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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    The opioid crisis

    The opioid crisis

    By Alfred S. Regnery - - Thursday, January 4, 2018

    ANALYSIS/OPINION:

    Over 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016 — 21 percent more than 2015. The toll in 2017 is unknown, but is estimated to be higher still. The 2016 figure is over twice the number of all gun-related homicides and suicides, and more than American combat losses during the entire nine-year war in Vietnam. Opioids, the latest deadly trend in the drug world, made up well over half of those deaths, and more than 15,000 fatalities resulted from overdoses of prescribed drugs.
    The Trump administration recently declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, the first time since 2010 that such a designation has been made for any cause, and the first time ever for a drug epidemic, giving victims of opioids more treatment options, among other benefits, and unleashing the vast federal public health and social services apparatus on the problem.
    Drug overdose deaths during the cocaine and crack crisis of the 1980s, and the more recent meth epidemic, paled in comparison to death rates today. Crack was largely an inner city-minority phenomenon and the violence that accompanied the crisis reflected, well, the inner city. Today’s crisis draws fewer socio-economic, racial, age or population density lines.

    West Virginia, one of the most rural states, has the highest opioid per capita death rate in the nation. Opioid victims range in age from young teens to octogenarians, and are more often white than minority.

    While the government’s solution to the crack cocaine crisis included the enactment of strict mandatory minimum sentences and “three strikes and you’re out” laws and to imprison pushers and dealers to long prison terms, the reaction to the opioid crisis is considerably more benign, and some would say more humane.

    Opioids include heroin, which is largely imported from Mexico or manufactured domestically in illegal labs, prescription drugs such as OxyContin and others using fentanyl as their base, and a combination of the two — dealers often lace heroin with fentanyl, which can increase its strength by as much as 50 times, making it more lethal than and the cause of tens of thousands of overdose deaths.

    Drug dealing is, by definition, a violent crime, and the violence that accompanies illegal drug dealing is huge. Because of the nature of drug trafficking enterprises and their attendant violent enforcement, there are plenty of criminals who need to feel the sting of prosecution and incarceration.

    Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, vacating soft on crime policies of the Obama/Holder era, instructed his federal prosecutors to charge drug distributors and other violent criminals appropriately — meaning they could again charge the most serious readily provable offense.

    Those charges can, and should, include those involving mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years to life for manufacturing, distributing, or possessing narcotics with intent to distribute and where the result is death or serious bodily injury. Those laws were enacted by Congress, often at the urging of inner-city leaders who saw their neighborhoods devastated by the scourge of the drug trade.

    The laws were nothing if not effective — tens of thousands of violent organizers, distributors, enforcers and accomplices received decades-long mandatory minimum sentences, and more than a few remain in prison to this day.

    The Justice Department has awarded over $70 million during 2017 to help fight the opioid crisis nationwide and set up drug courts. It has directed U.S. Attorneys to aggressively prosecute drug dealers, and just last week established a new office to help oversee the implementation of Justice Department initiatives and coordinate with state and local law enforcement.

    Violent drug dealers are not the only ones being prosecuted. As the number of drug-related deaths escalates, law enforcement officials are under growing pressure to prosecute and lock up not only criminal drug dealers, but also doctors, pharmaceutical company officials, and even friends and family of the victims if they’ve aided in an overdose death.

    The Wall Street Journal recently reported that in addition to drug dealers, “prosecutors are also sweeping up low-level dealers who are trying to support their habit, as well as friends, and family members of overdose victims who bought or shared drugs with the deceased.”

    Civil lawsuits may be on the agenda as well. In his announcement making the crisis a national health emergency, President Trump declared that the federal government would be “bringing some very major lawsuits against people and companies that have been hurting our communities.”

    Ironically, as the criminal justice reform movement advocates repeal of the tough-on-crime mandatory-minimum laws passed during the 1980s crack-cocaine crisis, prosecutors are using the same statutes to lock up those responsible for today’s drug deaths. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that some 1200 drug-death prosecutions were initiated in 2016, often resulting in sentences stretching to 20 years or more.

    It is unlikely that the opioid crisis will be brought under control in the near future. Prevention and compassionate treatment are important, but even more crucial is for law enforcement to use the proven tools it has at its disposal to prosecute those responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news...ncy-but-its-a/







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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Narcan Is Now Sold at Walgreens. What's That?

    By ALICE PARK October 26, 2017
    TIME Health
    For more, visit TIME Health.

    President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency Thursday, the same week Walgreens announced it would start selling Narcan — a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose — at its pharmacies throughout the country. Both moves come at a time when 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose each day, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Here’s how Narcan works.

    What is Narcan?

    Narcan is a brand name for naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Some states now require its police officers to carry naloxone to revive people who have overdosed. Many firefighters, emergency medical personnel and other first responders also carry naloxone.

    Naloxone comes in three forms, some of which are generic, and all are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating opioid overdose.

    How do you administer Narcan?

    One form of Narcan or naloxone that usually requires a prescription can be administered as a shot, with some professional training, into the muscle — most often in the thigh, buttocks or shoulder.

    An easier naloxone shot, available without a prescription for untrained people, works much like the EpiPen, which treats allergic reactions. Sold as Evzio, it is an auto-injection pre-filled with naloxone that anyone can inject into the outer thigh. The device comes with verbal instructions to guide users.

    A nasal spray version of Narcan can be applied into the nostril of person who has overdosed by both trained and untrained users.

    Where can I get Narcan?

    Narcan and other forms of naloxone are available both by prescription and over the counter in some states. Many emergency room physicians will write prescriptions for patients they treat for opioid overdoses.

    Family members of people who are addicted to opioids or heroin can also get Narcan without a prescription at pharmacies. CVS offers naloxone over the counter in 43 states, while Walgreens now stocks Narcan in all of its 8,000 stores nationwide.

    How much does Narcan cost per dose?

    Narcan can cost around $130 to $140, for a kit that includes one to two doses. Depending on your insurance plan, you could have a copay anywhere between $0 to $20 to purchase the medication. Medicaid and Medicare cover brands like Narcan, but coverage varies by state. Some community-based organizations focused on treating drug addiction may provide Narcan for free.


    http://time.com/4999223/what-is-narcan/
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Comey is in this video but aside from that, in my personal opinion, it is very well done. It serves to remind me that Mexico is not our friend.

    Chasing the Dragon (C)





    fbi
    Published on Feb 4, 2016


    In an effort to combat the growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse, the FBI and DEA have released "Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict," a documentary aimed at educating students and young adults about the dangers of addiction. More at www.fbi.gov/ChasingTheDragon

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqdmWRExOkQ
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