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Tag: overdoses

Border Patrol Seizes Record Amount of Fentanyl in Tucson Sector

Synthetic opioid tablets

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have seized a record amount of fentanyl in the Tucson Sector.

So far in fiscal year 2020, the sector seized 57 pounds of the synthetic opioid, which is more than four times the amount seized last fiscal year, KTAR News reports.

Agents this week busted an 18-year-old Nevada woman smuggling more than 8 ounces of fentanyl at the Nogales Port of Entry.

“Really, it was a line of questioning and agent intuition which led to the person admitting that she was carrying these narcotics,” Agent Joe Curran said. “We’re just happy that this had the safest resolution for the person who was smuggling those narcotics, and there was no contamination to those agents or anybody.”

At least 32 fentanyl-related deaths have been reported by the Pima County Health Department.

DEA: 30+ People Died in County in Arizona from Counterfeit Painkillers

Synthetic opioid tablets

Synthetic opioid tablets laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA said more than 30 people died in Maricopa County in Arizona from counterfeit oxycodone pill laced with fentanyl.

The county confirmed 32 deaths from black-market pill between March 2015 to February 2017, the Arizona Republic reports

The DEA said the counterfeit pills were manufactured in Mexico and smuggled into the U.S.

“What we have is a rapidly expanding opioid-based drug addiction in the country, and we have Mexican drug cartels adjusting to push dangerous drugs on streets,” said Doug Coleman, special agent in charge of the DEA in Arizona. “…They think they’re taking oxy, but they’re actually taking fentanyl, and it’s lights out.”

Other Stories of Interest

Federal Authorities with Connections to Lobbyists Failed to Combat Painkiller Abuse

pain medsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly 19,000 people died of overdoses from prescription painkillers in 2014, and another 10,574 died from heroin.

The Washington Post investigated the interaction between the DEA and pharmaceutical distributors and found a troubling connection.

DEA officials said high-level Justice Department officials who were being heavily lobbied by wholesalers eased aggressive civil enforcement against wholesalers.

Civil case filings against wholesalers fell from 131 in fiscal 2011 to 40 in fiscal 2014.

The Post wrote:

Collectively, 13 companies identified by The Washington Post knew or should have known that hundreds of millions of pills were ending up on the black market, according to court records, DEA documents and legal settlements in administrative ­cases, many of which are being reported here for the first time. Even when they were alerted to suspicious pain clinics or pharmacies by the DEA and their own employees, some distributors ignored the warnings and continued to send drugs.

“Through the whole supply chain, I would venture to say no one was doing their job,” said Joseph T. Rannazzisi, former head of the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control, who led the effort against distributors from 2005 until shortly before his retirement in 2015. “And because no one was doing their job, it just perpetuated the problem. Corporate America let their profits get in the way of public health.”

A review of the DEA’s campaign against distributors reveals the extent of the companies’ role in the diversion of opioids. It shows how drugs intended for millions of legitimate pain patients ended up feeding illegal users’ appetites for prescription narcotics. And it helps explain why there has been little progress in the U.S. opioid epidemic, despite the efforts of public-health and enforcement agencies to stop it.

Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a letter to respond to the Post’s findings.

More Potent Cheaper Heroin Contributing to Spike in Overdoses, AP Reports

black tar heroin

black tar heroin

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A super-potent heroin being sold by Mexican traffickers is contributing to a spike in overdoses across America, an Associated Press study shows.

AP reports that the heroin, known as “black tar” heroin because of its dark gooey texture — and other forms are causing problems and selling for as little as $10 a bag.

“We found people who snorted it lying face-down with the straw lying next to them,” Patrick O’Neil, coroner in suburban Chicago’s Will County, where annual heroin deaths have nearly tripled – from 10 to 29 – since 2006, told the Associated Press. “It’s so potent that we occasionally find the needle in the arm at the death scene.”

The potency has also enabled people to snort or smoke it and avoid the needle, AP reported.

“That has opened up heroin to a whole different group of users,” Harry Sommers, who heads the DEA in St. Louis told AP.

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