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The Daily Buzz: December 3, 2014

Scientists find more genetic links to alcoholism; study claims marijuana could help fight the AIDS virus; and Madonna did a lot of drugs but didn't like it.

1 Substance

Is Alcoholism Genetic? Scientists Discover Link to a Network of Genes In the Brain
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered not only a genetic link to alcoholism—but a whole network of genes particular to alcoholics. Scientists say the findings could possibly help doctors screen for alcoholism and lead to specialized therapy and treatment options. What they won’t do is end the nature/nurture argument.

Video: Heroin Addiction Among Jade Miners in China and Myanmar
The New York Times documents heroin addiction in the jade mines of China and Myanmar in this powerful 12-minute video. The booming jade industry is enriching a small proportion of the upper class at a heavy cost to miners, like 24-year-old Sang Aung Bau Hkum (profiled in the video), who are increasingly succumbing to addiction and poverty.

Study: Could Marijuana Beat the AIDS Virus?
Medical marijuana has long been prescribed to help relieve the symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS, like nausea and appetite loss. But according to a new study on HIV-infected monkeys, a daily dosage of THC (marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient) may actually fight the HIV/AIDS virus itself.

Madonna Says She’s Tried All of the Drugs
The Queen of Pop has spoken about her past drug use, which apparently involved a lot of experimentation followed by immediate regret. “I tried everything once, [but] as soon as I was high, I was obsessed with flushing it out of me,” she says. “[Drugs] give you the illusion of getting closer to God, but ultimately they kill you.” 

American Beauty Star Talks About Beating Heroin Addiction
Actor Wes Bentley spoke to Huffington Post Live about heroin addiction and the stigma surrounding it. “There is a stigma that it’s the one you can’t beat, and it is an awful one. It is the devil,” he says. But he’s chosen to speak about his experiences to show that recovery is possible: “There’s people out there who are still addicted, and they might not think you can get past it either. But I want to show them that you can. I just want people out there to know… that it is beatable and you can live an amazing, happy life.”