Prescription Drug Epidemic – Just Unbelievable

We are working on a few items about the unbelievable prescription drug epidemic to be published soon. It is so noticeable that the drugs people are getting high with are manufactured legally…. and offer the same results as previous “illicit” or “hardcore street drugs.”

The question is, “Who’s minding the shop?” When it comes to the FDA in approving these drugs and the lack of coordination with law enforcement and regulation of the pharmacy industry, there has been a complete breakdown and failure in communication.

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Fentanyl – Very Much in Demand by Opiate Addicted Individuals

Fentanyl is a powerful prescription drug that is used to manage pain. This synthetic opiate analgesic is prescribed to people who have just had surgery or who suffer from chronic pain. It may also be given to people who have demonstrated tolerance to other opiates. Fentanyl is similar to morphine but is about 80 times more potent.

The Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse

The U.S. Department of Justice classifies Fentanyl as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high tendency for abuse. This prescription drug has not received as much focus has other painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet, but it is just as dangerous. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, illicit use of Fentanyl has been a problem since the mid-1970s.

In prescription form, Fentanyl is sold under the names Actiq, Sublimaze, Isntanyl and Duragesic. On the street, it is referred to by a variety of names including Apache, China White, China Girl, Apache, Friend, Dance Fever, TNT, Murder 8, Tango and Cash. The street form of Fentanyl is often produced in clandestine labs and mixed with other drugs like heroin or cocaine. The biological effects of street versions of Fentanyl are indistinguishable from heroin, but they may be hundreds of times more potent. Fentanyl is addictive and deadly.

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Western New York “Hot Shots” Raise the Question of Government Control of Heroin

Police are concerned about recent  epidemic of heroin overdose deaths.

A very dangerous form of heroin has been found by local authorities in Western New York.  The heroin has been showing up both in drug busts and overdose/death toxicology reports.

Police think the heroin is being mixed with an unknown substance that may be linked to two fatal overdoses in March of 2011. Further overdose deaths are suspected to be related to this unknown additive. heroin hot shot

Buffalo Police state that they “don’t know what could be mixed with the drugs or what additive it’s being ‘cut’ with. “Although still under investigation, these recent overdose deaths are highly “unusual” in that “two deaths and again a third could be attributed to heroin in a such a short period of time.”

This January, over 40 people were treated for opiate-based overdoses at just one hospital in the Buffalo area.

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Barack Obama Visits Santiago Chile and Discusses Foreign Drug Policy

In Santiago Chile, Barack Obama focused his attention on the problems arising due to narcotics wars, gun trafficking, and illegal immigration (funded by revenues from drug trafficking).

Guatemalan Drug Criminals

During a series of pivotal stops in Central and South America, Barack kept re-emphasizing that the entire world needs to make the fight against drug trafficking from Central and South America into the U.S. a top concern. Barack made it a global issue by pointing out the revenues that are being funneled from drug trafficking into terrorist training camps abroad. 

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Calderon Places Blame for Drug Crime Epidemic at the Foot of the U.S.

13 Mexican soldiers are indicted for trafficking drugsshortly before Mexican President Calderon meets with President Obama and blames the drug problem on American consumption. Calderon_obama_drug_summit

Earlier this month President Felipe Calderon meet with President Obama to discuss the violent war on drugs in Mexico.   Also, the Mexican president was expected to defend the next phase of the nearly $1.5 billion U.S. anti-drug aid known as the “Merida Initiative.”

Shortly before this meeting took place, the Mexican Army had three junior officers and ten soldiers on trial for trafficking and organized drug charges, after they were allegedly caught with over a ton of methamphetamines and 66 pounds of cocaine.

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Mike Starr of Alice in Chains Dies of Drug Overdose

This week another rock star lost his battle with addiction.   Mike Starr, former bass player for Seattle-based Alice in Chains, was found dead in his Salt Lake City apartment.  Starr, who was 44, is reported to have mixed Methadone and anxiety medication just hours before his death.

MikeStarrODIn 2009, Mike Starr’s struggle with heroin addiction had taken place in the public eye on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.  Many people have questioned the effectiveness of the reality-show format used by Celebrity Rehab since addiction therapy is most often a private matter between the addicted person and his or her therapist.  Airing group therapy sessions on television adds another layer of complication to what is already a challenging process.

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Buju Banton – Facing 15 Years

– Update in June 2011 – Buju was sentenced to 10 years which he will be serving near Miami – ed.

Grammy award winning Buju Banton faces 15 years in prison after he was found guilty for cocaine drug charges.

Mark Anthony Myrie is 37 and is much better known as Buju Banton – a Grammy award winner for best reggae album of the year, entitled “Before the Dawn.”

Banton was arrested December 10, 2009, in his Florida home. He is being charged with:

– conspiracy to obtain with intent to distribute five or more kilos of cocaine

– possessing a firearm during the commissions of the drug trafficking crime using communication facilities during the commissions of the drug trafficking

According to a report given by the DEA, Banton and two other individuals Ian Thomas and James Mack, were video taped in an undercover operation in Sarasota Florida on December 8, 2009. The recording revealed that the three were attempting to buy five kilos of cocaine for distribution. In the audio recording Banton asks government informant Alexander Johnson, “Do you have any contacts where I can get cocaine?”

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weGrow: Californias Wall Mart of Weed

California’s legalization of marijuana for medical purposes has led to a number of strange stories, but perhaps none is stranger than this week’s grand opening of a “Wal-Mart of Weed” in the state capital.  The term “Wal-Mart of Weed” is the nickname for a new Sacramento retail store called weGrow, a 10,000-square-foot hydroponic gardening superstore that focuses on one crop – marijuana.

walmart of weed

Catering to Marijuana Farmers

Unlike other hydroponic stores that avoid any mention of marijuana, weGrow is immersed in pot culture.  It doesn’t sell marijuana, but it provides all the equipment that an aspiring marijuana farmer needs.  It purports to be in business for the 200,000 California residents who have obtained a prescription for legal medical marijuana.  Once a customer has shown a doctor’s prescription for marijuana, weGrow employees will offer advice on grow lights, nutrients and plant cultivation.  The store also offers online training at its University of Cannabis.

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Tell Us Something New About Relapses!

As the proverb says, it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow somebody some good. The Charlie Sheen debacle has been a media bonanza of headline-grabbing among every imaginable form of video, on-line, and print sources – each trying to outdo the other in sensationalism.charlie sheen

Tongues are wagging about porn stars, drugs, and hardcore partying, sometimes at the expense of Sheen’s privacy.

Weeding through the Hollywood hype, at least we find that many issues about addiction and recovery are sharing the spotlight along with Sheen’s wild behavior.

For example, CNN.com reported on 3 February 2011 that addiction is a disease characterized by a strong relapse potential. That noise you hear in the background is thousands of recovering addicts screaming, “Ya THINK? Tell us something we don’t know!”

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Marijuana: A Chronic History Documentary Part II

Read Part I about the History Channel Documentary: Marijuana – A Chronic History

Take The Marijuana Quiz

Marijuana History

The History Channel documentary then chronicles the history of marijuana in the world and in the U.S. It has long been used for medicinal, utilitarian, and recreational purposes.

anslingerAncient cultures used it to treat malaria and rheumatism. China was the exported the plant to Europe wehre it was greatly celebrated.

Then, according to Melissa Etheridge, “it came to America 300 years ago   with settlers.”

In Virginia the there were laws were created by the King of England who fined people that grew the more profitable tobacco instead of hemp for England.

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