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  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to bcallwood@metrotimes.com. The Sugar Clouds’ Partners Don’t Do That (They Watch and be Amazed) (Wax Splat) is a nostalgic look at the psychedelic days of ’60s grooviness. Even the album cover looks like a lava lamp. The male-female vocals have a sort of Jefferson Airplane feel, and the songs are blessed with both sugary sweet pop melodies and a garage-y earthiness. The story of the band’s formation is rather interesting; the two vocalists, Greg and Melissa Host, are a divorced couple who wrote the songs in their living room. The band is still together, so this divorce was a hell of a lot more civil than any we’ve ever known of. Steffanie Christi’an has friends in fairly high places. Her new Way Too Much mini-album is being put out by Nadir Omowale’s Distorted Soul label, and she is also a regular feature on Jessica Care Moore’s Black Women Rock revue. Maybe the choice of cover image isn’t the best – she looks a bit like a Tina Turner tribute act here. But that can and should be […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’

      There’s at least one city councilmember who’s less than pleased with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to increase all parking violation fines. Councilman Gabe Leland, whose district represents the city’s west side, issued a statement today, calling Orr’s plan a potential “deterrent” to attracting people to the city. I don’t believe the argument to raise the parking ticket fines from $30 to $45 and eliminate the $10 early payment fine are justification for this action. The emergency manager’s order to increase ticket fines places city government inefficiencies on the backs of our residents who need to do business in downtown and other parts of our city. And, this will increase the barrier for people to frequent Detroit-based establishments; likely to be a deterrent for some to shop and dine in our city. Leland suggested implementing a plan that maintains current rates for fines and reduces operating inefficiencies to collecting parking fines. “In my view, generating revenue by increasing fines when residents from neighborhoods must go downtown to get licenses and permits, attend court appointments and do other necessary business, is the wrong direction,” Leland said. “…Additionally, generating revenue using fines when we are trying to grow this city and attract […]

    The post Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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News Feature

ADHD Meds: The Good Grade Pill

ADHD medications won’t make you into a genius and could hurt you.

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Besides alcohol and marijuana, a category of pharmaceuticals garnering considerable attention among college students on campuses nationwide is a class of drugs known as psychostimulants.

Drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, medications used to treat attention deficit hyper-activity disorder, a condition marked by an inability to pay attention, have become attractive to a wide swath of the student population. Psychostimulants are very different than other drugs abused by college students as users often don’t seek them out for a high. Adderall, in particular, is especially attractive because students think of it as an effective, cheap study aid.

“[ADHD medication] heightens your ability to pay attention to things which normally bore a person and allows you to focus for a longer amount of time,” says Adam Plotnik, a clinical psychologist based in Farmington Hills. “For someone who has ADHD or ADD, it really allows them to function like people who don’t have ADHD or ADD.”

In college, we hear many success stories with these drugs. But one question many non-ADHD students are asking is: Will this medication work for me? The answer is that it will, but with some side effects.

“I think there’s a myth out there that if you are a hyperactive or ADHD kid, Ritalin or Ritalin-like medications are going to work on you differently than they will on the normal population,” psychiatrist Harold Koplewicz said in an interview with the Internet forum Big Think. “For all of us, whenever we would take one of these medicines… you will be more focused, you will be more attentive, you also might be a little more uptight or hypervigilant.”

It might seem like Koplewicz implicitly endorses illicit drug use, but, like the other psychiatrists and psychologists, his role is to explain, not to justify. Koplewicz adds, “If you don’t have ADHD and you’re going to take [Ritalin], [or] any psychostimulant, any type of drug like this is going to increase your heartrate, it may elevate your blood pressure, it will decrease your appetite. Those things are side effects that are unnecessary if your dopamine and norepinephrine levels are normal.”

A good doctor will do a cost-benefit analysis weighing adverse effects against desired ones for patients, and will then prescribe them a calculated dosage. It follows then that there is significant danger for illicit users of ADHD medication. Without knowing their dosage, illicit users have a greater risk for overdose, and thus a greater chance of experiencing adverse side effects.

Yet, non-ADHD students continue to use and abuse these pharmaceuticals. John Taylor, a psychologist and coordinator of psychological testing and consultation services at Michigan State University’s Counseling Center, reported that MSU students were overwhelming campus medical doctors with requests for ADHD evaluations — most of which were non-ADHD drug seekers, Taylor suspected. At the doctors’ request, MSU opened a separate assessment center, where Taylor currently works.

Taylor considered the huge number of requests for ADHD evaluations, as well as the larger phenomenon of non-ADHD students seeking ADHD medication, and began to question their motivation.

“ADHD medications have become a silver bullet,” Taylor says of the sudents’ motivation for seeking psychostimulants. “Students are looking for something that will boost their mental powers, that will give them a competitive edge. Part of it is where society is at right now. It’s very competitive.”

Although he aims to explain the use rather than justify it, he says he sympathizes with modern college students’ tough conditions. “College students are really under the gun these days,” he says, citing national economic problems that will particularly affect college-age students, such as student loans and associated debts.

And college students agree. The University of Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, published an article headlined “Study Strong: how students on campus misuse stimulants,” which said today’s college students live in an “increasingly competitive college environment, where [they] are being pushed to achieve socially, academically and professionally.”

But students may also be giving psychostimulants too much credit. Given the currency of stories about students taking ADHD drugs and then studying for an organic chemistry exam for entire days, or writing an A-plus paper in only three hours, it’s important to  debunk a few misconceptions about what ADHD medication does.

Koplewicz points out that when people with ADHD use these drugs, “They are able to do what they’re capable of doing. It doesn’t increase your IQ points, it doesn’t make you smarter, it lets you get to the IQ points that you do have.”

But, as with any new phenomenon, the questions multiply. Is the use of ADHD similar to baseball players taking steroids? Is taking a performance-enhancing drug cheating? For now, these are personal questions. All these psychiatrists and psychologists can do is give recommendations. It is we who must ask ourselves: When is “good” good enough?

Zak Witus is entering his sophomore year at the University of Michigan and was an editorial intern at Metro Times this summer. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.

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