The Daily Buzz: July 11, 2014
Text message interventions could help curb binge drinking; an obscure federal law is preventing low-income people from getting addiction treatment covered by Medicaid; and Washington man who got fired for buying legal pot on TV got his job back.
Could Text Message Interventions Help Reduce Binge Drinking?
Researchers found that by texting with young adults following drinking-related ER visits, they were able to collect data, offer feedback and support and ultimately help reduce further episodes of binge drinking. This makes sense, since the only thing young people might like more than drinking is texting.
Smartphone Dependency Could Fuel Other Addictions
But it looks like using text messaging to curb binge drinking could have a possible downside. Spokespeople from a few addiction treatment centers say that overuse of smartphones are actually “exacerbating” addiction as well as allowing patients to “check out” and avoid dealing with the recovery process. The CEO of one California treatment center says “the biggest challenge” for many patients is having their phones taken away—which does sound absolutely terrifying.
Obscure Federal Rule Restricts Expansion of Treatment for Addicts Under the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) expands Medicaid to many more low-income people, allowing for additional people to receive coverage for substance abuse treatment—something the policy deems an “essential health benefit.” But there’s a hitch: an obscure federal rule (written in 1965) allows Medicaid to limit coverage to rehabs with 16 or fewer beds. And most rehabs have more than this, meaning addicts across the country are not getting the treatment coverage they were promised.
How a Mexican Cartel Demolished a Town, Incinerated Hundreds of Victims, and Got Away With It
Authorities are now investigating a massacre that occurred in March 2011 in a Mexican town called Allende (pop. 22,000), where members of the Zetas cartel destroyed dozens of buildings and kidnapped an estimated 300 people who were never found. The whole incident has been “shrouded in secrecy” for the past three years. Vice covers the ambitious forensic operation seeking to unearth the details of what happened.
Washington Man Fired For Buying Legal Pot Gets His Job Back
Everyone can finally relax because Michael Boyer, the now Internet-famous man in a tie-dye shirt who was the first person in Washington state to buy legal recreational weed, got his job back. Boyer, 30, was promptly fired from his job at a temp agency after his employers saw him on TV, buying weed, on a work day. Turns out, it was a mistake, and he was off that day. “When we realized that he was not on assignment, we reinstated him,” said the agency. Boyer said he has “no regrets” and is now considering a career in the weed industry, which he may be well-suited for.
Deryck Whibley Doesn’t Get High With a Little Help From His Rock Star Friends
Since getting sober earlier this year, the Sum 41 frontman said his social life took a dive: “I don’t get calls from certain people that I used to… the drinking friends.” But he says thankfully he has the support of his non-drinking friends, including Iggy Pop, Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee, and Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum from Guns N’ Roses: ”We go out for coffee and talk about shit.” Sobriety for the win!