“Enormous” Fentanyl Ring Uncovered in Utah

Fentanyl, a dangerous narcotic that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, has become a drug that is central the opiate epidemic in many hard-hit areas. For many people, fentanyl is a drug that’s unfamiliar, and many drug users e are unaware of its potency or the added potential for overdose. Fentanyl pills are nearly identical to Oxycontin in size and shape and often have been sold masquerading as oxy on the street. A recent fentanyl ring uncovered in Utah sheds light on how and where these pills are manufactured and how they are distributed.

Federal agents uncovered a fentanyl ring (allegedly) being run by a young man who is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, local news station KSL reported. Prosecutors are looking into the possibility that at least 28 deaths are tied to …

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In 48 States, Walgreens Sells Narcan Over the Counter

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Walgreens will soon sell lifesaving antidote, over-the-counter Narcan, that counteracts the deadly effects of opioid overdoses including heroin, they announced last week.

Narcan over the counter will allow both family members and drug users to have the antidote safely nearby in case of an overdose.

Opioid-related overdoses currently kill more than 140 Americans every day, and they have only been getting deadlier as powerful drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanil (an elephant tranquilizer), deadly to even some of the most experienced drug users, have hit the streets in the US. Narcan, which comes both as an injection and a nasal spray, can “pull back” drug users from the brink of death. Only the nose spray, however, has been made available for over-the-counter Narcan purchases.

While many states have their own laws regarding naloxone, Walgreens has taken months to hammer …

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Opioid Commission Holds First Meeting

On Friday June 16, 2017 the newly formed Opioid Commission held their first meeting in the White House. It was attended by some of the more influential players from within Donald Trumps’s circle. Most notably at the helm of the meeting was Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey who is the chairman of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. 

Notable Attendees:

  • Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • David Shulkin, Secretary of Veteran Affairs
  • Kellyanne Conway, Trump Adviser 
  • Jared Kushner, Senior Trump Adviser 
  • Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts
  • Roy Cooper, Governor of North Carolina
  • Patrick Kennedy, former congressman
  • Dr. Bertha Madras,  Harvard Medical Professional

Given the list of names and considering the seriousness of the problem United States is facing with the opioid crisis it appears that this administration is ramping up its efforts

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Doctors Seeing Increased Scrutiny and Punishment for Reckless Opiate Prescribing

We always are paying attention to the critical juncture of the opiate epidemic that occurs when a patient is given a prescription to “legally” obtain the addictive and potentially deadly drugs.

Increasingly, physicians assistants are getting ensnared in the corrupt prescribing of narcotic drugs, and this is somewhat expected considering their access to granting the drugs combined with the incredible sums that illicit prescribing can generate.

The doctors themselves are the ones that we feel particular disdain for, because they have so much more training and have taken the hippocratic oath not to harm their patiens.

We’ve written about Lisa Tseng getting arrested right at her office located in a Rowland Heights strip mall in Los Angeles and felt that it was a significant “shot fired” against one of the most guilty perpetrators of the opiate addiction and overdose crisis: …

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Massachusetts Bill Takes Aim At Opiate Abuse Prevention In Teens

The Massachusetts State Senate passed a bill last week aimed at combating opiate-related substance abuse problems before they even begin, especially for at-risk teens.

“The Senate unanimously passed the second bill to address the opioid epidemic,” state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, told The Daily News of Newburyport. “The prior bill focused on expanding treatment options and went into effect this week. This bill is focused on prevention and intervention in an effort to curb the serious health crisis.” According to recent statistics from the state, unintentional deaths from opiate overdoses have increased 90% in the state of Massachusetts within the past 12 years.

In Massachusetts, like many states in the US, a growing heroin overdoes have been claiming lives in epidemic proportions. The bill takes aim at the origins of opiate addiction, which is increasingly a result of addiction …

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Hillary Clinton “Very Concerned” About FDA’s Approval of Oxy For Kids

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While at a substance abuse forum in Boston, Massachusetts last week, Hillary Clinton explained her $10 billion plan to provide resources for confronting drug and alcohol addiction in the United States, but she also had some harsh words for the Food and Drug Administration regarding a recent decision to approve the use of hardcore opioids such as oxycodone for children as young as eleven years of age. 

“I am very concerned that the FDA has approved a form of opioids for children, and I find that absolutely incomprehensible,” Clinton told an audience of addiction advocates at the event.  She said the root of the problem is apparent on its surface. “The heroin epidemic is a prescription drug created epidemic,” she told the audience, explaining that many patients become addicted to prescription pain relievers, only to switch to street drugs such …

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Is OxyContin Still King?

There are growing signs around the country that the abuse of OxyContin is diminishing. The drug is being bypassed during pharmacy robberies in favor of Opana, methadone and other narcotic drugs, and some hospital emergency rooms are reporting a decrease in OxyContin overdoses.

According to Forbes, the Journal of Pain and other publications, the introduction of a new tamper-resistant form of OxyContin in 2010 seems to be responsible for a decrease in abuse of the drug. Drug addicts previously crushed OxyContin pills to circumvent the drugs time-release mechanism and experience the full impact of the drug in one rush. Instead of allowing drug abusers to crush the pill for snorting or injection, the new OxyContin turns into a gummy mush when tampered with.

Unfortunately, the reformulation of OxyContin does not appear to be leading to an overall drop in drug

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Mayor Bloomberg Limits Painkiller Use in NY Hospitals

In response to a citywide and national epidemic of prescription drug abuse, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has instituted a policy in New York City that will restrict the use of prescription painkillers in the city’s public hospitals. The policy, which will affect the distribution of prescription drugs from hospital emergency rooms, could set a model for hospitals across the nation.

Under Bloomberg’s new policy, emergency room patients will only be given three days worth of narcotic drugs like Percocet and Vicodin. Oxycontin, which has been shown to be one of the most addictive painkillers, will not be distributed at all from 11 public emergency rooms. This is also true of methadone and Fentanyl patches. Emergency rooms also will not fill painkiller prescriptions that are reported to have been stolen, lost or destroyed.

One of the goals of the new policy is …

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Older Americans and Prescription Drug Abuse

New research is sounding the alarm about prescription painkiller abuse among older Americans. The research, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), reports that roughly 20% of Americans over age 65 take analgesic medication for chronic pain several times per week. Among that group, the rate of prescription drug abuse or addiction is 18%.

There are currently 38 million adults over age 65 represent in the U.S, representing 13% of the total population. One third of all prescriptions are written for this group. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), 2.8 million seniors abuse prescription drugs. By 2020, seniors will represent 20% of the population and SAMHSA estimates that 4.4 million will abuse drugs.

Many experts believe that aging Baby Boomers are more likely than their parents to …

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Chinese Surgeons Treat Opiate Addiction by Removing Brain’s Pleasure Center

Doctors in China are experimenting with an extreme treatment for addiction. The experimental procedure consists of destroying portions of the brain’s pleasure center in an attempt to stop cravings for opiate drugs like heroin. Possible side effects including permanently disabling an addict’s ability to experience the entire range of human emotions, including the capacity to feel joy.

Attempts to Ban Controversial Procedure

The controversial procedure was banned by the Chinese Ministry of Health in 2004, due in part to pressure from Western media related to ethical concerns. There are also suspicions that researchers have not been truthful about results of the procedure and have exaggerated the benefits in order to be published in leading medical journals. The Ministry of Health’s decision was also reported to be based on the lack of long term data about effects of the procedure.…

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