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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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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Good Samaritan Bill – Get Help and Avoid Prosecution

Too often a witness to an overdose will hesitate to call 911 because of fear of prosecution. Whether they are using too, or have drugs (or drug paraphernalia) on them, they think first about avoiding the police, and only second about calling for help for the victim. The California legislature, at the lead of Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D San Francisco), is aiming to change this trend.

The 911 Good Samaritan Overdose Response Act is the legislation he has sponsored, in hopes that people will be more likely to get victims the medical attention that they need in the case of an overdose. This law does not protect witnesses from all charges, but merely three specific, lower-level charges; possession of paraphernalia, possession for personal use, and being under the influence. Even this small change, it is hoped, will vastly increase the …

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Prescription Drug Overdose Remains a U.S. Epidemic, Painkillers Big Part of the Problem

We’ve been chronicling how widespread prescription drug abuse has become a problem of epidemic proportions. According to recent numbers released by the CDC, the number of deaths caused by prescription drug overdose serves as shocking evidence of the problem.

There are now more deaths annually from overdose of prescription drugs than car accidents. This is the the result of a steep increase in prescription drug abuse that has occurred over the last two decades. These numbers beg the question of what is behind the trend.

Why Prescription Drug Abuse is so Pervasive

Prescription painkillers are the key players in prescription drug related deaths. Prescription painkillers now rank as third in popularity among teens who abuse, right after alcohol and marijuana. According to the FDA, one out of every seven teenagers reports prescription painkiller abuse for the purposes of getting high …

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