January 12, 2005

I never use stairs just trees

* Got a heroin problem? Afraid of withdrawl? Dr. Clifford Bernstein is pioneering what some may call a miracle treatment -- anesthetizing addicts and using an intravenous drug cocktail to induce an almost instantaneous withdrawal from the heroin. excerpt:

"Bernstein says he has a better way to kick opiate addiction - one that painlessly strips the drug from the brain's nerve receptors in 20 minutes. The procedure, which relies on a combination of medicines, is carried out while the patient is anesthetized - a conscious patient would be in so much agony there would be risk of a heart attack. According to Bernstein, the roughly 2,500 patients the institute has treated wake up after an hour and are no longer addicted. Even if an addict were to shoot up after the procedure, there would be no effect. The opiate would be blocked from binding with the receptors already occupied by naltrexone, a drug which must be taken orally for a year. Bernstein says 65 percent of Waismann patients are still clean after a year.

"Critics dismiss those numbers and denounce the Waismann method as a scam that takes advantage of desperate addicts. But the American Society of Addiction Medicine has come out in support of the treatment, and the society's former president claims that it's one of the most innovative developments in the field since the advent of the 12-step program in the 1930s.

"With a recent surge in the abuse of opiate-based painkillers such as OxyContin, the institute's business is booming. He has put up billboards across the country and has explained the procedure on MTV, CBS, and NBC. So far, he's drowning out his critics. And, like Lasik eye surgery in the 1990s, rapid detox is making the transition from experimental technique to standard procedure offered nationwide. Competitors have emerged: A rival rapid detox center opened last year in Los Angeles, and there are centers in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York. Hundreds of addicts are going through rapid detox each year, and proponents like Bernstein are positioning the approach as a modern, humane alternative to Narcotics Anonymous."

* Take a look at some bad book covers. [via bookslut]

* Female attorneys in Cyprus have won the right to wear trousers in court. excerpt:

"Until now the dress code for women was dark skirts and jackets with white blouses but new regulations for dark 'classic cut' trousers were approved by the Supreme Court and introduced at the beginning of the year.

"'It was a popular demand among female lawyers. Trousers are more practical,' lawyer Melina Pyrgou, secretary of the Bar Association, told Reuters.

"'In Nicosia the courthouse is in five different buildings and you have to dash between them. Some can find it bit awkward to do that in skirts.'

"But lest some females take their newly-found dress freedom too far, the Supreme Court cautions that the material and style of the trousers should remain within the realm of good taste."

* And, what's going on at the Globe?

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