Meth and Fentanyl Use Increasing

Two of the most addictive and dangerous drugs are killing people, and rather than taper off, it appears that they are becoming more popular. Both methamphetamine and fentanyl are being used by more people nationwide, leading to more overdoses and addictions.

According to the drug testing company Millennium Health, more people are testing positive for the drug. Drug screenings, ordered by medical providers, drug treatment facilities, and correctional facilities, show that positive drug tests increased 78% for fentanyl. And, at least at the beginning of the pandemic, methamphetamine use increased 29%. (This was, however, only for the first nine months of the pandemic compared to the same period in 2019.)

Where Do the Statistics Come From?

While cocaine and heroin use seemed to spike early in the pandemic, usage dropped off, perhaps as the supply was cut off through …

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Biden Nixes Waiver that Expanded MAT

The Biden administration has removed a directive from the Trump administration, known as the X Waiver. The waiver would have allowed a more considerable amount of doctors to prescribe and oversee Medication-Assisted Treatment. Doctors and addiction professionals have expressed dismay and disappointment at the decision, which allowed a quicker way to get relapse-prevention drugs like Naloxone to patients who have overdosed or risk overdose due to opioid use disorder.

A Premature Directive

In mid-January, the directive supporters were happy to hear that Biden had no immediate plans to overhaul the measure, which was one of the few actions taken by the Trump administration against opioid use disorder.

The X-Waiver made hastily toward the end of Trump’s term would have made it easy for emergency room physicians and other frontline doctors to prescribe MAT. In the past, specialists had to apply …

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Pennsylvania Urges End to Opioid Addiction Stigma

While the media has focused on the COVID-19 pandemic across the nation, opioid use continues. Some people call addiction a silent epidemic alongside the coronavirus, as Pennsylvania public health officials say that it’s time to leave the stigma behind.

Opioid addiction is a disease, and there is treatment available. But many people find it difficult to reach out and let loved ones know they are struggling.

Governor Wolf’s Message on Opioid Addiction

In a press conference last night, Governor Wolf and Department of Health representatives asked the public to end the stigma surrounding addiction. Help is available, he wants everyone to know, but reaching out for help is difficult when people are ashamed.

Some counties in Pennsylvania have seen an increase in overdose fatalities that are twice as high as 2019. Anecdotally, increased overdose deaths, and hospitalizations are a …

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Deadly Opioid Brorphine Hits Midwest

A new drug named brorphine has been sweeping the Midwest as well as the South. The potent drug has never been available for manufacture; however, it appears that a manufacturer has decided to create and sell the drug illicitly.

Brorphine is nearly twice as powerful as fentanyl. Fentanyl is a potent drug usually reserved for trauma victims and surgery. Fentanyl is almost one hundred times as strong as heroin. A casual drug user with a low or moderate tolerance to opioids would likely overdose on brorphine easily.

Where Did Brorphine Come From?

According to the United Nations, Brophine was first detected in overdose deaths seven times between June and July 2020. Authorities say that the overdoses also contained fentanyl, flualprazolam, and heroin. (This makes it impossible to implicate one specific drug in the deaths.)

Brorphine has often been found …

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Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty

Purdue Pharma has pleaded guilty to criminal charges stemming from their role in the opioid crisis.

The Oxycontin manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, has been embattled by state, city, and federal officials for years. Lawsuits have revealed the extent of their wrongdoing, from basically bribing doctors to nonchalance about overdose deaths. Finally, Purdue Pharma is facing the music, giving up eight billion dollars to be split among plaintiffs. The business itself will be given to federal authorities and operate for “the public good.”

The Charges Against Purdue

The federal government pursued criminal charges that were settled through a monetary agreement of 8 billion dollars, including the business’s surrender. While some individual doctors and salespeople (usually middlemen) got reduced charges for testifying, no individuals from the company have been charged as criminals, to the chagrin of many plaintiffs.

The plea deal does not …

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West Virginia Expands Addiction Resources in Marion County

West Virginia is no stranger to the heartache of addiction. According to the West Virginia Department of Health, drug overdose is the leading cause of death among West Virginians under 45. And even now, opioids remain the leading cause of overdoses. For years, addiction professionals have been asking for funding for more addiction resources. In Marion County, new addiction resources will help save and transform people’s lives.

Addiction Resources Keep People Alive

Fatal overdoses are heartbreaking, and even more so in a pandemic. Many people in recovery have relapsed under the strain of isolation. And for every deadly overdose, other people with opioid use disorder and other addictions still enter the hospital.

Overdoses have a public health cost and often can be life-altering. People can end up with organ failure and other disabilities when they overdose on certain drugs. …

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Disgraced Former OH Sheriff Becomes Addiction Counselor

Former Sandusky County, Ohio Sheriff Kyle Overmyer‘s life went into a spiral in 2016, when he was charged and pleaded guilty to 13 felonies. Among those crimes he pleaded guilty to were acts that are common for people who are addicted to drugs. He lied to get doctors to prescribe pain medication to him. He stole drugs out of several drug take-back boxes, meant to help deter drug abuse in the community. And he ended up using public funds on his own needs.

When he pleaded guilty in December of 2016 to charges stemming from those acts, his life changed. He went to prison.

Sheriff Overmyer’s Addiction

Sheriff Overmyer was addicted to painkillers, and like a lot of addicted people do, he resorted to things he considered immoral to try to get his drug of choice. While Overmyer, at …

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Overdose Risks Higher During Pandemic

A recent article from NPR highlighted new risks for drug users who are struggling to find legitimate drugs during the pandemic. People hoarding supplies and illicit supply drying up due to COVID-19 restrictions have led to an increase in overdoses, with many of them deadly.

Why Are People Overdosing More?

One of the reasons opioid use has become more dangerous is the halting of the supply. Fewer drugs mean more customers for street dealers. Sometimes, they can’t get it from their “regular guy” and must try somebody new.

There are no standard formulations for illicit street drugs—some users overdose due to a different, more potent formulation than they are used to using.

Other drug users may end up with a pill that’s laced with fentanyl, a drug that’s 50 to 100 times stronger than Morphine. Most people who seek out …

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Is the Opioid Crisis Worse Than We Thought?

New research on the opioid crisis published by Addiction journal shows that the opioid epidemic’s numbers are as much as shows that overdose deaths might be as much as 28% higher than previously reported. A significant number of deaths may have been left out of reporting for several years.

Where Are The Unreported Deaths?

In Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Indiana, the actual final numbers of deaths may have been previously underreported by as much as 50%.

Nearly 72% of “unclassified drug overdoses” that occurred between 1999-2016 involved prescription opioids, heroin, or fentanyl. However, due to the victims having other drugs in their systems, they are marked as “unclassified”, even if it’s most likely that the opioids killed that person. For example, a person with Oxycontin and marijuana in their system might have their death left unclassified, even if it’s …

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Opioid Victims, Families Can Begin Suing Purdue Pharma

A federal judge has decided that victims of the opioid epidemic have the right to sue Purdue Pharma for damages, but all claims must be filed by June 30, 2020. This is when the company will begin its bankruptcy proceedings.

Purdue has also reached a settlement with a portion of some states and local governments. Although the settlement amount has not been disclosed, it’s been reported that it could be worth more than $10 billion. The presiding Judge, Robert Drain, says it’s important to note that an official amount for settlement has not yet been reached.

What is Purdue Settling For?

Purdue Pharma has faced hundreds of lawsuits accusing them of creating the opioid epidemic that has killed tens of thousands of Americans in the past several years. They are accused of using coercive marketing tactics with doctors, even though …

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