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Is coke coming back into fashion? Has it ever left? What's with these pics of celebs being caught doing drugs?
Jean, Chicago

The B!tch Replies:  An ethical journalist would never tell you that, no, the cool kids aren't snorting blow as much as they're popping prescription pills. But you're not dealing with an ethical journalist. So, to be precise, the cool kids are taking Vicodin, Oxycontin and other synthetic pain-fighting opiates—drugs that provide the same general euphoria as the heroine poppy, the Original Happy Plant. Any addiction doctor can tell you as much.

I also shouldn't tell you most of these pills are available online without a prescription, but that's exactly how a lot of Hollywood partyers are getting their fix, so this is all very relevant.

"Many of my patients have turned to these drugs, or alcohol, for relief of anxiety, as a quick fix for that," says Michael Scott, medical director of Sierra Tucson, a top rehab center that has treated such celebrities as Michael Douglas. The recovering sex addict has said that he was treated there for alcohol abuse in 1992. These days, however, Scott says, "prescription drugs have gotten to be an epidemic."

Old-school cocaine has never left showbiz, really. And plenty of ropy-veined Sunset Boulevard alley cats and creepy has-beens are still shooting heroin the traditional way. (Hey, kids! Don't miss the hot TV doc Shooting Sizemore, reportedly named as such because actor Tom Sizemore filmed some of it himself—while using drugs.)

Reports also indicate that size-conscious starlets have discovered Clenbuterol, an—get this—asthma medication for horses that has the convenient side effect of shrinky-dinking you down to nothing in record time. It's ridiculously dangerous, of course, just like these other drugs, but since when has this industry cared?

Beautiful young Hollywood things love their pill collections so much they'll rave about them to anyone who will listen. Last December, shortly after her DUI arrestthrough a lawyer, she pleaded not guilty last week—Nicole Richie was written up in Us Weekly as saying she uses Vicodin to fight period pain.

Now, it isn't uncommon for doctors to prescribe Vikes to combat the ravages of Aunt Flo—but is it me, or does it take two-ton balls of titanium for a doctor to prescribe it to a six-pound greyhound of a human being with a known history of heroin addiction? 

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