Archive for the ‘addiction’ Category

Ryan O’Neal, son charged with felony drug possession

October 16, 2008

Well, celebrity drug abuse and violations of law are not new anymore but this case is more intertwined than most….
By Andrew Blankstein
Los Angeles Times

Prosecutors charged actor Ryan O’Neal and his son Redmond today with felony drug possession.

The O’Neals were arrested Sept. 17 after Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies conducting a probation search at the 67-year-old actor’s Malibu home said they found methamphetamine on Redmond O’Neal, 23, and in his father’s bedroom.

The search was related to a case involving Redmond O’Neal, 23, who was on probation after his guilty plea in June for felony drug possession and misdemeanor driving under the influence.

Ryan O’Neal, who was nominated for an Oscar for the 1970 movie “Love Story,” is charged with one felony count of possession of methamphetamine. The son faces the same felony count and two misdemeanors: possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal possession of pepper spray.

Redmond, whose mother is actress Farrah Fawcett, was arrested last year on charges related to carrying heroin and crystal meth while driving under the influence in Malibu. He pleaded not guilty to drug possession and one misdemeanor DUI charge as part of a deal intended to help him avoid jail. He was sentenced to three years’ probation and $1,688 in fines for the DUI charge. In another case from 2005, Redmond O’Neal was placed on probation stemming from an arrest on suspicion of methamphetamine and cocaine possession.

Ryan O’Neal was arrested last year on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm after firing a gunshot during an argument with another son, Griffin O’Neal. The actor told authorities that Griffin, 43, had picked up a fireplace poker and started swinging it. Griffin grazed him four or five times and “aimed at my head, I ducked, he hit his own girlfriend in the head,” Ryan O’Neal said at the time. The actor said he fired a warning shot intended to scare his son. Both defendants are scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 13 in Malibu.
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    “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” TV Star Talks About Her Addiction, Sex, Wild Life

    October 13, 2008

    NEW YORK (AP) – As Marcia Brady on “The Brady Bunch,” Maureen McCormick projected an image of the wholesome girl next door. But off camera, she spiraled downward into drug addiction and depression.

    In this April 14, 2008 file photo, actress Maureen McCormick ... 
    In this April 14, 2008 file photo, actress Maureen McCormick poses in the press room at the 2008 CMT Awards in Nashville, Tenn.(AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)

    Now 52, McCormick writes about her struggles in a new memoir, “Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice,” hitting stores Tuesday. She discusses her romance with TV sibling Barry Williams, her dates with Michael Jackson and Steve Martin, cocaine binges and parties at the Playboy Mansion and the home of Sammy Davis Jr., an unwanted pregnancy and trading sex for drugs.

    McCormick was 14 when “The Brady Bunch” debuted on ABC, running from 1969 to 1974. Despite her role as a sunny Miss Perfect, she struggled privately with anxiety and insecurity, the youngest of four children born to a mercurial father who abused and cheated on their mother.

    “As a teenager, I had no idea that few people are everything they present to the outside world,” she writes in the book, published by William Morrow. “Yet there I was, hiding the reality of my life behind the unreal perfection of Marcia Brady. … No one suspected the fear that gnawed at me even as I lent my voice to the chorus of Bradys singing, `It’s a Sunshine Day.'”

    When “The Brady Bunch” ended, she took up a hard-partying lifestyle in Hollywood, using drugs including cocaine and Quaaludes. She struggled to regain her earlier success, landing some TV and movie roles, but developed a reputation for unreliability due to her addiction, even botching an interview with Steven Spielberg because she was high.

    Read the rest:

    Rehab Renegade: Amy Winehouse

    April 25, 2008

    By John E. Carey
    Peace and Freedom

    Almost anybody who has a tendency toward addiction can wind up in a court ordered rehabilitation or “rehab” treatment facility.

    Case in point: Grammy winning singer Amy Winehouse.

    She was admitted to the Capio Nightingale clinic in north London on January 24, days after a video emerged showing her apparently smoking crack cocaine.
    Above: Amy Winehouse in better days. 

    In today’s news: she was arrested on suspicion of assault in London after a wild night out.

    London’s legendary tabloids quoted a man as saying Ms. Winehouse hit him when he interrupted her game of pool in a bar. Then she apparently head-butted a second man who was trying to get her into a cab and headed out of the neighborhood. All this in the wee hours of Wednesday.
    The once beautiful and compelling performer is now performing not on stage but in an entirely new venue: the stage of international interest in those afflicted with addiction.
    British singer Amy Winehouse arrives at a police station in ... 
    Winehouse under arrest in London, April 25, 2008.

    Her bizarre behavior over a protracted time can hardly be interpreted any other way – as London judges can attest.

    Ms. Winehouse and her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, were arrested in the Norwegian city of Bergen in October and held overnight on charges of drug possession. A video of her allegedly smoking crack with her husband appeared on the Internet shortly before she won five Grammys this year for her critically acclaimed album “Back to Black.”

    Her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, was also accused of assault last year for hitting a bartender but the charges were dropped.
    Troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse, pictured on January 18, ... 
    Troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse, pictured on January 18, 2007 was admitted that week to a rehabilitation clinic to help her battle against drug addiction, her record company said.(AFP/Shaun Curry)

    High Prescription Drug Use and Abuse in Colleges

    March 8, 2008

    By John E. Carey
    Peace and Freedom
    March 9, 2008

    American college students use and abuse prescription drugs like never before.  They are following in the always dangerous and sometimes deadly steps of celebrities.
    alprazolam 2mg tablet bottle

    alprazolam 2mg tablet bottle

    Actor Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose of prescription medications including painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills, the New York City medical examiner’s office said.  Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and other “celebrities” have also been known to take these medications.  Used together — and with alcohol — these drugs have an unpredictable impact, can be addictive and are sometimes fatal. 

    Lohan in a frightful piblicity photo.

    And the shooters in the most violent campus multiple-killings, at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, have both had some history with a mixture of prescription medications.
    The journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine recently reported that compared to college students taking prescription drugs for medical reasons, those who use medications without a prescription are more likely to abuse illegal drugs.  The report also gave information on the high number of our college students using such drugs as sleep aids and anti-depressants.

    Sean Esteban McCabe, Ph.D., M.S.W. (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) says that in the last decade there has been a dramatic increase in prescription rates of medications – such as stimulants, opioids, and benzodiazepines – that are likely to be abused in the United States.

    “These increases are likely the result of many factors, including improved awareness regarding the signs and symptoms of several disorders, increased duration of treatment, availability of new medications and increased marketing,” said Dr. McCabe. “The increases in prescription rates have raised public health concerns because of the abuse potential of these medications and high prevalence rates of non-medical use, abuse and dependence, especially among young adults 18 to 24 years of age.”

    Most people familiar with today’s young people, the Hollywood tabloids and other information sources can readily conclude what drugs are most used and abused.

    Painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills are the most used and abused drugs among our college students and throughout our society, experts say.

    According to Medical News Today, Dr. McCabe used a Web survey of 3,639 college students to acquire information about prescription drug use and potential drug abuse. The average age of the sample was 19.9 years. Students were asked if they used prescribed or had used without a prescription.

    Students were also asked if they had experienced drug-related problems like engaging in illegal activities to obtain drugs, having withdrawal symptoms, or developing medical problems due to drug use.

    Results of the survey are summarized below:

    –59.9% reported medically using at least one of the four drugs with a prescription

    –About 20% reported taking them without a prescription for non-medical reasons

    –39.7% reported that they had used the drugs only by prescription

    –4.4% used medications, but were not prescribed them

    –15.8% reported using some medications, both with and without prescriptions

    The researcher also found that students who reported using drugs without prescriptions were more likely to screen positive for drug abuse compared to students who never used them or who had only used them for medical reasons.

    Dr. McCabe believes that physicians should be extremely careful when prescribing commonly abused drugs to college students.

    “Clearly, appropriate diagnosis, treatment and therapeutic monitoring of college students who are receiving abusable prescription medications is crucial, not only to improve clinical outcomes but also to help prevent the abuse of these medications within a population that is largely responsible for its own medication management,” he writes.

    “Finally, any efforts aimed at reducing non-medical use of prescription drugs will have to take into consideration that these drugs are highly effective and safe medications for most patients who use them as prescribed.”

    There is another insidious implication of Dr. McCabe’s study.  If college students are taking these drugs at an alarming rate; when did they start?  For most, they start down this path while in high school or before.

    Some of the Commonly Abused Medications

    Oxycodone, a painkiller, is the active ingredient in the prescription drug OxyContin. Hydrocodone, another painkiller, is often combined with acetaminophen, as in the prescription drug Vicodin. Diazepam, sold under the commercial name Valium, is used to relieve anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures and to control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal. Temazepam, brand name Restoril, is prescribed in the short term to help patients fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.

    Alprazolam, commonly known under the brand name Xanax, is part of a class of medications called benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.

    Doxylamine, found in common “nighttime sleep aids,” is an an antihistamine that causes drowsiness as a side effect and is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia. (It is also used, in combination with decongestants, to relieve cough and cold symptoms.)

    Ambian is a nightime sleep aid that is often abused and can be addictive.

    The painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone are opiates, which are dangerous when combined with anti-anxiety medicines like diazepam, alprazolam and temazepam. According to a Drug Enforcement Administration Web site, oxycodone is often abused and an acute overdose can cause respiratory arrest and death.

    Diazepam is sold under the brand name Valium and alprazolam is sold under the name Xanax. Temazepam is also used as a sleep aid and sold under the name Restoril. Doxylamine, a sleep aid and antihistamine, is an active ingredient in a number of over-the-counter medications, including NyQuil.

    Northern Illinois Univ Killer Took Usual Deadly Cocktail Of Prescribed Drugs

    AP probe finds drugs in drinking water

    Teen Prescription Drug Abuse: Alarming Facts

    Rehab Report: Singer, Addict Winehouse to Miss Grammys Due to Rehab, No U.S. Visa & More

    February 8, 2008
    By Raphael G. Satter, Associated Press Writer 

    LONDON – Amy Winehouse will not attend this year’s Grammy Awards because her request for a visa was denied, but she will perform by satellite at Sunday’s ceremony in Los Angeles. Winehouse and her acclaimed “Back to Black” album are nominated for Grammys in six categories.
    Singer Amy Winehouse arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Los ... 
    Singer Amy Winehouse arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, in this June 3, 2007, file photo.
    (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, file)

    Winehouse’s potent blend of blues, jazz, pop and soul has won praise from critics and fans, but her chaotic personal life has increasingly upstaged her music.
    Concerned family members regularly beg Winehouse to seek help in letters splashed across the pages of British tabloid newspapers and magazines.
    Last month, The Sun newspaper ran still images from a video that it claimed showed Winehouse inhaling fumes from a small pipe. The images were said to have been filmed during a party at her London home.

    Shortly thereafter, Winehouse entered a London rehabilitation center, and has been questioned by police.

    Read the rest:

    Singer Amy Winehouse: Court Ordered Rehab

    Troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse, pictured on January 18, ... 

    Troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse, pictured on January 18, was admitted to a rehabilitation clinic in Britain to help her battle against drug addiction, her record company said.(AFP/Shaun Curry)
    More Rehab Report

    By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
    The Washington Post
    Friday, February 8, 2008; 12:44 AMRehab: Not just for Amy Winehouse! Suddenly, there is a slew of boldface names checking in:

    Kirsten DunstFor what: Too much bubbly?

    After hitting the Sundance Film Festival party circuit, Dunst, 25, checked into rehab this week, reports People magazine. Dubbed “Kirsten Drunkst” by the tabloids, she told Jay Leno in 2005 she stocks up on Veuve Cliquot champagne at Costco and “I have lots of alcohol and no food in my fridge. . . . Maybe in a few months you will see me in a rehab clinic.”Eva Mendes

    For what: Rep’s not saying.Before temporarily checking out Wednesday, Mendes spent several weeks in a Utah center without reporters knowing she was there. The 33-year-old actress decided to “proactively attend to some personal issues that, while not critical, she felt deserved some outside professional support,” her rep told People.

    Delta Burke For what: Depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding (!)Burke, 51, checked into a psychiatric hospital last week to sort out her meds. “They just weren’t working,” she said in a phone interview posted on And her pack-rat problem? “OK, have you seen those shows where they don’t find the body for days, and they go in to clean up, and it’s stacks of newspapers up to the ceiling? That’s hoarding, and I hate it.”

    Death Threat: What Do Many Teens Have in Common With Heath Ledger, Britney Spears?

    February 7, 2008

    By John E. Carey
    Peace and Freedom
    February 7, 2008

    There is a huge likelihood that a teenager you know shares these following things with Heath Ledger and Britney Spears: Vicodin, Oxycontin and Xanax and the belief that since doctors prescribed these they are OK to use.

    But what few grasp is this: doctors are not saints.  Several told us that they prescribe drugs quickly so they can get to the next patient faster.

    Add to this people who mix drugs, take more than is prescribed, mix drugs with alcohol, mix drugs without the primary care physician’s knowdge and “doctor shop.”

    You end up with addiction, other illnesses and death.

    Sadly, Heath Ledger’s Dad knows this too well.

    “While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy,” he said.

    Intervention is that course of action that stops an abuser or an addict dead in their tracks — before death knoks on their door.

    If you know someone who needs care due to drug (including alcohol) addiction or abuse: take action.  Show your love by causing an intervention.

    You’ll regret looking the other way for the rest of your life.

    Drug Abuse, Drug Overdose Killed Heath Ledger

    Drug Abuse Usually Starts At Home

    Singer Amy Winehouse: Court Ordered Rehab

    Nationwide Imminent Danger Alert – Super Bowl Weekend Dangers

    Heath Ledger, President Bush, The Addicted and Our Medical Professionals

    Addicts Neglected, Over-Medicated Despite Vast System of “Care”

    Britney Spears: Decline Repeatedly Noted Before

    February 2, 2008

    By John E. Carey

    A suburban housewife said to me yesterday, “What happened to Britney Spears, all of a sudden.”

    The answer is: Nothing.

    Like most drug and alcohol abusers, the decline for Britney was prolonged, obvious and intense.
    Britney Spears is seen here in January 2008. A Los Angeles court ... 
    Britney Spears is seen here in January 2008. A Los Angeles court on Friday awarded Spears’ father control of his daughter’s affairs following her admission to a hospital psychiatric unit for evaluation, officials said.
    (AFP/File/Gabriel Bouys)

    The real question that faces all of us when we see such a decline in our own midst is: what can we do to help?

    The answer is: Intervention.

    Intervention is the loving act of saying enough is enough.

    Even in our society that promotes freedom above practically all else there are times to say “Stop.” 

    “Enough already” may be the phrase that allows life to continue or, for some, return.

    In this image from APTN video, Lynne Spears, center, Britney ...
    In this image from APTN video, Lynne Spears, center, Britney Spears’ mother is shown leaving UCLA Medical Center with two unidentified people, early Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008, in Los Angeles. Britney Spears was taken from her home by ambulance early Thursday and escorted to the hospital by more than a dozen police officers. A Los Angeles police officer, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said the 26-year-old pop star was being taken to ‘get help.’
    (AP Photo/APTN)

    If you see wild and crazy abuse right before your nose, you are doing God’s work to help find solutions.

    And intervention does not, to me, mean one visit to one doctor.  Taking a serious drug and alcohol abuser for a doctor’s “visit” is like taking your car with a steering problem to “Jiffy Lube.”  At both places you’ll leave in an hour with a fluid change.

    Meaning the doctor will send the abuser/alcoholic to the pharmacy: which is often the wrong course of action.

    And you won’t get your steering fixed.

    A friend of mine who runs a treatment center called “The Manor House,” one Bill Alexander, said to me once, “Doctors are killing alcohol and drug users every day.”

    One of the “treatment” drugs is often Xanax.

    Xanax can kill an alcoholic.

    Steve Hayes, the Director of Novus Detox said, “We see it every day.”

    Steve had been speaking to a man with a problem similar to Brit’s.

    “His life is falling apart,” Steve told me. “This is a guy that relied on medical doctors and trusted the drug companies.”

    Intervention takes some work.  But it won’t take you as long as the serious drug or alcohol user has invested in ruination.

    The article below appeared in 2006.  It is a reminder that everyone knew Britney was in trouble — even then and probably before.

    Britney Spears: Pill-Popping Dope Fiend?

    Semi-reliable news source In Touch Weekly is reporting that Britney Spears may have made the leap from a mere amateur crotch shot queen and raging booze hound to unabashed, pill-popping dope fiend.

    Brit was recently spotted by fellow club-goers in a restaurant bathroom with a purse full of pills, including an anti-depressant, Paxil, and an anti-anxiety drug, Xanax. Britney is said to have been popping Xanax like it’s hot – right in front of everyone.

    “It looked like a freaking pharmacy in there – I have never seen so many pills,” says a witness. “There was a bottle of Paxil, an antidepressant, and a bottle of Xanax, which treats anxiety, that she took out and put on the counter.”

    You’re probably not supposed to mix those drugs, and you’re definitely not supposed to drink while using them.

    While both drugs mentioned above are legal if you have a prescription, somehow T.H. Gossip doubts Brit got them from her primary care physician. It’s far more likely Paris Hilton’s pool guy smuggled them up from Tijuana.

    This is only the latest event in the ever-evolving Britney Spears train wreck.


    Related articles:
    Teen Media Idols: Drunk, Naked, Pregnant, Unashamed (We Have Pictures!)

    Britney Spears: “Dangerous to Herself”

    Heath Ledger, President Bush, The Addicted and Our Medical Professionals

    Nationwide Imminent Danger Alert – Super Bowl Weekend Dangers

    Addicts Neglected, Over-Medicated Despite Vast System of “Care”

    Our Holiday Season: A Good Time To Discuss Drugs and Alcohol in America

    Court: Spears’ dad has temporary control

    February 2, 2008
    By SOLVEJ SCHOU, Associated Press Writer  

    LOS ANGELES – The father of Britney Spears was named her temporary conservator Friday, putting him in control of her welfare a day after she was whisked to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

    In a file photo Britney Spears arrives for a post Grammy Awards ... 

    Britney. Feb. 8, 2006, in Beverly Hills, Calif. .
    (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok/file)

    While James Spears was named conservator of the troubled pop star herself, he and an attorney, Andrew Wallete, were name conservators of her estate. The singer’s mother, Lynne Spears, also showed up for the unannounced hearing in Superior Court.

    The court also issued a restraining order against Britney Spears’ sometimes manager and friend, Sam Lutfi, and gave permission to change the locks on her estate and remove anyone who is there.

    A court creates conservatorships when a person cannot care for themselves or handle their affairs. Commissioner Reva Goetz said Spears would be under conservatorship until Feb. 4, at which time another hearing will be held.

    “It is in the best interests of the conservatee to have conservatorship over her person,” Goetz told a packed courtroom.

    The conservator will have the power to “restrict visitors,” have around-the-clock security for Spears, and have access to all medical records, Goetz said.

    Goetz said conservatorship over the estate was “necessary and appropriate.” She gave approval for the conservator to “take all actions to secure all liquid assets including credit cards.”

    Heath Ledger, President Bush, The Addicted and Our Medical Professionals

    Bush Enlists Alcohol Past in New Cause

    Teen Media Idols: Drunk, Naked, Pregnant, Unashamed (We Have Pictures!)

    Britney Spears: “Dangerous to Herself”

    Nationwide Imminent Danger Alert – Super Bowl Weekend Dangers

    Britney Spears: Decline Repeatedly Noted Before

    Britney Spears: “Dangerous to Herself”

    January 31, 2008

    January 31, 2008

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears was taken from her house by ambulance early Thursday, police told The Associated Press.

    It was the second time this month that Spears, 26, was taken from her house by ambulance.

    US pop star Britney Spears arrives at the Los Angeles County ... 

    On Jan. 3, police were called to her Studio City home when she refused to return her two young sons to ex-husband Kevin Federline, who has legal custody.

    Officers at the time had paramedics haul Spears to a hospital for undisclosed reasons. She was released after a day and a half in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

    Police on motorcycles and in unmarked cruisers were….

    Read the rest:

    Peace and Freedom Note: We will not diagnose Ms. Spears from afar.  That said, there are a few facts we are aware of.

    1.  A person that is bi-polar needs intensive medical care.

    2.  A person addicted to alcohol and/or drugs also needs intensive care and a lifetime program of recovery.

    3.  Media stars have an even harder road toward recovery than “normal” people.

    So our prayers and best wishes go with Ms. Spears and her family.  We hope she finds recovery.

    J. E. Carey

    Heath Ledger, President Bush, The Addicted and Our Medical Professionals

    Britney brouhaha; Dr. Phil Fired

    TV News reports on Thursday morning January 31 said Ms Spears was being held as a “5150.”  Section 5150 is a section of California’s Welfare and Institutions Code (specifically, the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act or “LPS”) which allows a qualified officer or clinician to involuntarily confine a person deemed a danger to himself, herself, and/or others[1] and/or gravely disabled. A qualified officer, which includes any California peace officer, as well as any specifically designated county clinician, can request the confinement after signing a written declaration. When used as a term, 5150 can informally refer to the person being confined or to the declaration itself.

    Bush Enlists Alcohol Past in New Cause

    January 30, 2008

    The New York Times
    January 30, 2008

    BALTIMORE (Reuters) — President Bush reflected on his battle with alcohol abuse on Tuesday, acknowledging that he once drank too much.

    Mr. Bush was trying to showcase the religion-based service programs that have been a heavily criticized initiative of his.

    Mr. Bush, who gave up alcohol at 40, spoke on a visit to the Jericho program here. It is run by the Episcopal Community Services of Maryland, which helps released prisoners re-enter the workforce.

    “Addiction is hard to overcome,” Mr. Bush said. “As you might remember, I drank too much at one time in my life.”

    The president….

    Read the rest: