Saturday, November 17 2018
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Peer pressure to take drugs continues in adulthood

Peer pressure to take drugs continues in adulthood

Teens and schoolchildren are taking fewer drugs than ever before, but usage is on the rise amongst 20-somethings. A study by the Government’s Health and Social Care Information Centre found that young people aged 11-15 have turned their back on drink, drugs and smoking. The number of schoolchildren who have tried illegal dugs has almost halved over the past 10 years. Another study carried out by the Crime Survey for England and Wales discovered that cocaine and ecstasy are on the rise among young people aged between 16 and 24. Over the past year, the number of drug users has gone up by 230,000 to 2.7 million.

Peaches Geldof was a heroin addict

Peaches Geldof was a heroin addict

Peaches Geldof died of an overdose of heroin, a coroner has ruled. The 25-year-old journalist had been receiving treatment for heroin addiction for the past two and half years, and had been taking the substitute drug methadone. She relapsed and began taking the class A drug again two months before she died, the inquest heard. The inquest was told that there was codeine, methadone and morphine in Geldof's blood, the latter coming from heroin, and that the levels were within the fatal range.

The impact of facial features on first impressions

The impact of facial features on first impressions

Scientists have modelled the specific physical attributes that underpin our first impressions. Small changes in the dimensions of a face can make it appear more trustworthy, dominant or attractive. Dr Tom Hartley, a neuroscientist at the University of York and the study's senior author, said the work added mathematical detail to a well-known phenomenon. 'If people are forming these first impressions, just based on looking at somebody's face, what is it about the image of the face that's giving that impression - can we measure it exactly?' To make the calculations, each of 1,000 face photos from the internet was shown to at least six different people, who gave it a score for 16 different social traits. Overall, these scores boil down to three main characteristics: whether a face is (a) approachable, (b) dominant, and (c) attractive.

Earliest probable case of Down syndrome

Earliest probable case of Down syndrome

The earliest probable case of Down syndrome in the archaeological record comes from a 5- to 7-year-old child who lived in medieval France some 1,500 years ago. Archaeologists originally discovered the skeleton of the child in 1989, when they excavated it along with 93 other skeletons from a fifth- to sixth-century necropolis located just south of the Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in northeastern France. The child was likely not to have been stigmatized in life, given that the body was treated in a similar way to others buried at the site.

Former HBOS chairman reveals battle with depression

Former HBOS chairman reveals battle with depression

The former chairman of HBOS, Lord Stevenson, says that, despite having made many big business decisions, the only really brave decision he has taken was telling people about his depression, which he first suffered 20 years ago. Lord Stevenson estimates that in the top hundred companies a quarter of those running them have, or have had, mental illnesses, but few have openly acknowledged it.

Melvyn Bragg suffered with depression in his teenage years

Melvyn Bragg suffered with depression in his teenage years

Melvyn Bragg has admitted he struggled with clinical depression as young as 12 years old. His way to cope was to immerse himself in his studies – a mantra which he has continued to use and partially explains his varied career today. He has previously been open about his struggles with depression, including about his nervous breakdown after his estranged first wife committed suicide. Lord Bragg has campaigned to improve attitudes to mental illness and was president of mental health charity Mind for 15 years.

Could Tourette’s syndrome make a goalkeeper better?

Could Tourette’s syndrome make a goalkeeper better?

Despite the USA losing 2-1 to Belgium in the FIFA World Cup, it could have been a lot worse had it not been for goalkeeper Tim Howard breaking the record for most saves in a World Cup match with 16. Previously, the USA player has suggested that the fact he lives with Tourette's syndrome - a condition characterised by multiple motor tics, and at least one vocal tic - has made him a better athlete. Studies have shown that individuals with Tourette's are 'super-good' at controlling their voluntary movements. A hypothesis is that people with the condition become highly conscious of their physical actions as they learn to control their tics.

Khat is now a controlled class C drug in the UK

Khat is now a controlled class C drug in the UK

About 2,560 tonnes of the leafy plant khat are imported to the UK every year. Users chew the bitter leaves of this natural stimulant. It is supposed to make them more alert and raise energy levels, with effects similar to amphetamine but less intense. However khat users may also experience mental health problems, such as euphoria followed by depression, while people who are genetically predisposed are extremely vulnerable to psychosis. Since 24 June 2014 khat is classified as banned class C drug in the UK.

Facebook altered news feeds to assess emotional impact

Facebook altered news feeds to assess emotional impact

Facebook conducted a psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 users without their knowledge. News feeds were manipulated to change the range of emotions that users were exposed to, in order to evaluate if posting behaviour changed as a result. Facebook has been criticised for the study not having ethical approval, the users not consenting to take part and that no monitoring was in place to monitor the impact on users beyond their posting behaviour.