Mixing Cocaine and Opioids is Causing More OD Deaths

A new study has revealed that more people are overdosing on cocaine when they mix it with another drug like meth. Deaths of drug users who have both opioids and cocaine in their systems are far outpacing deaths from users who only use cocaine.

The Study on Cocaine and Meth Deaths

75.5% of all cocaine-related deaths also involved one or more opioids in 2019. More people who use cocaine and opioids together are dying than those who use other stimulants, such as methamphetamine. Just 54% of all meth-related deaths in 2019 also involved opioids, a starkly different number than when it comes to cocaine.

Dependending on the region, deaths for both drugs varied greatly. Presumably, this is due to the availability or popularity of one drug versus another. For example,  deaths from cocaine and opioids accounted for more than 83% …

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New MAT Hope For Meth Addiction

Meth addiction can be powerful, especially when it comes to withdrawal effects. Most people who have used it will experience anything from nausea and vomiting to hallucinations or seizures. The majority of meth withdrawal symptoms are merely uncomfortable.

However, a desire for the drug remains after a person has detoxed for many. The compulsion to get high is often a driving force for relapse in people who used meth. However, new hope has arrived to help alleviate those symptoms through medication-assisted treatment.  (MAT)

What is MAT?

Medication-assisted treatment is a description of prescription drugs that can be used alongside talk therapy or treatment to help people who have physical cravings for a drug. For years, medical professionals have looked for treatment to help people get and stay sober from methamphetamine to no avail. However, it seems like there is some …

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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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