Opioid-Addicted People Seem to Have This Genetic Variation in Common

Who you are is the result of a complicated interplay between your environment, your genes, and probably a few other factors science has yet to uncover. Genetics influence somewhere around half of a person’s “vulnerability to addiction,” according to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse. Now researchers have shed light on the role one specific gene plays in influencing the risk of opioid addiction. Read More >>

New Drugs Extend Lives of Men With Resistant Form Of Prostate Cancer

As a general rule, cancer patients have to worry about the possibility that their cancer will return with a vengeance, no matter how successful their initial treatment course may have been. But some men with prostate cancer are left in an even more nerve-wracking state of uncertainty. Their cancer appears practically frozen, not spreading elsewhere but also not responding any further to treatment. Sadly, some patients will eventually develop a full-blown, incurable, and ultimately fatal cancer. Read More >>

A Nasal Spray That Shoots Nanosized Opioids to the Brain May Help People Avoid Addiction

As doctors and scientists struggle to turn the tide of an opioid addiction crisis, there are others looking further ahead, trying to create a world where addiction can’t take hold in the first place. One such approach, created by a team of scientists here in the UK, is a nasal spray that shoots a naturally produced opioid straight to the brain—seemingly without causing the euphoric high and tolerance that can lead to dependence. Read More >>

Google Bans Rehab-Related Search Ads in the UK After Embarrassing Report

Up until this week, those turning to the Google search bar for information on drug addiction in the UK might have been served misleading ads directing them to pricey private clinics. But after the release of a Sunday Times report claiming the tech giant was making “millions” from rehab-related search ads, Google announced it has banned the ad category entirely in Britain. Read More >>

Drug Company Allegedly Bribed Doctors to Sell Its Powerful Opiod Spray

The US state of North Carolina is suing a pharmaceutical manufacturer for allegedly bribing doctors and defrauding insurers in order to sell more of its powerful fentanyl spray, fanning the flames of an opioid crisis that has millions addicted and is shortening lifespans. Read More >>

Experimental Heroin Vaccine Triggers the Immune System So Mice Can’t Get High

One of the white whales of vaccine research—a cure for addiction—is a very small step closer to reality. Last week, researchers working at the Walter Reed Army Center in the US published a study showing that their experimental vaccine was able to block the euphoria-inducing effects of heroin and other commonly abused opioids in mice and rats. Almost as importantly, the vaccine didn’t dampen the effects of other related drugs like methadone, which are used (controversially) to wean people off opioid addiction. Read More >>

6,000 Convictions Tied to US Chemist Who ‘Smoked Crack Every Day’ to Be Thrown Out

On Thursday, prosecutors in the US state of Massachusetts announced that they will move to dismiss more than 6,000 convictions tied to lab results from a chemist caught stealing and using drugs from the University of Massachusetts Amherst crime lab. In 2014, Sonja Farak pleaded guilty to stealing drugs and tampering with evidence after admitting she ran lab tests while high on an assortment of drugs she’d stolen from the lab. According to The Washington Post, she told investigators she “smoked crack every day at work.” Read More >>

Bring Back the Opium Den, Say Drug Campaigners

A drug policy pressure group is asking the government to think about bringing back the concept of the opium den, suggesting that a network of modern equivalent "drug consumption rooms" across the country would massively reduce the costs associated with drug use. Read More >>

Canadian Company Accused of 6,000 Per Cent NHS Drug Price Increase

A drug company has been accused of ripping off the NHS to a massive extent by whacking up the price of a not particularly glamorous thyroid treatment, by increasing the pack cost from £4.46 to £258.19 over the course of a decade. Read More >>

More Kids Have Tried Drugs Than Cigarettes Nowadays

There's some good news and some bad news for parents around the country today, with data from the NHS suggesting that the number of children who have tried cigarettes has fallen — hooray! — but that they're experimenting with legal highs and gases and drugs instead. Which is... we don't know. At least playing on train tracks is on the decline now they all have iPads. Read More >>

When Hope Runs Out, Cancer Patients Are Making Their Own DIY Immunotherapy Treatments

Every generation has had its breakthrough that promised to, at long last, finally cure cancer, but this time around the chances of actually pulling it off are looking pretty good. Rapid advancement in fields like genetics have led to incredible success using immunotherapies to turn patients’ own bodies into cancer-fighting machines. Pharmaceutical companies, philanthropic billionaires and the US federal government’s cancer moonshot program are all racing to develop new treatments, with a handful already approved. Read More >>

Marijuana Users Have More Sex, But It’s Complicated

In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown that people who use marijuana have sex about 20 per cent more often than those who do not. It’s an eye-opening finding, but a classic case where correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation. Read More >>

The Rumour That Amazon Will Sell Prescription Drugs Just Got Serious

The St. Louis Dispatch just dropped a helluva news nugget. Citing public records, the paper reports that Amazon “has gained approval to become a wholesale distributor from a number of state pharmaceutical boards.” That might mean that Amazon wants to sell prescription drugs in the US. Then again, it might not. Read More >>

Couple’s Amazon Delivery Came With 30 kg of Free Weed

Two Amazon customers who ordered plastic storage tubs from Amazon earlier this year were surprised to receive a UPS delivery containing 30 kg of tightly compacted marijuana. Read More >>

Scientists Want to Synthesise Salvia’s Hallucinogenic Molecule for a Surprising Reason

You’re probably familiar with Salvia divinorum, the hallucinogenic plant used for religious purposes in some indigenous cultures, and for watching celebrities giggle in some decaying cultures. But when you were sitting in a frozen suburban cul-de-sac one late night in 2009 bouncing as if you were riding a motorcycle while your friends laughed at your babbling, you probably didn’t think about the scientists interested in the drug’s therapeutic properties. I certainly didn’t. Read More >>