#Drugs

Cher's $40 Million-Dollar Malibu Mansion Raided By Police on Felony Drug Charges

Could this be karma for rudely shading Madonna on Ellen? After all, how many cross the Queen of Pop and get away with it?

Just before her well-reviewed ABBA tribute album Dancing Queen was released [today], Cher’s Malibu mansion was raided by police on Thursday, as reported by TMZ.

The 72-year-old wasn’t home at the time of the raid; she’s on an international tour.

Police executed a search warrant after a Ventura County resident’s drug-related death earlier this month was traced to 23-year-old Donovan Ruiz, the son of one of Cher’s assistants. He was living at Cher's pad at the time. 

Cher’s $40 million-dollar home was a spectacle on Thursday, with a massive swarming of law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics on the scene. Paramedics were on hand in case violence erupted, which apparently it didn’t.

Ruiz was taken into custody for a felony: supplying drugs to someone who dies.

This story is still developing. For more, go to TMZ.

Don’t do drugs, kids! On a more upbeat note, Dancing Queen is available to stream or purchase now.

Report Explores The Use and Sales of Illegal Drugs on Grindr

NBC News has published a report linking Grindr to the sale of illegal drugs.

The world of PNP has nearly destroyed my life many times over. Knock on wood I survived, but the damage it caused is something I have to live with for the rest of my life.

To anyone with experiences like mine, this is story old news—but many may very likely find it eye-opening.

In the report, NBC speaks with drug dealers about their use of Grindr to move product, relying heavily on widely understood code.

Some lingo in case you’re not in the loop. PNP = “Party and Play,” a term used to describe wild sexual activities enhanced by hard drugs — notably methamphetamine, GHB, cocaine and ketamine. This is also referred to as “chemsex” by some.

I’m in recovery, and thusly I can’t use Grindr ever again in my life. The sale and use of drugs is all over the place on the app. Common Grindr lingo for drugs: “T” means “Tina” the street name for meth, “Party” and “ParTy” or any emojis that look like something you’d find at a party usually imply hard drugs, especially meth.

A diamond or crystal emoji = crystal meth. Cloud emoji = meth clouds. Stay away if you value your health in the slightest.

When you’re high on crystal meth and other drugs, you become sexually voracious and uninhibited. You also quickly lose everything that’s important in life. And a lot of guys who get tangled up in it die. 

To NBC News, this is all apparently quite riveting, explosive and new. To me, it’s old hat.

It’s easy to buy drugs on Grindr. I did it a lot, back in the day.

Also, earlier this year we found out Grindr has been selling our [very] personal information like HIV status and sexual preferences with outside companies. 

Addiction is hell. PNP has a cute enough sounding name--but make no mistake: it can be DEADLY. Meth is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and you’re damn lucky if it doesn’t kill you. It’s perfectly reasonable to be frustrated with Grindr for their lack of commitment to cleaning up and monitoring the world’s most popular gay dating app.

For the report: NBC News

h/t: Pink News

Substance Abuse Significantly More Prevalent in LGBTQ+ Students, Says Study

Feeling like you can’t be yourself, being ashamed, can of course lead to self-destructive behavior. A lot of us in the LGBTQ+ community already knew this, but a study of American teenagers and drug abuse has just emphasized it further.

San Diego State University researchers evaluated 15,624 students, asking them their sexual orientation, and about their use of various drugs including alcohol, opiates, meth and tobacco.

According to Pink News, the study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that LGBTQ+ students are more likely use substances including “alcohol, cigarettes, cigars, cocaine, ecstasy, vape, hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants, weed, meth, prescription drugs, steroids and synthetic marijuana.”

Pink News also points out the distressing numbers showing how much more likely LGBTQ+ teens are to turn to hard drugs: 6.6 percent surveyed admitted to using heroin against 1.3 percent of straight kids.

Also upsetting: 8.6 percent of LGBTQ+ kids said they’d use meth as opposed to 2.1 percent of straight students. 15 percent admitted they’d use cocaine and ecstasy.

Some, of course, might take this as an opportunity to judge LGBTQ+ teens, or to stereotype people in the community as drug addicts.

To any rational person, this reads as a devastating wake-up call.

Laramie Smith, one of the study’s authors and an LGBTQ+ health researcher at the University of California, San Diego, said this:

“Our findings highlight the need for accepting LGBQ teens, as stigma may be playing a role in elevating their substance use risk or prevent those from needing help to speak up.”

h/t: Pink News 

Demi Lovato Reveals She Relapsed After Six Years of Sobriety

The struggle is real. Mere weeks after celebrating six years of clean time, pop star Demi Lovato revealed she relapsed in her new single “Sober.” 

In the past, the “Cool for the Summer” songstress has been quite candid about past struggles with cocaine abuse, alcohol addiction and an eating disorder. 

Though she didn’t share specifics about the relapse, Lovato first announced the setback via an Instagram post teasing the “Sober” lyric video with the caption “My truth.”

In the song, Lovato tells her fans, 

 

“I’m sorry that I’m here again. I promise I’ll get help…"

 

"I'm sorry for the fans I lost who watched me fall again. I want to be a role model but I'm only human."

Listen to “Sober” here: https://youtu.be/vORIohoI4m0

h/t: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/21/entertainment/demi-lovato-sober/index.html

Crystal Meth Use Accelerates HIV Even With Medication, Study Shows

Many have long assumed use of stimulants like crystal methamphetamine can accelerate HIV progression. Thanks to a new study published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity there is scientific evidence to back that up. 

Adam Carrico, Ph. D., associate professor of Public Health Sciences and Psychology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was lead author on the study, "Recent Stimulant Use and Leukocyte Gene Expression in Methamphetamine Users with Treated HIV Infection."

"Stimulant use may accelerate HIV disease progression through biological and behavioral pathways," says Carrico. "But if we can identify the biological pathways, then we can develop new approaches to optimize the health of active stimulant users who are living with HIV."

The study was a collaboration between researchers at the University of California San Francisco, University of California Los Angeles, and New York University, and involved studying changes in gene expression of samples from 55 HIV-positive, meth-using men receiving effective anti-retroviral therapy.

"We found a differential expression of 32 genes and perturbation of 168 pathways in recent stimulant users, including genes previously associated with the HIV reservoir, immune activation, and inflammation," says Carrico. "Anti-retroviral therapy is often successful in suppressing HIV in the blood, however, the virus typically remains in reservoirs, such as the lymph nodes and inside some immune cells."

Carrico believes these findings could be helpful in finding a cure for the virus. “Maybe these pathways can help us to understand how we can ‘wake up’ the virus and pull it out of hiding; some of these pathways could become targets for potential biomedical treatments targeting the HIV reservoir,” he says.

"We are now testing behavioral interventions in San Francisco and Miami that are designed to reduce stimulant use in people living with HIV," Carrico says. "Hopefully, decreasing the use of stimulants like methamphetamine will allow for better control of the HIV viral load and could even directly improve the immune system."

For further information, check out this press release about the study:  https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/uomm-urf050418.php  

 

Former Owner of LGBTQ Website Fridae Convicted Of Drug Trafficking

Singaporean resident Stuart Koe Chi Yeow is the founder of the LGBTQ news and social networking site Fridae.com. And, Koe has recently been convicted of drug trafficking, according to the Straits Times.

Earlier today in Singapore, Distinct Judge Olivia Low found the former website owner guilty of selling a pack of methamphetamine to beauty guru Yeoh Kim Koon. The actual sale happened in August of last year in Koe’s home.

But, this isn’t the only offense against Koe, as he has five other drug-related charges against him. Each one will be dealt with by the court in the future.

The current charge that he’s now convicted of started when Koe was arrested back in September of last year.

Yeoh Kim Koon, who’s also been arrested and charged with drug possession, testified against Koe and said that Koe had sold him drugs multiple times before. Yeoh, who was also Koe’s former lover, said he paid what equates to $240 for the meth and $300 for 100ml of a drug called “G.”

Yeoh also mentioned that the two would use the code words “cream” to reference meth, and “G water” to reference another drug called gamma hydroxybutyric acid.

Stuart Koe Chi Yeow denied these claims by saying he only sold the beauty guru numbing cream and hair-growth lotion called Growell. To back this up, Koe’s defense also mentioned that he has a second job as the managing director of a local pharmaceutical firm called ICM that manufactures these products.

That said, he later admitted, while being cross-examined, that he knew that the two code words were often used to reference drugs.

Again, Koe was officially found guilty earlier today in Singapore. He has been offered a bail of $45,000 and will be sentenced on March 14.

He is expected to get somewhere between five to 20 years in prison. Plus, Singapore has an additional punishment for most drug traffickers of five to 15 cane strikes.