect of unraveling the mysteries of psychic suffering, researchers have spent recent decades on a fool’s errand—chasing down chemical imbalances that don’t exist. And the result, as Friedman put it, is that 'it is hard to think of a single truly novel psychotropic drug that has emerged in the last thirty years.'" [The New Yorker]
By the late 1930s, German refugee Max Jacobson, M.D., had established a general practice on the Upper East Side catering to writers, musicians, and entertainers who nicknamed him "Miracle Max" or "Dr. Feelgood" for the "vitamin injection" treatments that made them happy and gave them seemingly limitless energy. Jacobson's panacea was 30 to 50 milligrams of amphetamines – the mood-elevating neural energizers also known as speed – mixed with multivitamins, steroids, enzymes, hormones, and solubilized placenta, bone marrow, and animal organ cells.[...] Truman Capote found Jacobson's shots caused "instant euphoria. You feel like Superman. You're flying. Ideas come at the speed of light. You go 72 hours straight without [...]
Kelly Bourdet on the affluence gap between addicts on maintenance regimens (as opposed to, right, that scene from Trainspotting) who can get Suboxone ("bupe") in the privacy of their doctor's office, and lower income or uninsured addicts who are stuck with methadone and the associated hoops:
The disease model of addiction is widely perceived as resulting in a decrease in stigma. (It could be argued that popular culture's obsession with celebrity—and their high rates of substance abuse—has done more.) Yet the stigma persists, especially for people who live on the margins because of the color of their skin or the size of their income—those who stand in line at [...]
"I saw a spider on the wall and the spider says, 'hello.' And I said, 'hello, yourself.'" —Famed author and neurologist, etc. , Oliver Sacks, wrote about doing drugs for this week's New Yorker. In the event that you're not a subscriber OR that this here sentence is morphing into a cartoon about that gang of tiny pink cats who keep trying to zip you up into your sleeping bag, you can simply listen to him speak on the subject over at their podcast.
…when people take large doses of antioxidants in the form of supplemental vitamins, the balance between free radical production and destruction might tip too much in one direction, causing an unnatural state where the immune system is less able to kill harmful invaders. Researchers call this the antioxidant paradox.
Because studies of large doses of supplemental antioxidants haven’t clearly supported their use, respected organizations responsible for the public’s health do not recommend them for otherwise healthy people.
So why don’t we know about this? Why haven’t Food and Drug Administration officials made sure we are aware of the dangers? The answer is, they can’t.
From Sunday's New York Times: "[...]
Among my emails Wednesday morning, out of the blue, was one from Lance Armstrong.
Riles, I'm sorry. All I can say for now but also the most heartfelt thing too. Two very important words.
And my first thought was … "Two words? That's it?"
Two words? For 14 years of defending a man? And in the end, being made to look like a chump?
Wrote it, said it, tweeted it: "He's clean." Put it in columns, said it on radio, said it [...]
Half a century ago, the birth-control pill offered women the ability to switch off ovulation, to separate sex from reproduction. It played a part, as the ‘60s got under way, in propelling a host of profound changes, cultural as well as reproductive, societal as well as intimate — in how women saw themselves and lived their lives, starting with the notion of women being above all baby makers and mothers. The promise of Lybrido and of a similar medication called Lybridos, which Tuiten also has in trials, or of whatever chemical finally wins the race for F.D.A. approval, is that it will be possible to take a next step, to [...]
I'm a terrible waitress. I know this because I’ve been fired from every waitressing job I’ve ever had, and this is not a great thing if you’re an unemployed actor who needs a rent-paying gig that offers both flexibility (for auditions) and enough cash to keep you afloat (between acting jobs). It was 2006, and I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. But then a major TV network flew me from New York to Los Angeles to screen test for a sit-com pilot, and I landed at LAX with $500 to my name and a certainty that THIS was the gig that would finally put me on [...]