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The Daily Buzz: December 9, 2014

Opium cultivation in Asia is soaring; patients prescribed opioids are using more of them, and for longer; and a Missouri bar promotes a horrifying "Michael Brown drink special."

1 Substance

UN: Opium Harvests Soaring in Southeast Asia
Opium poppy cultivation in the “Golden Triangle”—the area adjoining Myanmar, Laos and Thailand where most of the world’s heroin originates—has nearly tripled since 2006, according to a new UN report.

Study: Patients Prescribed Opioid Painkillers Use More of Them for Longer
Though the number of people being prescribed opioid painkillers in the US has slightly decreased, those who are prescribed the drugs are getting more of them and for a longer time, according to a new study. Researchers found that nearly half the people who took these painkillers for over 30 days in the first year were still using them three years later.

Mindfulness Can Help People Recover From Opioid Addiction
Meditation has long been an essential part of 12-step and other recovery programs, and now science agrees that it works. According to a new study, mindfulness—the practice of taking a moment to relax and become aware of feelings and thoughts through meditation—could be useful in helping people recover from opioid addiction.

New Denver Credit Union Will Help Marijuana Businesses Stash Their Cash
It’s mo’ money, mo’ problems for Colorado’s legal marijuana businesses. Many banks still refuse to deal with them, because they’re still illegal under federal law, leaving them with nowhere to safeguard their cash. But a credit union that will accept cash deposits for pot businesses, and allow them to make electronic transfers for payroll and rent, now plans to open soon in Denver.

Missouri Bar Offers Horrifying “Michael Brown Special”
A bar in St. Joseph, Missouri thought it would be amusing to promote a “Michael Brown” drink special: Six shots for $10. After a photo of the offensive offer went viral and people protested outside, the bar owner has apologized and replaced it with a new special: “The owner… is an asshole shot special, 6 Jose Cinge shots for $12.” Missouri, please buy your tequila shots elsewhere.