Tiealth

Natural Pain Killer

Researchers around ihe would have found evidence that ilie body, when subjected to severe pain and stress, automatically manufactures substances with narcotic effects similar to those of morphine.

Work on the subject began in 1971, when Dr. Avram Goldstein, head of the Addiction Research Foundation in California, found that within the mammalian brain there are molecules iliat he described as "highly specific" opiate receptors. That is, lliey combine chemically with molecules of opium-derived narcotics, such as morphine and heroin. Scientists postulated that Ihe receptors, must also fit together with a substance native to the body, or else they would not have evolved.

Goldstein named the substance Pituitary Opioid Peptide (POP), and while he admits its function is not completely understood, he says: "We know some mechanism shuts off pain." The chemical is evident in accident victims and battlefield -wounded; ihe same process seems to control acupunture anesthesia.

Illinois Sex-Pot Study Underway

The National Council on Drug Abuse is funding a study ai Southern Illinois University, under which a group of 60 male volunteers will spend lime smoking pot and watching pornographic,, films in order to determine Ihe effects of marijuana on human sexual response.

The college-age subjects will be paid $10 a day for smoking 200 milligrams of pot (a thin joint) and then walching blue movies while their response is measured by a mercury-seiisiiive device attached to their genitals. The subjects wi)l ihen view ihe films without having smoked a joint, according lo project director.- Hatojd Rubin. The researchers will, also attempt lo measure the drug's effect on testosterone, the male sex hormone, and whether Ihe subjects' responses lo pol are mainly psychological or physical. .

Director Rubin slated lhal Ihe amount of grass given the subjects is purposely small so lhal the dose is like ilie amount the subjects would i nliale i n a social si tuation, although readers of this magazine would hardly call such a modest dose "social.".

Senator William Proxmire (D.-Wis.) charged that the two-year program is "one of Ilie most shocking examples of a federal love machine that I have seen," calling it

" outrageously irrelevant".

Prunes, Pot and Monkeys

Long-term marijuana use may affect human social behavior, according lo a (wo-year study by Dr. Eihelda N. Sas-senralh at the University, of California, Davis, Primate Research Center. The investigator fed a group of macaque monkeys the equivalent of 20 joints a day for (wo years in the form of THC-spiked, iced raisin cookies -nd prunes.

She said (he amount of marijuana was not as important to the study as its prolonged, daily use. After a month, she reported the monkeys showed intoxication. "They were alternately restless and sleepy ... there was a reduction in all social interaction ... after two months Ihe monkeys developed a tolerance lo the drugged cookies and prunes After six to eighl months, the females in the group grew so aggressive that Ihey bit and hiL a number of un-drugged, control animals, and were subservient only to the alpha male, the group leader."

Dr. Sassenrath postulates that after months of daily marijuana use the monkeys' personalities were allured. She said she could find no evidence that regular marijuana use changed the monkeys physiologically or altered iheir sex drive.

Marijuana Aids Cancer Patients

New research indicates that marijuana is effective for alleviating (lie vomiting and nausea that plague ihousands of cancer patients undergoing chemo-iherapy, and should be used as a (reatment for such side effects.

In a report published by researchers at the Sidney Farber Cancer Center, a branch of the Harvard Medical School, there was at least a 50 percent reduction in vomiting and nausea in 12 of 15 cases involving marijuana drug treatments. Five patients suffered no nausea at all. There was no decrease in vomiting or j nausea in 14 control cases on whom a 1 placebo was used. I

Patients in Ihe study received della-s j THC, lite active ingredient in marijuana i and ihe one responsible for pot's eupho- ; trie effect.

Medical Evidence Suggests ; Possible Health Hazaud )

to Pot Smokers {

A smoking machine that loked 2,000 ■ joints of U.S.Government-issue Mexican j reefer produced possible bad news-if ' the results of the research study are applicable.

Dr.Milton Novotny, associate professor of chemistry at (he University of Indiana, reported to the First Chemical Congress of the North Ajnerican Continent,, held in Mexico City.lhal a chemkal analysis of the reefer residue indicated "higher concentrations of several known carcinogens are- encouniered in marijuana smoke as compared lolobacco smoke;'

Other researchers. questioned whether tests done with a machine could be applied to humans. Also, they pointed out, almost everything contains "carcinogenic" substances.

Drugstore Dope Ad Claims Termed "Shocking"

Caffeine is (he only "mood" drug proven safe and effective among all the ingredients. found in nonprescription sleeping pills, stimulants, eic., on which Americans spend millions of dollars, annually, (his according to a preliminary survey by the Food and Drug Administration. The three-year study of over two dozen ingredients revealed "shocking" advertising claims about various remedies. The review recommended the FDA work wiili Ihe Federal Trade Commission to crack down on phony and exaggerated claims by manufacturers.,

Il is also suggested that labeling on daytime sedalives-such as relief of "nervous irritability" or "calming down and relaxing" should be banned.

The Proprietary Association, which is the industry trade organization, accused the panel of ignoring evidence that daytime calmatives and sleep aids are safe and effective.

The FDA report is a preliminary to selling up a commitiee to determine whether some drugs should be taken off the market and it should be left up to the industry to prove the effectiveness of certain chemicals.

Add Veterans Found "Normal"

A California-based dope researcher reports that the dope- using young people of the 1960s are not now morons permanently destroyed by their sometimes heavy use of psychedelics.

Doctor Stephen Pittel of the Berkeley Center for Drug Sludies followed ihe lives of neady 250"flower children" from 1968 inio the l97Qj). He reports that by 1972 they were for the most part much straighler than they had been in 1967.

Pitted study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. However, Pittel has complained that ihe NEMH lost interest in his research when his results began showing thai most drug users had escaped unscathed by their psychedelic years.

Piliel also said lhai in spite of a loss of interest in most psychedelics by 1972. many of his subjects remained strongly influenced by the psychedelic vision.

Nitrous Oxide Eases Coronary Pain

According to Dr. Peter J. Thompson and Dr. Bernard Lown, nitrous oxide can provide relief for people suffering from acute heart attacks. The doctor^' conclusions were based on a study of patients suffering coronary pain at the Harvard Medical School,

In one instance, the patient was a caidiologist who had intractable pain from a heart attack. He vomiled after morphine injections, and other pain-killr ers had little effect.. After inhaling "laughing gas;" however, he suffered less pain and was able lo recover.

Dr. Lown's use of laughing gas on coronary patients was inspired by a visit to a Moscow hospital in 1968: "Wh£n I walked into Ihe hospital's coronary care unit, I couldn't get over the fact that there1 were little tanks of nitrous oxide near every patientls bed:"

The pain-killing effects of NtO have been ktiown since 1799» when Sir Humphrey Davy, having; experimented wilh the gas himself, suggested its use as an anesthetic in surgery.

Heavy Taking Takes Toll on Lungs

A UCLA study has found that smoking an average of five joints a day for eight to ten weeks can produce mild but significant difficulty in breathing. The study showed thai the air passages of the lungs become inflamed and partially. obstructed due lo the inilating qualiiy of the smoke, not the brain-affecting delia-s'tetrahydrocaiuiabinol, orTHC.

The Mad World Turns

Altitudes in two non-Westem . cultures toward! certain lypes of behavior appear analogous to Western, attitudes toward so-called menial illness. According lo a study published in Science magazine, mental disturbances and social attitudes to wand! them are widely more similar than previous theories have proposed.

The study, conducted by anthropology professor Jane M.Murphy of the Harvard School of Public Health, dealt with the cultures of ihe Eskimos and the Nigerian Yorubas. In both societies, a word translatable as insanity exists and is used to describe conduct consistent with the Western, definition of schizophrenia, including such symptoms as talking lo oneself, hearing voices and sudden violent behavior. However, neither the Yorubas nor ihe Eskimos has a single woid, to express neuroiic.

Successfull _ Syphilis Vaccine Foreseen

A sypliLlis-causing bacterium has been grown in a lest tube for the first time and is being used to develop an experimental vaccine against the sometimes fatal venereal disease. Dr. Robert H. Jones, of the

Medical Research Institute ofthe Florida Institute of Technology, combined Treponema pallidum (the spirochete thai causes syphiJis) with a slime layer harvested from rabbit testicles to create the vaccine. Rabbits injecled with this serum and then challenged wilh a massive dose of live syphiJis organisms developed a less severe infection lhan unvaccinated animals. Dr. Jones cautioned lhai ihe vaccine must be tested further in rabbits» chimpanzees and other animals over a period of year& before it can be injecled into humans even under experimental conditions.

British Plan Aspirin Ban

A proposal by the British Department of Health would ban aspirin and other pain-killing analgesics from open sale in supermarkets and pharmacies. The agency is asking for changes in the nation's Medicines Act thai would lake common painkillers off the shelves and force customers. lo request them from their druggists. The plan would also restrict the maximum number of tablets per bottle to 25 unless special arrangements were made by a licensed druggist,. The curbs are an attempt to decrease ihe number of overdbses from nonprescription drugs and to reduce the risks to children, who frequently take aspirin packages from store shelves. If approved, the new regulations would go into effect in England in September 1977.

In America, revised requirements for the packaging of aspirin and aspirin-containing products took effect in 1972. In lhai year, there were 46 fatalities from aspirin ingestion among children under the age of five. Since 1972,aspirin-relaied deaths in the United Stales have declined-A 8 percent..

Low- Tar, High-Taste Cigarette Tested

A quest for chemical additives to improve ihe flavor of low-hazard. cigarettes has been undertaken by the National Cancer Institute, according to an agency official,

"We can remove ihings from cigarettes known lo be harmful, but whaCs left isn't smokable;1 confided Dr. Thomas Owen, assistant director of the institute's smoking and health program. "What good is it if no one's going lo lise it?"

The consulting firm, of Arthur D. Little, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts, lias been a wasted a $183,000contract by the institute "to try to make a cigarette people will perceive as a real cigarette" without ilie usual toxicity.

The research is an extension of so-called "flavor profiles" developed for foods and perfumes. Several hundred additiives have been tested in cigarettes, but no single additive will work*

Close lo $1-5 million will be channeled inlo the institute's prc^ect„Budget cuts in other programs will boost the "flavor-improvement" share of its $6.1 million budget allotment from less than 3percent to 12 percent over ihe nexl three years, according lo Owens. The tobacco industry is not known lo be participating di-recdy i n the research.

Methadone Alternative Discovered

A new treatment for addiction lo opiales is being developed ai Indiana University. Dr. Hanus J. Grosz, a professor in the university's school of medicine, lias dis-covered that a drug known as propranolol blocks ihe euphoric effecls lhal an addict experiences and eliminates ihe craving for the opiate.

In the past, addicts have been encouraged to substitute methadone, a synthetic narcotic, but methadone itself has been found to be addictive. The propranolol is said to prevent recurrence of a craving for opiales, whether or not ihe patient has been treated with methadone.

Feds Slap Contnols on Darvon

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel lias advocated strkt controls on Darvon, a frequently. prescribed painkiller, because of evidence implicating it in hundreds of overdose deaths. The committee voted seven to one to recommend lhal Darvon (propoxyphene hydrochloride) and mixtures containing it be regulated by the Controlled Substances Act.

In practice* the resolution advised FDA Commissioner Alexander Schmidt to require that druggists refill a Darvon prescription no more lhan five times in six months and lhal suppliers and pharmacists conuol inventories lo deter possible abuses.

Legally, physicians would be free to prescribe Darvon and products containing it, But the new requirements would alert doctors to the possibility of abuses. Last year, physicians wrote 16,4 million prescriptions for Darvon and products containing it manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company of Indianapolis and an estimated 1.6 million more prescriptions for similar products made by other manufacturers. Dan'on was first marketed in 1957; a recent study by the FDA found that deaths involving overdoses from propoxyphene hydrochloride increased from 152 in 1972lo 269 in 1974 in areas with a total population of 52.6 million.

Connecticut Rules

Pot Safe

The Connecticut Superior Court has ruled lhal there are substantial differences between marijuana and psychoactive drugs such as amphetamines and barbiturates. The decision came afier overwhelming evidence indicating thai experimental,. moderate and intermittent use of marijuana carried minimal public risk was presented lo the courts

The Connecticut court concluded lhal the classification of pot along with amphetamines and barbiturates denies the marijuana smoker equal protection under the law. Said the court in relation to ihe slate's statutory classification of marijuana with amphetamines and barbiturates, "neither rests upon grounds which have a fair and substantial relation lo the purposes of this legislation, nor are there any state of facts which can reasonably be conceived by this court to justify such a classification:'

Chicago Research Yields New Contraceptive

After four years of clinical research, Dr. Antonio Scommegna at the Michael Reese Medical Center in Chicago received a patent for a hormonal contraceptive lhal promises year-long protection. Implanted in ihe ulerus, the device releases progesterone slowly over 12 months, altering ihe womb lining so a fertilized egg cannot adhere to it.

"We have orders in ihe house for $2.25 million woddwide:" said Dr.Bruce Phar-riss, principal scientist at the Alza Corporation of Palo Alto. California, which lias been licensed by the FDA to market the contraceptive. Dr. Pharriss said that the device, called Progeslaseit, is made of ethylene acetate, a plastic polymeric materia L It is obtainable only through a physician.

Aborigines Sniff Gasoline Down Under

Authorities in Australia are becoming increasingly concerned over ihe growing amount of gasoline sniffing among aboriginal children. Government social worker John Tomlinson said that at least 100children, some as young as ten, were addicled lo gasoline sniffing.

Gasoline has an un inhibiting effect; many aboriginal children have described ihe sensation as making them drunk and silly. "Children on Elcho Island:' said Tomlinson, "use the effecls of gasoline to confront the spirits of the dead:' Children go i nto a cemetery, sniff themselves i nlo a slupor* ihen open graves to talk lo the spit Us wiihin, he explained

Research at Elcho Island has shown thai gasoline sniffers typically either have lost their fathers through death or have fathers who are described as "inadequate" by mission authorities. Snifters on the island have indicated they would give up sniffing gasoline for drinking liquor.

Fertility Drops in Rats with Pot-Smoking Grandmothers

Canadian research has shown a sharp drop in fertility and sexual drive among second-generation descendants of rals exposed to marijuana smoke during pregnancy. The pregnant females themselves and their first-generation offspring were unaffected, according lo Peler Fried ofCatlelon University in Ottawa.

Fried, an associate professor of psychology, explained that none of the young rats affected was actually exposed to any dope. The pregnant rals were exposed to smoke from one joint per day, equivalent lo human use of five per day. The study was prompted, he said, by the knowledge dial THC crosses the placental barrier in humans and may be absorbed in large quantities proportionate to the weight of the fetus. It is not known if the fetal liver can detoxify cannabis as the adult liver can. Fried plans additional research to determine whether the male can also transmit this effect to his grandchildren and whether grass smoking is more dangerous in one stage of pregnancy than inothers.

At Harvard Medical School,. pot-smoking rat research indicates that a substance in the water-soluble portion of pot smoke acts as a poison that (in rats) decreases the body's ability to kill invading bacteria If these findings hold true for humans, the germicidal properties of THC would be nullified when marijuana is smoked. The researchers did not indicate whether this component is effectively removed when the smoke is passed through a water pipe.

Legalizing Pot Sales May Reduce Heroin Addiction

TTie "PfHsville to Mainline" myth has resurfaced in a three-year study of marijuana use conducted by sociologists at the University of Kentucky and the University of California at Berkeley. Interviews of 2,500 men 20 to 30 years old showed that 55 percent had used marijuana and 11 percent had subsequently "graduated to herein,'' Dr. John A. O'Donnell claimed most of these heroin users initially tried the drug because it was sold by the same dealers who provided their smoke. O'Donnell stated that pot sales, as well as use, would have to be legalized before this aspect of the addiction problem could be solved.

Ounce-Plus Smokers Risk Sperm Loss

Scientists at Columbia University feel they have come up with evidence that marijuana has a direct and adverse effect on the germinal epithelium, the tissue that produces sperm cells. Eleven men, regular users of hemp, were tested for hormone levels and sperm production over a three-month period during which they also consumed large, specified amounts of marijuana Hormone secretion was unaffected, but sperm produc tion decreased by an average of 57 percent during the experiment, and there was an increase in immature and abnormal sperm cell formation.

These results are suspect., however, because of the uidealistic quantities of pot the men were required to inhale. Each subject had to smoke over a pound of hi gh -q uali ty National Insti tu te of Drug Abuse (NIDA) weed in two weeks, or more than an ounce per day. All aspects of reproductive functions had registered normal during an earlier period of moderate smoking. Sperm counts decreased during and after the reefer blitz. The researchers also failed to determine which chemical component of pot smoke caused the results and neglected to And out whether the effects were temporary or permanent.,

Propanolol Effective for Coke OD

Two California doctorsj have reported dramatic results in experimental use of propanolol to save the lives of victims of cocaine overdose. Propanolol is widely used in hospital emergency rooms to lower the blood pressure of cardiac patients. Excessive amounts of coke often raise the blood pressure sufficiendy to cause a fatal heail attack or cerebral aneurysm (rupture of an artery in the brain). Dr. Richard T. Rappolt* editor of the periodical Clinical Toxicology, and Dr. George R. Gay, former director of the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic, have successfully treated over 50 emergency cocaine cases with propanolol,,

Marijuana Serves as Insect Repellent

Police in Winnipeg, Canada, believe they have uncovered a new use for marijuana as an insect repellent.. One eldedy couple whose garden boasted seven-foot plants said they didn't know what the weed was but they let it grow because it kepi the bugs away. A local farmer reported the same effect He noticed that whenever his cattle went to pasture during the mosquito season, they would head for one specific clump of bushes. A closer look revealed hemp in the vicinity. The area was remarkably fiee of flies and 'skee-ters, the fanner said.

THCDrops:

Highs Through the Eyes

Eye drops made from synthetic THC have been developed that are effective in reducing pressure within the eyeball in glaucoma cases. The drops are the first drug to produce a high by being absorbed through the eyes. Dr. Keith Green, an ophthalmology teacher, said researchers i will continue to work on drops that "hopefully won't have the euphoric side effects:' TTie high is linked to marijuana's temporary effect of increasing the pulse rate while reducing blood pressure. This makes it medically inadvisable for persons with heart ailments, according to some physicians. Dr. Robert Peterson of the National Institute of Drug Abuse confirmed this drawback and added, "Not everyone enjoys getting high."

Chinese Cure Headaches with Hemp Seeds

For fast relief of headaches, many Chinese chew marijuana seeds, reports John W.English, a recent visitor toihe People's Republic of China. The remedy is cheap and readily available, because hemp is grown in small clumps throughout the countryside for rope production. The nutritious seeds have been eaten roasted for thousands of years, especially during famines, and are still grown as a food source in Manchuria and the Ukraine. The seeds are 20 to 35 percent oil. which is extracted and used for lamps in Russia.

Pot Fertilizers Debated

Dope that has been fertiUized with high-nitrate-content fertilizers,- may possibly contain a cancer-causing substance, ac-cocding to Dra. Norman R. Famsworth and Geoffrey Cordell of the University of Illinois Medical Center. Some of the nitrates may be reduced to niuites while still in the soil or during growth, storage or use of the grass. Conceivably these nitrites could react with nitrogen contained in other compounds that have recentiy been found in marijuana, called basic alkaloids. And catalyzed by the catechol derivatives, other substances in hemp, this reaction could form n-nitro-samine, which is known to be a potent carcinogen that is formed in the stomach during digestion of meats or fish preserved with nitraies omitrites.

The pharmacologists emphasize this is only speculation, and there is no evidence as yet that any pot com a ins nitro-samines. No known commercial crops are currently fed higji-nitrale fertilizers, though fish emulsion, an organic preparation high in nitrogen, is often used by small-scale domestic growers. Nitrates are one of the iluee major nutrients needed by all plants, so it would he impossible to grow pot without them. Nitrogen promotes lush foliage and is especially important in the marijuana plants early stages of growth. Ovei fertilization might become more common after legalization in the U.S. in attempts to grow high-yield crops. Controls over farming methods may then be needed to prevent sale of cancer weed.

Latest Research Finds No Pot Perils

Neither large doses of synthetic THe nor a history of marijuana smoking lias any adverse elTect on the body's defenses against disease germs, according to research, by Drs. Reese T.Jones and Neil Benowitz of Ihe Langley Porter Neuropsychiatry Institute in San Francisco. Jones is known for his liberality in dispensing synthetic THC for the sake of science (see "Subsidized High " High Times Dec. 1975/Jan. 1976.) The eight volunteers in this most recent experiment recieved 210 mg. of ,6,-9-THC per day for 18 days, a prodigious amount by American standards. All (he testees were regular users, toking an average of 13.5 joints a week for 3v: years. Tests showed no impairment of disease resistance in any of them, nor in an additional seven pot smokers, who did not receive llie synthetic THC.

Pol's effect on I l ie immune response against disease has been debated since Dr. Gabriel Nalias reported in 1974 that lymphocyte (one type of white blood cell) response in chronic smokers, was 40 percent below normal. Nahas' tests were done only in lest lube cultures. Two other groups of scientists conducted lesis on live subjects and found no adverse effects.

In another clinical study, a battery' of psychiatric tests has failed to show any impairment of mental function from intermittent, moderate marijuana use. Psychiatrists at MaryvilJe College, Maiy-ville, Tennessee, tested students (10 male, 10 female) who had smoked pot an average of six limes a month for a year oc longer. They were compared with 20 students who had never smoked the heubi Subjects were given standard , psychiatric measurement tests of motivation, hand-eye reaction lime, immediate memory, muscular coordination and attention while they were not stoned, to lest pot's residual effects only. No differences in performance were found between the two groups.

These studies join a long list of studies in the lasi five years; dial have found no harm in chronic marijuana smoking including investigations in Jamaica Greece, Egypt and Costa Rica The Costa Rican study is especially significant because of the inclusion of sleep electroencephalograms, a recently developed means of evaluating a chemical'i long-term effect on the brain. Thiuy-lwo Cos-la Rican men were sleep-tested; they had smoked 2% to 40 joints daily for 10 to 27 yearsi A lack of brain wave disturbances during sleep was Ihe "most impressive" finding, according to sleep researcher Dr. Ismet Caracan of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Police Test Developed for Grass in Blood

A blood test for marijuana, sensitive to cannabinoid levels of less lhan one part per billion, has been devised by ■Dr. Joe Vinson, assistant professor of chemistry al the University of Scran-ton in Pennsylvania Vinson described the lest as fast, cheap and ideally suited for police laboratories, but said its major drawback is lhai it musl be made within two to three hours after the suspect lias smoked, THC levels in the blood drop so fast, he explained, that it is virtually undetectable alter a long period The procedure involves treating a blood sample wiih a series of compounds that cause THC to fluoresce. Il cannot yel show ihe exact amount of THC present, but Vinson expects to solve that problem within a year. He says he has already been get ting calls from police departments throughout the nation.

Dopers Breathe Easier

While debate rages around the comparative danger of lung cancer from marijuana and lobacco. two independent studies have confirmed that the active ingredient in pot is an effective breathing aid for those suffering from chronic asthma or bronchitis. Aerosolized -9-THC was administered to asthmatics by Dr. Louis Vachon at the Boston University School of Medicine; Dr. Vachon recorded a 44 percent increase in airflow in his patients.

While at UCLA Dr. Donald Taslikin measured the effects of marijuana smoke, aerosolized THC and isoprotemol (a common bronchodilaiort on asthmatic volunteers. Tashkin found that marijuana produced a dilation of llie breathing passages iliai lasted about an hour, reaching peak effectiveness 15 minutes after smoking. This was longer, but not as strong, as Ihe effects of ihe isoprotemol. However, 10 mg. of aerosolized THC was more effective than I lie smoke or commercial aid. improving breathing ability by 90 percent.

Urine Tests

Fait Accuracy Exams

Scientific studies show that many laboratory tests of urine samples for drugs are startlingly inaccurate. The tests, routinely used lo check for illegal euphoria among probationers and methadone patients, often determine whether an individual will_ receive addiction treatment, continued parole or reduced sentences.

The most recent investigation, one of a half-dozen studies made, checked the performance of two reputable labs. One establishment got 47 percent of the answers right, The oilier scored 14 percent. Especially disturbing were ihe number of false-positiye results, which indicated drug use when the urine showed none.

You Are Growing Very Stoned ...

If given a choice between drugs and self-hypnosis, most people will go for ilie dope. Or they'll do both al the same lime. That's Ihe conclusion of Ihe researchers at Ihe United Slates Health Services DrugEduca-

lion Program. They trained ten male and female subjects aged 18 to 50 in self-hypnosis. the object being to re-create their favorite high spontaneously In less than six sessions the men and women were, able lo produce marijuana, heroin, alcohol and Djlaudid slones wilhout the drugs. Nevertheless, the program was a flop. Many new subjects dropped out of the program. Those who stayed seemed unable to keep appointments, and follow-up study re-v.ealedthai former participants continued to use their favorite psychoactive along with the self-hypnosis.

Atom- Tagged Methadone to Foil Booster Shots

Methadone patients may soon need a Ph.D. in nuclear physics to up their dosage on the side or sell their own quota to others. Three University of Toronto chemists have produced methadone labeled with deuterium. or "heavy hydrogen" (a nonradioactive isotope of hydrogen containing an extra neutron), making the methadone molecule slighdy heavier than normal.. Clinical tests can then distinguish the amount of prescribed methadone in the urine from quantities originating from other sources. Labeled methadone can also be used to check on illegal resale from clinic to clinic.

Boys and Girls ofTuto Minds

The hemispheres of hoys' brains begin to specialize at age 6, while the brain halves develop symmetrically in girls until they are 13. Recent experiments showed lhal lefi-hemisphere specialization for language begins by age 6 in both sexes. But gills retain plasticity of ihe right hemisphere until adolescence.

In most right-handed adults, the left hemisphere is the domain of logic, speech and reading. The right lakes care of touch, space percepijon. intuition and creative insight. The unspecialized right hemisphere in young girls could also take over the logical functions in case of disease or injury of the left. side. This may explain why females are relatively fiee of such language -relaled problems as dyslexia, aphasia and autism. Ontario psychiatrist Sandra Witelson suggested that female hormones might he tried in treating these conditions in boys.

Smokers Are B S d etter tu ents

Students who siast smoking pot in their .eari-y leens wind up with better college grades lhan late tokers, according lo a survey at the University of Vermont in Burlington. Data on over 500 students revealed that women smoke as much as men, athletes as much as nonathletes, and lhal students with the highest grades had, on the average, begun using grass earliest.*

Researchers speculate that the most adventurous children try hemp earliest, or that pot may stimulate curiosity. It certainly doesn't decrease intellectual motivation, according to the recent study.

THC Lowers High Blood Pressure in Rats

THe may someday be used by doctors: for patients with high blood pressure. Recent work on hypertensive rats shows thai, injected delta-£ THC lowers blood pressure to normal and may also help reduce fevers Medical use will probably have to wait» however, until, chemists create highless THC analogs with ihe same effecl on blood pressure as the real thing.

Asbestos in Wine Uncorks Cancer

A bottle of cheap French wine often includes 40 million fibers of asbestos, a suspected carcinogen, according lo a French consumer magazine. The residue derives from the fillers used for poorer grades of red wine, particularly in cheaper types of B^aujolais Villages and Cotes du Rhone. The wine is subject lo no U.S. import restrictions, even though asbestos fillers have been banned from American wineries, breweries* distilleries and soft-drink factories.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was unaware of the problem in imports, admitted Randy Dyer of ihe bureau's laboratory. Two years ago, the agency commissioned a study of asbestos in domestic beverages by the Franklin Research Institute and ihe Food and Drug Administration. Results will be released within six months, he said. Dyer believes American processors: are fully cooperating with ATFs asbestos ban, although several wine shipments were recalled last year.

Workers in asbestos plants risk stomach and bowel cancer due to irritation of the mucous membranes by the tiny fibers,. The material has been studied as a water contaminant in Dululh, Minnesota.

A Sobering Pill to Take

The traditional "one for the road" may soon Wash down an antialcohol tablets Amethystic agents, such as Lvdopa, ephedrine, apomorphine and aminophyllin work in much the same way as adrenalin- I hey increase the production of brain enzymes that neutralize alcohol by up to 50 percent in half an hour. The U. of California at Irvine project director, Ernest Noble, also expects the sobering agents to help save the lives of people who 0.0. on a combination of booze and downs.

Pot Cools Human Hostility

Harvard Medical School researchers have found that cannabis does not increase animosity in social groups. They monitored 20 small groups of men, all strangers- to each other, who met once a week to smoke either grass or placebo joints without knowledge of their contents. The subjects became friendlier when gi ven real reefer.

The scientists also tested frustration levels by giving the men tasks lo perform and then arbitrarily telling them their work was unaccepiable and had to he redone. Stoned groups took the news calmer.

Grass Better Than Glasses

Pioneer glaucoma researcher Dr.Frederick M.Blanton announced plans last December for a nationwide glaucoma prevention study in which persons with a family history of the eye disease would be given federal THC by ophthalmologists throughout the country. The eye pressure and incidence data would then be compared to those of the general population by Blanton al ihe Robert B. CrisweU Eye Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Glaucoma afflicts 4 percent of all Americans and 12 percent of those whose relatives have it. Blanlon added that since the condition is hard to treat* medical efforts should also be directed toward prevention. Patients would be issued cards for quick proof to police thai they are bona fide project members.

Dr. Blanton himself will not participate in Ihe experiment.. Federal agencies liave denied all his requests to study pot, even before his successful bui unauthorized hemp brownie treatments of glaucoma a few years ago.

Your Brain Waves May Choose Your Highs

The brain's characteristic response to external events seems 10 determine which psychochemicals an individual chooses, says Dr. Edward Deaux of New Mexico's Department of Hospitals. Neurologists have established that most people are either "augjnenters", whose minds increase the perceived intensity of stimuli, or "re-ducers„" whose heads play it down.

Deaux compared barbiturate users with amphetamine enthusiasts and found that the drug of choice compensated for Ihe innate pattern.. Deaux cautioned drug counselors that relaxation therapy or meditation could "encourage an extreme reducer to seek more stimulation" with ups.

Psychiatrists Discover Contact High

You don't really have 10 smoke to get high, report scientists who found some of their control subjects were gelling off on smoke exhaled by a group of tokers. under study. Five heavy smoker's and one nonsmoker were tested in a locked ward at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in Manhattan, The control subject-and some of ihe staff members-complained of dizziness, nausea, rapid pulse and red eyes and began staying at the far end of the ward, away from the potheads. Eventually a closed-circuit television system was installed to observe the subjects. Drs. Phillip Zeiden-berg, Raymond Bourdon and Gabriel Nahas suggested that no-smoking laws be extended after legalization to protect non-tokers from" absorption of cannabinoids'.'

Volunteers Get Off Without Help

You can trip every time you sit down, according to experiments by Dr. Harry Hunt, a Canadian psychologist, and his associate Cara Chefurka at Ontario's Brock University.

The research team seated a group of people on straight-backed chair's in an empty room. Some were told lojust relax; some were asked to concentrate on how they felt; others- practiced introspection techniques; and Ihe rest pretended that ihey had taken a psychedelic and were wailing for it 10 Lake effect. Half ihe volunteers smoked pot frequently, and a quarter of them had some experience with psychedelic substances.

Within ten minutes, many of ihe subjects, especially those in Ihe last Iwo groups, reponed altered states of consciousness: they saw stationary objects moving, ihey saw unusual color patterns and they felt like ihey were floating. Those who had been exposed lo psychedelics saw more intense colors and reported thai their experiences in the experiment were similar to LSDirips or intense grass highs.

The experimenters concluded lhat the focusing of consciousness "011 itself' rather than "outward" in the usual way produces "anomalies of awareness" as a natural function of ihe mind.

Lady's No Tramp, Doctors Admit.

Recent medical tests 011 coke showed none of the risks long reported by scientists and drug agencies. According to doctors at New York Medical College, tests on 200 opiate addicts who also used cocaine prove that coke does not produce psychotic reactions, increased breathing or pulse rate, palpitations or a need for increasing doses to maintain the high. Drs.. Richard Resuick and Elaine Scliuyten-Resnick found lhal post-snow depression is largely a myth, too, and paranoia is caused by social setting rather than the stimulant-.

Drinking Dads Damage Genes

Fathers who are heavy drinkers, may damage their chromosomes, according to Dr. F.M.Badr.The damage manifests itself in dominant mutations of the genes lhal in mm may cause birth defects and death of fetuses. Dr.Badr conducted a survey of 100 families ai Si. Vincents Hospital in Worcester, Mass. The results of his survey indicate that the faiher, as well as the mother, is responsible for "fetal alcohol syndrome:' Dr.Badrplans 10 investigate the mauer further with an additional 20,000 families.

Sage Replaces Food Chemicals

Professor Stephen Chang of Rutgers University's Cook College in New Jersey lias discovered lhal ihe oils of rosemary and sage are excellent natural preservatives for food. The food-science professor has patented his method of preparing the rosemary-sage mixture and hopes lo have il 011 the market soon. Chang says Ihe natural preservatives will be cheaper, easier lo produce and less toxic lhan the endless numbers of chemical additives lhal are now pumped into mass-produced food.

Alcoholism, Smoking Cured by Meditation

A sensory deprivation lank is being used by a San Diego, California, therapist in a three-year project to help people stop chronic drinking 01 smoking and achieve oilier psychological goals, such as increased honesty in self-evaluation. Mark Kammerman of the United Slates International Uuiversity claims ihe experience of deep meditation is produced easily in the tank and is effective in solving many kinds of problems. The tank slows the body's metabolic rhythms in much the same way meditation does and causes the brain lo emit alpha wave frequencies characteristic of serenity.

Washington Develops Ersatz Cigarette

A synthetic cigarette that tastes like tar and nicotine is now being developed thanks to a grant of $183,000 from the National Cancer Foundation of the Health. Education and Welfare Department.. Part of Ihe grant is going 10 the Arthur D. Little Corporation, which has isolated several food-additive chemicals that resemble the laste of real tobacco smoke. The rest of Ihe grant is going to other companies for Ihe production of decancerized tobacco and cereal fillers lhal arejusi like the real thing.

I've Got Juice Under My Skin

A time-release skin implant that brings on flulike symptoms the minute a reformed drinker falls off the wagon has been de veloped by University, of Winnipeg researcher Dr. Allan Wilson, The implant, composed of Antabuse, an anti-alcohol compound, is effective for approximately six months.

Alcoholics' Kids Deride Booze Risks

Children of alcoholic parents view drinking as harmless because they can't admit their parents have a problem with it, concludes a Philadelphia sociologist as a result v of a survey of tenth-girders in act area where there is a high rate of alcoholism. The students with drinking parents were themselves heavy drinker and consideied school alcohol-education programs "subversive:1 At the same time, these students shunned the use of other drugs in the belief that they are of greater danger than alcohol..

Western Docs Dig Underground Herb

A London biologist has broken new ground by following health food healers eastward to seek the roots of medic ine-ginsengv to be exact..Curative claims for the slow-growing tuber have long been pooh-poohed by experts, but Western medics may now be ready to dig it at last.. Steplien Fulder's recent article in The New Scientist reviews Russian and Chinese research that confirms even the most extravagant claims of barefoot doctors. Used in the Orient for three millennia as an energizer, preventive medicine and longevity tonic, ginseng has been condemned as useless in the West because it doesnl cure any spe-ci fiedi seases.

Professor Israel Brekhman of Vladivostok's Institute of Biologically Active Substances has documented 35- to tOLT-percent increases in stamina in both mice arid men as a result of ginseng use-pi\X)f that the Vietcong soldies and Russian cosmonauts wlio chewed the root weren't just shelhshocked or spaced out,. Ever quota-conscious, the Russians also found the herb ups efficiency in boring, repetitive work like proofreading and telegraphy,

Mouse tests in Russia and Bulgaria have yielded dramatic evidence that ginseng offers prelection against a wide variety of stresses: bacteria and virus infections.

effects of alcohol and medicines, radioactivity, environmental poisons, temperature extremes - even injections of cancer cells.

Fu Ides' article- raises the hope that American medicos may develop increased interest in ginseng's powers of prevention, Still., it's doubtful they will adopt tlie practice of their ancient Chinese brethren, who got paid only as long as their patients stayed healthy,

A Ripple A Day

A glass of live grape kills more viruses ilian a shot of penicillin, say Canadian researchers. Jack Konowalchuk and Joan Speirs of Ottawa's Bureau of Microbial Hazards tested wines, grape juice, fresh grapes and raisins against several subcellular bugs. They found that compounds called phenols in grape skins are good medicine for polio, heipes and several other viral ills. Because only tlie skins work, i"ed wines or roses are belier than white ones, although whole white grapes are just as potent as Concords or Tokays. So next time youve got Benghi Fever, stop off at live corner bar on your way to tlie doctors office.

Here's Spit in Your Mouth

A Stony Brook, New York, dental researcher has synthesized sialin. the chemical in saljya that prevents tooth decay. State University professor Israel Kleinberg said tlie compound works by neutralizing add from bacteria. British studies show nuts and cheese make good desserts or snacks to stimulate saliva flow. But Kleinberg expects sialin toothpaste, mouthwash, gum and candies in five years, so people can OO on sugar and still have teeth.

Now Where Did I Put That Joint

New evidence tliat grass impairs memory comes from tlve University ,of Kentucky. Previous tests have shown no permanent forgelfulness among smokers when they're not stoned, but scientists have now confirmed those legendary lapses during live high. Tlie Kentucky experiments showed a decrease in both recall and storage (absorption), but the input phase of learning was affected most The researchers think hemp impedes the transfer of knowledge from short-term to long-term memory banks.

Flying Stones No Road Hazard

Despite some well-publicized scare stories, stoned drivers are proving themselves quite safe. UCLA researches recently compared alcohol and marijuana in their effect on vision during simulated i"oad tests. Boozes missed many hazards, while grassheads kept normal alertness.

New Zealand physician Sally Casswell found that drunk drives function poorly but think the-yjre doing fine, driving faster and more recklessly than normal. . Smokes' reflexes were slowed somewhat. t but they knew it and took extra precautions. A swill-smoke combo was deadly, however. combining tlie wost cooixlination with tlie greatest confidence. These results confirm a Department of Transportation study that showed pot users have no more acuidents tlian straight drivers.

Pot Probes Expose Shrunken Head Jive

"Research" showing [ brain atrophy among pot smokers .has been officially, debunked by repoils in tlie Journal of tlie American Medical A^oci^lion. A 1970 British study that called hemp a real head shrinker made plenty of headlines at the time, though it was widely criticized as unscientific. Ooly ten persons were tested; all! used many dov^s besides pot, and many had a previous history of brain damage, or head injury.

Finally, two groups of doctos. one at Washington University in St. Louis and one at Harvard Medical School, improved on tlie fust experiment One group tested subjects who had toked at least five joints a day for five years. The other had volunteer puff five or more registered reefes in tlie lab for three weeks. In neither sample was there any evidence of any structural changes in tlie brain or nervous system-

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