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Tag: painkillers

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

Foundation for Economic Freedom: DEA’s War on Painkillers to Blame for Many Deaths

pillsBy The Foundation for Economic Freedom
Value Walk

Many of these deaths result not from painkillers, but from the DEA’s war on painkillers.

Heroin overdose rates doubled in 28 states between 2010 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A record-breaking 28,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2014. In 2000, the age-adjusted drug overdose death rate was 6.2 per 100,000 persons. By 2014, it had more than doubled, to 14.7, according to the CDC.

What happened?

The truth is that many of those deaths are completely preventable and result not from painkillers, but from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s war on painkillers.

This week, the Senate is likely to pass the 21st Century Cures Act. Among other things, it allocates $1 billion to help states “combat heroin and painkiller addiction and recovery.” Policymakers would be wise to make sure that states don’t use that $1 billion to make the problem worse.

Who’s Taking Opioids?

Marine corporal Craig Schroeder served in Iraq. In the so-called “Triangle of Death” region, south of Baghdad, a makeshift-bomb explosion left him with traumatic brain injury. Schroeder returned home with a broken foot and ankle and a herniated disc in his back. He suffers from chronic pain in addition to hearing and memory loss.

And the regulations keep coming.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that half of all troops who return from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from chronic pain.

To read more click here.

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.

DEA to Reduce Opioid Manufacturing by 25% in 2017 to Curb Abuse, Overdoses

Fentanyl tablets

Fentanyl tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s fight against painkiller abuse has prompted the agency to reduce opioid manufacturing by 25% in 2017.

The cutback will affect drugs such as fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone, the Verge reports. 

The good news is, fewer prescriptions are being written for opioids as doctors are becoming more aware of painkiller abuse and its link to heroin use.

The abuse of heroin and opioids are a major reason that 2014 was the deadliest year on record for drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 60% of the overdoses involved an opioid.

Opioids also have become the second most popular drug for non-medical use after marijuana.

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DEA Warns of Pills Laced with Deadly Opioid in American Market

pillsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is bracing for overdoses after warning that hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills are laced with a potentially deadly synthetic opioid.

The DEA said the drugs, which look like legitimate painkillers, have infiltrated the U.S. drug market, the Guardian reports. 

The pills contain fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

The DEA warned that only a small amount can kill.

“It’s a huge concern. People don’t know what they are getting,” said the DEA spokesman Melvin Patterson, citing an uptick in accidental overdoses by unwitting users.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA: Police May Die from Handling Fentanyl Because It’s So Powerful

Fentanyl tablets

Fentanyl tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fentanyl, the painkiller that killed Prince and is responsible for hundreds of over deaths in recent years, also poses a significant danger to law enforcement, the DEA warned.

The DEA unveiled a new public service announcement that warns officers of the dangers of fentanyl if they encounter it, The Washington Times reports. 

The video features two New Jersey police officers who accidentally inhaled fentanyl while trying to seal a plastic bag.

“A bunch of it poofed up into the air, right in our face, and we ended up inhaling it,” said one of the detectives.

“I felt like my body was shutting down,” said the other detective, describing effects of the drug that made him feel like he was dying.

The DEA reports that more than 700 people have died due to fentanyl use between 2013 and 2014.

DEA Executes Search Warrant at Prince’s Home As Part of Opiate Investigation

Prince, via Wikipedia.

Prince, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA executed a search warrant on Prince’s Paisley Park home Tuesday as part of a federal investigation into the untimely death of the music icon.

Hollywood Life reports that investigators are trying to determine who prescribed the medication to Prince, who died on April 21 after an apparent overdose on opiates.

Authorities are hunting down Prince’s medical records and any other related information.

 “Detectives are revisiting the scene at Paisley Park as a component of a complete investigation. No other information is available,” said the local Sherrif’s Office tweetedTuesday afternoon.

The official results of the autopsy have not yet been released.

DEA, Other Feds Join Investigation of Prince’s Untimely Death

Prince, via Wikipedia.

Prince, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA and other federal authorities are investigating the death of pop superstar Prince.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that it and the DEA would help with the local investigation of the April 21 death, Time reports. 

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and DEA are joining the Carver County Sheriff’s investigation. The DEA and U.S. Attorney’s Office are able to augment this local investigation with federal resources and expertise about prescription drug diversion. While this remains an ongoing investigation, we will have no further comment.”

Reports have suggested that Prince was in possession of painkillers, but it wasn’t confirmed whether the medication was a factor in his death.