Fentanyl is a Big Public Health Threat

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While many people in the medical profession are concentrating on flattening the curve and finding a vaccine for COVID-19, the opioid epidemic is quietly taking lives. What’s even worse is that as there is a lesser supply of street drugs due to shut down borders, fentanyl is pervasive.

Fentanyl Overdosing Startlingly High During COVID-19

COVID-19 has presented many challenges for the recovery community. Some treatment centers have been forced to stall or upend their admissions processes, leaving people with nowhere to go. Some sober homes essentially evicted residents overnight. Some people, unable to get to 12-step meetings, may end up relapsing. And all the while, US borders shut down, stifling the flow of drugs like cocaine and counterfeit Oxycontin from overseas.

It’s also true that people with opioid use disorder are vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. If they are actively using drugs, they’re taking physical risks by going out around …

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WA Addresses Post-Treatment Homelessness

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Homelessness has always been an issue for people new to recovery. After all, it usually takes hitting bottom for a person to seek recovery options. While recovery is still possible, and many treatment centers still offer services, there are more challenges for people seeking recovery than ever. One major problem that people face when they leave treatment is finding a place to live. For so many recovering addicts, finances are tight or nonexistent, and possessions are lost entirely or are in storage. While Medicaid can usually pay for drug treatment, there is a fear of homelessness upon completion of programs.

In Washington state, during the height of the pandemic, they are rushing to close this gap and help people in recovery stay drug and alcohol-free in a space of their own. Thousands of young people with addiction and mental health issues are left homeless every year after completing programs.…

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Addiction Rural Community Action Guide Now Available

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The Trump Administration released a new tool today meant to help rural community leaders to build a community response to the addiction crisis, which has killed tens of thousands of people in the past ten years.

What is the Action Guide?

The Rural Community Action Guide has research and background information to help community leaders understand more about addiction and the addiction epidemic. In rural areas, there are often few resources available to help people with addiction problems. Many people with an addiction or mental health disorder may feel isolated or desperate. Yet addiction has become widespread throughout small-town America.

In the guide, local government and community members can learn more about recommended action steps, and best practices when it comes to small towns and rural communities.

 “Families and communities in rural America have been hard hit by the crisis of addiction, and face unique challenges in developing effective responses …

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FDA Warns CBD Products Can Be Dangerous

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The proliferation of CBD products in the “wellness” industry seemed to happen overnight. CBD, a byproduct of marijuana and hemp that does not get users “high”, has been marketing as a cure-all to everything from arthritis to anxiety. Some sellers even claim that CBD can help fight cancer by lowering inflammation levels. Now, the FDA is stepping in and warning users and manufacturers that these products not only may be modern-day “snake oil” but also can cause real damage to some people’s health.

What is CBD, Exactly?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a chemical that’s found in all types of cannabis, even the male plant which is not smoked or used as a drug. Instead of getting a user high, CBD is supposed to have a host of health benefits and has been proven to help with rare seizure disorders in children. However, that’s where the clinical testing has …

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Scientists Explore Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to Fight Addiction

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Addiction is costly in many ways. It can cost relationships, families, jobs, and lives. The stigma of addiction can cause people not to seek help, and it seems that the stigma is international, just like the disease of addiction itself.

China has been experimenting with different solutions for addiction for years. People often go to the research doctors out of desperation. A recent article by the Associated Press detailed the desperation a man named Yan, in China, felt when over the years he became addicted to crystal meth and, eventually, heroin. His father wanted to help but was tired of watching him bounce in and out of drug rehabilitation. He gave him a choice between another trip to drug rehabilitation, or to try Deep Brain Stimulation surgery. “Of course, I chose surgery,” Yan said. “With surgery, I definitely have the chance to get my life back.”

China’s Research into DBS

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Purdue Pharma is Exploring Bankruptcy

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Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxycontin, is exploring the idea of bankruptcy to protect itself from over a thousand lawsuits filed across the country blaming them, in part, for the opioid addiction crisis that has claimed thousands of lives in states across the US.

The manufacturer of Oxycontin, as well as the Sackler family that controls the majority of the company, say they are under duress due to the massive litigation they face by counties, cities, and states. They have been repeatedly accused of misleading doctors through marketing and sales pressures, without mentioning the risks of addiction or downplaying those risks entirely.

The bankruptcy type that Purdue is considering is Chapter 11, which would stop the lawsuits from moving forward as Purdue settles the trials under the direction of a bankruptcy judge. Purdue hired law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP for restructuring advice last August, making litigants nervous about …

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Border Patrol Nabs Largest Fentanyl Bust Ever

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Last week, the federal government announced one of the largest fentanyl drug busts ever, containing 254 pounds of the synthetic drug.

The bust occurred at the Nogales, Arizona border onboard a truck that hid the pills under cucumbers. Alongside the powerful opioid, there was also 354 pounds of methamphetamine. Both drugs have been on the rise in America the past few years, with fentanyl deaths outpacing other opioid deaths rapidly. At its current pace, according to US Customs and Border Control, the opioid epidemic kills ninety people a day.

The fentanyl in the seizure is valued $3.5 million and is twice the size of a haul discovered in a truck stopped by state troopers in Nebraska in 2017.

Fentanyl is quickly becoming one of the deadliest opioids in the United States, and it often comes to the US via China, passing through US Customs undetected. Last year, the opioid task …

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Cocaine-Opioid Cocktails Have Been Killing Since 2010

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People have been dying from opioid and cocaine cocktails regularly since 2010, but there hasn’t been much reporting on it. That’s partially because the focus is on the fact that these deaths were from opioids. But calling these deaths “opioid overdoses” is problematic because, in some cases, the drug users were never aware that they were using an opioid.

According to the Washington Examiner, more than 10,100 people died from mixing the drugs in 2017. 7,241 of those deaths showed both cocaine and fentanyl in their systems. Fentanyl is a potent opioid about 50 to 200 times stronger than morphine. It’s also the deadliest opioid in the US, with the majority of deaths in 2017.

Deaths caused by opioids and cocaine have risen nearly 76 percent since 2012.

Recently, opioid test strips have emerged across the United States as a part of harm-reduction efforts. The strips, which cost …

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Grant Awarded to Create, Upgrade Much-Needed Sober Housing in Mass.

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In Massachusetts, in some ways, they are catching up to the opioid epidemic and facing it head-on. This sometimes means sending addicted patients home with medication-assisted treatment, offering sober coaching programs, and even providing drop-in clinics in some cities where drug addiction therapy is scarce. Now, The Center for Community Recovery Innovations (CCRI) has awarded a total of $696,995 in grant funding to help house recovery populations that include men, women, families, veterans, the homeless and ex-offenders.

The money will go to creating and modernizing 118 affordable sober housing units in communities across Massachusetts.

The grants come from the Center for Community Recovery Innovations, Inc. (CCRI), a nonprofit subsidiary of MassHousing. The goal of the award is to help nonprofits create or preserve affordable sober housing in Massachusetts.

This is not the first grant that has been awarded to support substance-free housing. Total, CCRI has awarded more than $10 …

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Tainted Cocaine Causing Brain Damage

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A dangerous new substance that’s used as an anti-worming agent has been found in recent cocaine samples taken by Swiss researchers, according to a report by Big Think.

Cocaine is the second-most popular drug worldwide, and it’s almost always “cut” with another drug or substance so that the drug is more profitable. In some cases, medications like fentanyl are added to cocaine to make it more addictive – but it’s also more dangerous. Usually, it’s baking soda or ammonia that’s added with the simple goal of thinning out the drug content.

Now, however, two studies from the University of Zurich (UZH) discovered that levamisole, a powerful animal anti-worming agent, has been turning up in the cocaine supply. Scientists speculate that it is being used by chemists to make the effects of cocaine last longer.

It’s also possible that it’s leaving brain damage in regular cocaine users. The long-term effects …

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