Illegal Drugs

Researchers say that wild plants that gave rise to today’s three lineages of cannabis grew in present-day China.

New Study Suggests Cannabis' Wild Ancestors Likely Came from China

The analysis identifies East Asia as a potential source of genetic diversity for the growing market for medical and recreational marijuana

A brown trout caught in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge

Meth Pollution in Waterways Turns Trout Into Addicts

Like humans, fish can get addicted to methamphetamines and go through withdrawal

Sri Lankan police stand next to over $33 million worth of heroin and crystal methamphetamine seized from two foreign trawlers.

The Number of Small Fishing Vessels Smuggling Illegal Drugs Has Tripled

A lack of options for commercial fishermen in coastal communities has led to a boom in trafficking

Archaeologists found the two altars seen here featured burnt cannabis (right) and frankincense (left), respectively.

Archaeologists Identify Traces of Burnt Cannabis in Ancient Jewish Shrine

New research suggests the mind-altering substance may have been widely used in the ritual practices of the Kingdom of Judah

Cool Finds

1,000-Year-Old Pouch From Bolivia Contains Traces of Five Mind-Altering Drugs

The ingredients include coca leaves and two compounds used in modern ayahuasca rituals

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Shrimp in England's Rural Rivers Are Laced With Traces of Cocaine

A new study also detected low levels of dozens of pharmaceuticals and pesticides in shrimp from the county of Suffolk

Observers in the galleries of a legislative hearing about a marijuana bill in May 1973

History of Now

Why the 1970s Effort to Decriminalize Marijuana Failed

The explosion of kid-friendly paraphernalia led the federal government to crack down on pot

The U.S. Has the Highest Overdose Death Rate of Any Wealthy Nation

A new study has found that there are, on average, 3.5 times more drug-related deaths in the United States than in 17 other wealthy countries

Le Roux’s diplomatic passport from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, under the name Paul Solotshi Calder Le Roux

The Computer Programmer Who Ran a Global Drug Trafficking Empire

A new book uncovers the intricacies of Paul Le Roux’s cartel and how it fueled the opioid epidemic ravaging the U.S. today

In trials, the app correctly identified breathing patterns indicative of impending overdose 90 percent of the time

This App Tracks Breathing to Identify Opioid Overdoses Before They Turn Deadly

Second Chance transforms smartphones into sonar systems, tracking users’ breathing and sending for help if a potential overdose is detected

A 2 mg dose of fentanyl (as seen in comparison with U.S. penny) proves lethal for most individuals

Fentanyl Has Outpaced Heroin as Drug Implicated Most Often in Fatal Overdoses

In 2016, more than two-thirds of fentanyl-related deaths involved at least one other drug

Claude-Joseph Vernet, "The Storm," 1759

How a New Hampshire Museum Is Using Art to Reach Families Affected by the Opioid Crisis

The 'Art of Hope' initiative encourages participants to draw connections between works of art and their own lives

Drug overdoses claimed 70,237 lives in 2017, while suicides numbered more than 47,000 over the same period

U.S. Life Expectancy Drops for Third Year in a Row, Reflecting Rising Drug Overdoses, Suicides

Drop represents longest sustained decline in expected lifespan since the tumultuous period of 1915 to 1918

New Research

Residue of Opium Poppy Found in Bronze Age Juglet

Whether the opium was consumed or used as oil for perfume or for anointing remains unclear

By studying the genome of a kind of octopus not known for its friendliness toward its peers, then testing its behavioral reaction to a popular mood-altering drug called MDMA or 'ecstasy,' scientists say they have found preliminary evidence of an evolutionary link between the social behaviors of the sea creature and humans, species separated by 500 million years on the evolutionary tree.

Ecstasy Turns Antisocial Octopuses Into Lovestruck Cuddle Buddies—Just Like Us

The genetic and neurological similarities between octopuses and humans shed light on how creatures became social beings

Lines of cocaine.

Genetic Skin Graft Helps Mice Kick Cocaine Habit

A new treatment using CRISPR helps reduce cocaine cravings in mice, and it may be able to treat human addiction in the future

The FDA calls teen vaping an "epidemic"

Trending Today

FDA Cracks Down on Underage Use of E-Cigarettes

FDA's largest enforcement action to date gave warnings and fines to 1,300 retailers and requested plans to prevent teen vaping from five manufacturers

Ketamine syringe, 10mg held by a healthcare professional.

Ketamine Works as a Fast-Acting Antidepressant, But the Full Effects Are Still Unknown

A new study suggests that ketamine activates the brain's opioid receptors, complicating its use to treat clinical depression

New Research

Genome Reveals When Opium Poppy Became a Painkiller

A combination of two genes over 7.8 million years ago was the first step to producing morphine and other narcotic compounds

Hemp harvest at Mount Vernon

Trending Today

Hemp Makes a Return to George Washington's Farm

The first crop of industrial hemp grown in centuries was recently harvested at Mount Vernon