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DEA launches Lowcountry effort to fight painkiller abuse
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The Drug Enforcement Administration is launching an effort in the Lowcountry to combat painkiller and heroin abuse and deaths. The Post and Courier of Charleston reports ( ) the program called Wake Up will enlist the help of everyone from law enforcement and religious leaders to ...
2 points by The Washington Times | Heroin Opioid Drug addiction Drug Enforcement Administration Morphine Methadone Medical prescription Addiction
Grocery chain pulls Halloween 'syringe pens' after complaints
Kroger stores are pulling some Halloween accessories from shelves after getting customer complaints.
92 points by Atlanta Journal Constitution | Kroger Naloxone Supermarket Ohio Heroin Morphine Drug addiction Hypermarket
Carfentanil's new wave of drug overdoses: Editorial Board Roundtable
What should Ohio, Cuyahoga County -- and the nation -- do to address carfentanil, the newest wrinkle in the heroin scourge, asks the Editorial Board Roundtable. Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson calls it a "clear and present danger." The Washington Post, casting Ohio as ground zero for the drug in the United States, says a tiny dose a fraction of the weight of a paper clip could send 500 people to the morgue. It's been showing up in Columbus, Cincinnati and maybe Akron. And unlike heroin, it is so lethal -- 10,000 times more potent than morphine -- that the naloxone antidotes used to save lives in heroin overdoses may not work. It is carfentanil, a drug developed in the 1970s as an animal tranquilizer. Read more on carfentanil and its local dangers But now, manufactured in China and Mexico, it's showing up, along with fentanyl, in lethal admixtures with heroin for human use. Carfentanil has been moving north up the interstates, and The New York Times recently reported more than 200 overdoses in the last two weeks in and around Cincinnati, three of them fatal. A Columbus man was indicted for murder in July after allegedly mixing the elephant tranquilizer into a batch of heroin he sold, causing ten overdoses and one death. The Washington Post reports that Franklin County prosecutors were surprised when the heroin was analyzed to find carfentanil in it. Akron officials have tentatively attributed a spike of 236 overdoses in three weeks in July to the drug, the Akron Beacon Journal reports, although toxicology on the victims was not conclusive. The danger has led Attorney General Mike DeWine to ask police to stop field-testing these drugs given their lack of experience in testing for the substance, according to the Post.'s Evan MacDonald reports that in Cuyahoga County -- which had already recorded about 300 heroin and fentanyl overdose deaths this year, far above 2015's overall 228 deaths -- medical examiner Gilson last month issued his urgent public health warning about carfentanil. Naloxone may work to counteract its effects but might require many times the usual dosage.  What should Ohio and Cuyahoga County -- and the nation -- do to address this newest wrinkle in the heroin scourge?  In July, the editorial board polled leading experts in Ohio on the killer opioid epidemic. Read one of their prescriptions via the extended link below: From a judge who sees the wreckage of heroin weekly Now, with the arrival of carfentanil, our editorial board roundtable weighs with some of our individual thoughts, and we seek your input in the comments that follow. Sharon Broussard, chief editorial writer, Heroin addiction is deadly and adding animal tranquilizers to the mix makes it a bigger killer. Folks selling this poison need to be severely punished to warn others, but the real problem is that there is a growing number of heroin addicts seeking ever bigger highs. Ohio needs to do a better job promoting drug prevention and treatment. More beds are needed and more evidenced-based medical treatments -- not just Narcotics Anonymous -- that help people get off and stay off these toxic drugs. Kevin O'Brien, deputy editorial page editor, The Plain Dealer: Step One is something every person can do all by himself or herself: Don't take illegal drugs or associate with people who do. As for Step Two, that murder indictment in Columbus seems perfectly appropriate, although we're dealing with stupid, reckless people here, so the deterrent effect would be minimal. Thomas Suddes, editorial writer: Government is responsible for our common good. That's why we formed it. The city, the county and the state need to do more to offer recovery and prevention services -- and to reiterate time and again the dangers these murderous drugs present. If we, as a people, can spend $200 million on a single warplane that may or not serve any useful purpose, we can afford to do much more to take care of people's real needs. Ted Diadiun, editorial board member:  I'm sorry, but I don't see how this is the responsibility of Cuyahoga County, Ohio or the nation. Dr. Gilson's job is to tell people how dangerous this drug is -- which he has done. The news media's job is to carry that message to the public, to make sure that as many people as possible know about it -- which we and others are doing. Beyond that, it's the responsibility of each person to not ingest the infernal stuff, or suffer the consequences. At some point it is fruitless to try to protect people from their own stupidity. Elizabeth Sullivan, opinion director, If we can't get together as citizens to agree to marshal the resources and the will to address what the Cuyahoga County medical examiner correctly identifies as a "clear and present danger," what can we as Americans unite around? Yes, it is people's individual, family and community responsibility to resist the lure of drugs and to help others to resist it, but we know that the path to opioid addiction often starts with a sports injury and addiction to pain meds. In demographic terms, the victims could be any one of us or our loved ones. Read what some local experts have to say here, and then act, and demand that our elected officials act as well.
32 points by The Plain Dealer | Drug addiction Morphine Heroin Opioid Illegal drug trade Opium Addiction Drug
College students using more pot, fewer opioids
HealthDay News American college students' use of marijuana continues to increase, but the appeal of other drugs, including amphetamines and opioids, may be waning.
2 points by UPI | United Press International Morphine William Randolph Hearst Recreational drug use Hydrocodone Opioid News World Communications Opioids
August is deadliest month for heroin, fentanyl overdoses in Cuyahoga County history
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner said August was the deadliest month in county history for heroin and fentanyl deaths. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- More people died last month from heroin or fentanyl than any other month in Cuyahoga County history, the medical examiner said. The 52 deaths represent a continuing spike in opioid related deaths in the county. The three deadliest months for opioid deaths have come in 2016. And there has already been 14 deaths in September from heroin, fentanyl or carfentanil, an elephant sedative some 100 times more potent the fentanyl and 2,500 times more potent than heroin. Carfentanil is now suspected in at least two overdose deaths in Cuyahoga County. Ten people died of overdoses on the drugs over the Labor Day weekend, the medical examiner said. The county has seen at least 330 overdose deaths this year, which already has dwarfed the 228 who died of overdoses in all of 2015. The medical examiner expects more than 500 overdose deaths by the end of the year. Fifteen of the August deaths came in the first three days of the month. July deaths were also above normal. Forty-eight people died of heroin or fentanyl overdoses that month, which is the third worst month for opioid deaths for a single month. The second worst total came in March, when 50 people died. Thirty-one people died of heroin or fentanyl overdoses in June, 45 in May, 33 in April, 50 in March, 27 in February and 30 in January, according to the medical examiner's data. This post will be updated.
583 points by The Plain Dealer | Morphine Naloxone Labor Day Heroin Harshad number Fentanyl Cleveland Drug addiction
Users of herbal pain-reliever kratom up in arms over DEA’s move to ban it
A move by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to ban kratom — an Asian herb with pain-relieving properties — has local users and alternative medicine advocates up in arms.
158 points by Las Vegas Review-Journal | Morphine Controlled Substances Act Opioid Drug Enforcement Administration Alternative medicine Herbalism Food and Drug Administration Pharmacology
Ohio's heroin epidemic worsens, but Zumba is not on the treatment horizon: Phillip Morris
Many of us are acquainted with families that have been devastated by opioid addiction or currently struggle with the drug. It's a painful health spiral to watch, not knowing from one day to another whether a once vibrant person will unceremoniously appear in a newspaper obituary. With each passing month, it seems that the nation's opioid epidemic can't possibly get any worse. Then it does -- especially here in Ohio. In the past two weeks, more than 200 overdoses in the Cincinnati area alone have claimed the lives of three people. Many more users likely would have died, were it not for an unprecedented, modern medical response. EMS first responders and safety forces have battled courageously to combat the surge of overdoses and deaths that began spiking several years ago when heroin and fentanyl were mixed into a highly-toxic mixture. Now, the danger has spiked again, with no real end in sight. The New York Times reports that in Cincinnati, medical and law enforcement officials believe the recent rash of overdoses was mostly caused by a synthetic drug called carfentanil, a tranquilizer occasionally used on elephants that has no practical uses for humans. Officials now have reached out to zoos and veterinarians to help them gain a better understanding of a drug normally used in the treatment of large animals. The emerging synthetic drug potency is staggering. Fentanyl can be 50 times stronger than heroin, and carfentanil is as much as 100 times more potent than fentanyl, according to the Times report. Cincinnati-area law enforcement has become so concerned about the potency of carfentanil and other synthetic opioids that they now carry overdose-reversing naloxone spray for themselves, in case they accidentally inhale or touch the slightest amount of a suspected drug. Few of us have the luxury of ignoring the problem. It's all around us. Many of us know families that have been devastated by opioid addiction or are struggling with the drug. It's a painful health spiral to watch, not knowing from one day to another whether a once-vibrant person will unceremoniously appear in a newspaper obituary. Thirty years ago, the nation was in the throes of a crack cocaine crisis. Inner-city neighborhoods were destroyed by violence, and countless families were ripped apart, as users succumbed and dealers were rounded up and incarcerated. Countless African-American families continue to bear the crippling scars of that earlier drug epidemic, which was treated strictly as a criminal problem as opposed to a medical problem. It seems that we've learned certain important lessons. Now that the face of the current epidemic is overwhelmingly white, we've seemed to come to the understanding that a nation cannot simply arrest and incarcerate itself out of a drug problem. I consider that progress. In some ways, we seem to be evolving. Too many lives and families have been destroyed when medical challenges -- be they mental or physiological -- were treated strictly as criminal challenges. That goes to the heart of the daunting and complicated nature of the synthetic opioid rage this nation currently confronts. We're far from alone. Rodrigo Duterte, the newly elected president of the Philippines, was swept into office in large part due to a horrific pledge that he would attack that country's crippling crime epidemic by killing drug dealers. A little over 60 days into his term, an estimated 1,300 to 1,900 suspected dealers or users have been killed in a violent crackdown. The bloodletting has had an immediate effect. More than 680,000 people have surrendered to the government, pledging to kick their habit and begging for help. The Philippine government's response to the massive outcry for help: It now offers Zumba and other exercise classes as treatment options. Meanwhile, the extrajudicial killing of suspected Filipino dealers and addicts continues unabated. In America, we can be encouraged and mindful that the search continues for humane treatment and prevention strategies, even as the opioid crisis rages completely out of control.
32 points by The Plain Dealer | Opioid Morphine Heroin Drug addiction Cocaine Drug Addiction Opium
Brothers convicted in cocaine distribution case
A pair of brothers from Eagle Pass will spend almost 20 years in federal prison for using their body shop as a front for their narcotics trafficking operation, officials said.
5 points by The Houston Chronicle | Rio Grande Drug addiction United States Department of Justice Illegal drug trade United States Morphine Money Sibling
Recovering drug addict turns himself into a triathlon champion
SYLVANIA, OH - Todd Crandell knows how to overcome extreme obstacles.       
428 points by USA Today | Drug addiction Addiction Triathlon Alcoholism Running Heroin Morphine Substance abuse
'Our antidote...ineffective': Opioid epidemic worsens as elephant tranquilizer causes mass overdoses
?Carfentanil is a tranquilizer for elephants and zoo animals, but the rare opioid has found its way into heroin supplies. Now it’s wreaking havoc with a potency that exceeds the opioid-reversing abilities of drugs available to law enforcement. Read Full Article at
197 points by Russia Today | Opioid Naloxone Morphine Heroin Drug addiction Drug overdose Opioids Police
DEA approves synthetic marijuana for big pharma company against legalization
A synthetic marijuana product could be available for commercialization after the DEA gave a newly approved drug a schedule II classification. Read Full Article at
850 points by Russia Today | Controlled Substances Act Drug control law Tetrahydrocannabinol Cannabis Morphine Drug Enforcement Administration Drug addiction Recreational drug use
Maryland Democrats announce pair of bills to battle heroin crisis
Some three-dozen Democratic members of the General Assembly gathered Friday to announce a pair of bills they think could help battle the rising rate of heroin overdose deaths across Maryland.The bills, which form part of a broader package of legislation, focus on educating people about the dangers...
-1 points by Baltimore Sun | Opioid Drug addiction Heroin Morphine Addiction Naloxone Bill Clinton Drug
Prescription weight-loss drug may help with opioid addiction
Researchers at the University of Texas have discovered a prescription weight-loss medication has the potential to aid in recovery from opioid addiction.
-1 points by UPI | Opioid Drug addiction Morphine Addiction United Press International Obesity Drug Opiate
Vegas doctor, 93, convicted in opioid pill mill conspiracy
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 93-year-old Las Vegas doctor has been convicted of illegally writing prescriptions for oxycodone and other painkillers that ended up in the hands of drug addicts and dealers. A federal court jury found Dr. Henri Wetselaar guilty Thursday of all 11 drug and money laundering-related counts ...
-1 points by The Washington Times | Jury Opioid Codeine Morphine Drug addiction Heroin English-language films Court
State police help save woman overdosing at Thompson Center
Illinois State Police helped save a woman Thursday afternoon after she passed out in a restroom while taking heroin, officials said. Shortly before 1 p.m., the officers were alerted to a women's restroom in the James R. Thompson Center. When they arrived they found a female lying on the floor in...
-1 points by Chicago Tribune | Illinois Woman Morphine Naloxone Heroin James R. Thompson Center Opioid United States
Letter: Thoughtful policies critical to pain management
Thoughtful policies critical to pain managementThis is in response to the “My Turn” headlined “Stop prescribing opioids” (Monitor Forum, March 18): According to Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse: “We can’t just stop treating pain. But now that we’re discerni...
-1 points by Concord Monitor | Drug addiction Pain Opioid Addiction Suffering Benzodiazepine Substance abuse Morphine
Maryland doctors win concessions on Hogan proposal to limit pain pill prescriptions
Maryland's doctors are on course to turn back Gov. Larry Hogan's plan to put strict limits on prescribing addictive opioid pain pills after securing major concessions Tuesday from a key House of Delegates panel. The bill — proposed by Hogan to battle the state's heroin crisis — would have limited...
-2 points by Baltimore Sun | Opioid Morphine Drug addiction Heroin Codeine Legislature Pain Hydrocodone
Police: Major drug bust spanned Anne Arundel, Baltimore counties and Baltimore City
Police arrested four men after officers seized thousands of dollars in drugs and cash from three homes they say were part of a drug distribution ring spanning Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties and Baltimore City. Anne Arundel police said officers began investigating a suspected heroin drug ring...
-2 points by Baltimore Sun | Heroin Maryland Anne Arundel County Maryland Illegal drug trade Morphine Howard County Maryland Baltimore County Maryland Opioid
‘Trump Troubadour’ feels ‘betrayed’ by President’s health plan
A Trump-stumping cowboy who lost his son to heroin overdose now feels “betrayed” by the President’s health plan.
-1 points by Daily News | Morphine Drug addiction Heroin 2007 singles Addiction Health care Naloxone Opioid
Montana officials alarmed as they fight surge in meth use
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Methamphetamines continue to make an alarming surge in Montana, as law enforcement, health officials and communities struggle to address the problem.
-2 points by Arizona Daily Star | Opioid Morphine Heroin Drug addiction Opium Methamphetamine Hydrocodone Buprenorphine
Number of Maryland babies born with drugs in their system growing
Amanda Ashley's baby daughter trembled uncontrollably. Her scream rang through the intensive care unit — high-pitched and shrill. She was so agitated no amount of rocking or cuddling could soothe her. Her baby was suffering from symptoms of heroin and buprenorphine withdrawal, and Ashley — who...
-2 points by Baltimore Sun | Drug addiction Heroin Addiction Opioid Morphine Intensive care medicine Withdrawal Infant
China Moves to Keep Its Deadly Opioids out of U.S.
China moved to stem its flow of deadly drugs to the U.S., adding four lethal heroinlike narcotics to a list of controlled substances after Washington had urged it to help combat a growing opioid epidemic.
93 points by The Wall Street Journal | Morphine Opioid Drug addiction Opioids Hydrocodone Fentanyl Recreational drug use Opiate
Doctors are using alternatives to addictive opioids to help patients deal with pain
After doctors at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center removed part of Dr. Alan Lake's small and large intestines earlier this month, the retired pediatrician felt so little pain he didn't need the powerful opioids most patients receive after major surgery. Instead, doctors administered other, less...
-2 points by Baltimore Sun | Pain Opioid Medicine Drug addiction Morphine Analgesic Physician Anesthesia
Doctors more likely to prescribe opioids may help fuel epidemic of abuse
Dennis Thompson, HealthDay News You may be more likely to wind up a long-term user of opioid painkillers if you're treated by a doctor who frequently prescribes those drugs, a new study says.
4 points by UPI | Opioid Morphine Medical prescription Physician Emergency medicine Oxycodone Codeine Hospital
Needle exchange bills make way through Legislature
Epidemiologist Robin Pollini researches infectious disease resulting from IV drug use, everywhere from California and Tijuana, Mexico, to Massachusetts, Maryland and New Hampshire’s Strafford County. In her 17 years on the job, she hasn’t seen a place suffering as badly as New Hampshire, except for...
53 points by Concord Monitor | Heroin Morphine Drug injection Drug addiction Drug New Hampshire Addiction Infectious disease
House panel advances bill to combat drug addiction
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A House committee has advanced a bill to combat Kentucky's drug-addiction problems by taking aim at drug dealers and the overprescribing of painkillers. The measure cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday after winning an endorsement from Gov. Matt Bevin. The governor said no amount of ...
-2 points by The Washington Times | Heroin Drug addiction Morphine Addiction United States House Committee on the Judiciary Opioid Substance abuse Kentucky
N.J. limits opioid prescriptions, requires insurers to cover drug treatment
The law limits doctors to prescribing no more than five days of opioids, with exceptions for cancer and hospice patients. The restriction is "the country's strongest maximum limit," Gov. Christie said.
-2 points by The Philadelphia Inquirer | Drug addiction Addiction Opioid Morphine Heroin Codeine Substance abuse Drug
California state senator proposes banning prescriptions of powerful painkiller oxycodone for those under 21
Essential Politics: Brown plays down any chance of Trump punishing California, Schwarzenegger calls for national redistricting reform Feb. 15, 2017, 1:01 p.m. This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now: Gov. Jerry...
34 points by Los Angeles Times | Drug addiction Heroin Addiction Morphine California Drug Substance abuse Illegal drug trade
Woman charged in drug case dies after 'medical emergency' at Cuyahoga County Jail
Nadine Stanley, 37, died after a "medical emergency" at the Cuyahoga County Jail. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A woman in the Cuyahoga County Jail on drug dealing charges died Wednesday after suffering from a "medical emergency" at the jail, officials said. Nadine Stanley, 37, of Cleveland was initially treated at the jail, then taken to Lutheran Hospital, where she died, according to Cuyahoga County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan. Madigan said they are releasing no further information about the death, or whether anything was found inside Stanley's cell that would indicate why she became ill. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. Madigan said all deaths of inmates trigger an internal investigation.  Stanley was in jail on $1,500 bond after being arrested in January in a drug-dealing investigation. She appeared in court Tuesday morning for a pretrial hearing.  Cleveland police on Jan. 3 raided her home in the 2200 block of West 53rd Street, just north of Clark Avenue and next to Clark Elementary School. Police found she and another man-- Antwaun Stanley, 40-- were selling heroin, cocaine and marijuana, according to court records. They also found digital scales and drug packaging material inside the home, court records say. Stanley also has two other drug-related convictions since 1998.   To comment on this story, visit Wednesday's crime and courts comments page.
204 points by The Plain Dealer | Illegal drug trade Heroin Illness Crime Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs Cuyahoga County Ohio Morphine Cleveland
State police break up fentanyl lab in Detroit
Police make arrest, four children removed from home in the city's west side        
-2 points by The Detroit News | Morphine Heroin Opioid Pethidine Codeine Detroit Controlled Substances Act Sheriff
Trump administration sanctions Venezuelan vice president over drug trafficking
The US has sanctioned Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami for alleged drug trafficking, saying that he “facilitated shipments of narcotics” and “oversaw or partially owned narcotics shipments of over 1,000 kilograms” from Venezuela. Read Full Article at
875 points by Russia Today | Illegal drug trade Barack Obama Venezuela Drug cartel Heroin Drug Morphine Gang
Cost of overdose drug could hamper access in Maryland and elsewhere
The price of a drug that has saved the lives of more than 800 people overdosing on heroin or other opioids in Baltimore is rising rapidly. The antidote known as naloxone revives addicts after they've stopped breathing, with either a simple spray in their nose or an injection. The use of naloxone...
-2 points by Baltimore Sun | Heroin Opioid Morphine Drug addiction Addiction Codeine Cocaine Drug
Fourth person saved in Lake County from opioid overdose in 2017
A woman was saved from an opioid overdose on Saturday when deputies administered three doses of Naloxone in north suburban Beach Park.
4 points by Chicago Sun-Times | Drug overdose Naloxone Opioid Heroin United States Federal Bureau of Investigation Police Morphine
Hope Not Handcuffs changes landscape for addicts
The program represents a softening of the law enforcement community’s heart toward those with addiction issues        
-2 points by The Detroit News | Police Drug addiction Constable Morphine Sheriff Heroin
Battle against heroin moves to the obituary pages
DAGSBORO, Del. (AP) - Sarah Wood, 19, died on her bedroom floor of an apparent heroin overdose days before Christmas 2016. The Indian River graduate wasn't a problem child, according to her mother, Margret Wood. She wasn't in and out of rehabs, she never had a run-in with the law. ...
-2 points by The Washington Times | Drug addiction Heroin Drug overdose Morphine Addiction Naloxone Benzodiazepine overdose Opioid
Hope Not Handcuffs gives changing landscape for addicts
The program is the latest effort in a changing landscape for opioid addicts and law enforcement in Michigan        
-2 points by The Detroit News | Police Drug addiction Constable Morphine Sheriff Heroin
Mother’s quest for dead son’s medical records could be solved if bill clears Legislature
Whenever he left the house, Robert Parenteau always made sure to tell his mother, Cecile Lavoie, he loved her.“I love you too, more than you know,” she would reply.It’s been almost a year since Parenteau’s death, but Lavoie still occasionally refers to her youngest son in the present tense. She call...
38 points by Concord Monitor | Morphine Opioid Pain Heroin Drug addiction Oxycodone Codeine Analgesic
52 overdoses in 32 hours in one US state
Another week, another cluster of overdoses.
12237 points by CNN | Naloxone Opioid Morphine Drug overdose Heroin Louisville Kentucky Death Paracetamol toxicity
Stealth drug ravages Louisville as deaths spike
Fentanyl-related deaths spiked to 139 from 26 between 2015 and 2016. That's five times more victims, according to Jefferson County coroner's...       
3515 points by USA Today | Louisville Kentucky Morphine Heroin Opioid Drug overdose Fentanyl Naloxone Drug addiction
1 day, 1 city: 43 overdoses, 1 death
Though the number didn't top a one-day total in November in Philadelphia, Louisville has less than half the population of the Pennsylvania c...       
24942 points by USA Today | Morphine Heroin Naloxone Drug addiction Ohio River Kentucky Louisville Kentucky Opioid
Happy haul: Dutch police seize ingredients enough to make 1 bn ecstasy pills
Dutch police have seized materials that could make as many as 1 billion ecstasy pills in a stolen truck near the Belgian border on Thursday. Three men were arrested at the scene. Read Full Article at
57 points by Russia Today | Illegal drug trade Controlled Substances Act Methamphetamine Netherlands Recreational drug use Morphine Drug Drug addiction
Save lives in Southern Colorado with opioid treatment training
The creation of this program will help Pueblo and Routt counties, two areas deeply impacted by this issue, move to the forefront of efforts to combat opioid drug overdoses.
1 points by The Denver Post | Morphine Heroin Opioid Drug addiction Colorado Medicine Codeine Naloxone
Trump vows to take ban to Supreme Court if necessary
President meets with a group of sheriffs       
9901 points by USA Today | United States Drug addiction Drug Heroin Morphine Police Supreme Court of the United States Court
Talk it Out: What can be done about heroin, fentanyl wreaking havoc on Cuyahoga County?
The opiate epidemic in Cuyahoga County has continued to claim lives at an overwhelming clip. How can we best address the opiate epidemic? Join us today for a discussion on the topic. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cuyahoga County once again set a grim record for most opiate-related deaths in 2016. The death-rate for heroin, fentanyl and other opiate deaths have skyrocketed from 64 in 2011 to at least 517 in 2016, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner. That number could increase as the medical examiner has not yet published its final report on exactly how many deaths have been attributed to opiates. But the county more than doubled the number of deaths in 2015, the worst on record at the time. And the deaths keep happening at a breakneck pace. There were at least 46 heroin and fentanyl deaths in January. That number could grow to 57 after toxicology tests are finalized, according to the medical examiner. Fourteen people died this weekend, according to the medical examiner. Some 24 total have died from the drugs in the first five days of the month, bringing the total for 2017 to at least 70.  Public officials, the medical community and others have targeted the problem for several years now, labeling the crisis an epidemic. But the resources put forward have seemingly done little stem the problem. last year chronicled the dozens of victims of heroin and fentanyl and the crushing toll it took on their families.  The series, along with the hard statistics, show no one demographic is safe from the drugs. Heroin and fentanyl overdose victims live across Cuyahoga County, in the wealthier suburbs and in the economically stressed parts of the inner-city. Ages range from late teens into people in their late 60s.  What can be done to stem the tide of heroin and fentanyl deaths in Northeast Ohio and the state? Is it a funding issue? Do more beds need to be made available for addicts seeking treatment? Does law enforcement need to prioritize targeting those who deal the deadly drugs? Join us today from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a civil, constructive conversation in the comments section below about the opiate crisis in Northeast Ohio and how it can be addressed. Comments will be reviewed by a moderator before they are published.  In our Talk it Out pre-curated conversation, comments are published after they are reviewed -- promptly -- to ensure they adhere to our community rules, which prohibit indecent, hateful, abusive or harassing comments, personal attacks, vulgar nicknames, personal information including telephone numbers and addresses, email addresses belonging to others, anything inciting criminal behavior and copyrighted material for which you do not own the rights.   Comments that are not on the topic of this discussion will not be published. Criticism is fine, as long as it is respectful. We seek a robust and courteous discussion. 
100 points by The Plain Dealer | Morphine Greater Cleveland Opioid Cuyahoga County Ohio Cuyahoga River Cleveland Fentanyl Ohio
Bronx medic spends off days patrolling Mexican border
A Bronx first responder is not content to spend his vacations relaxing — instead, he patrols the Mexican border with a heavily armed vigilante group. “Our main goal is to stop narcotics trafficking,” said FDNY emergency medical technician Andy Poliakoff, whose time off is spent in the desolate Sonoran Desert hunting for Mexican drug runners....
1423 points by New York Post | Illegal drug trade United States Border Patrol Canada – United States border Smuggling Heroin Borders of the United States Morphine U.S. Customs and Border Protection
New form of synthetic heroin showing up in Chicago-area deaths
Coroners and police in the Chicago area say they are alarmed about the use of synthetic forms of heroin that are sometimes taken as a heroin substitute or mixed with it to produce deadly effect.In McHenry County, Coroner Anne Majewski said two deaths last year were related to the use of furanyl...
208 points by Chicago Tribune | Heroin Opioid McHenry County Illinois Coroner Lake County Illinois Sheriff Chicago metropolitan area Morphine
Residents say ACA repeal could mean skyrocketing health costs
Even though Sabrina Dunlap’s family doesn’t depend on the Affordable Care Act for insurance, the thought that the federal health care law could be repealed still keeps her up at night.Dunlap of Hopkinton has a 4-year-old daughter with a very rare and severe systemic disease where her body is constan...
54 points by Concord Monitor | Health care Repeal Medicine Drug addiction Systemic disease Morphine Health insurance Heroin
Judge suspends women's work-release program after 2 overdose
EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania county's president judge has suspended a work-release program for female inmates after two overdosed on drugs at the county jail.
-2 points by The Philadelphia Inquirer | Health care Health care provider Naloxone Opioid Medicine Morphine Week-day names Heroin
Cops: Woman sold heroin that led to sister's fatal overdose
BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont woman has denied charges she sold the heroin that led to her sister's fatal overdose last year. Twenty-eight-year-old Emily Welch pleaded not guilty Thursday in Bennington to a felony count of selling heroin with a death resulting and other offenses. She was ordered held ...
-2 points by The Washington Times | Heroin Naloxone Morphine Drug overdose Opioid Death Vermont Fentanyl
Officials announce near-record drug bust

-2 points by The Philadelphia Inquirer | Drug addiction Heroin Morphine Addiction Cocaine Opioid Drug Enforcement Administration Drug