Harm Reduction: Responding to Wave of Fentanyl Overdose Deaths, Senator Durbin Proposes OD Prevention Bill 6/30/06

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With Chicago among the major cities suffering a wave of overdose deaths from heroin cut with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate, Illinois Senator Richard Durbin is proposing legislation to send federal funds to state-designed overdose prevention programs in a bid to cut the death toll. Hundreds of people have died since last fall, with major outbreaks in the past two months in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard.

Sen. Durbin
Introduced June 22, the Drug Overdose Reduction Act would earmark federal funds for training first responders, law enforcement and corrections personnel, and "people affected by drug abuse" on effective responses to ODs and to implement programs to provide overdose prevention, recognition, treatment to overdose victims. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 28,000 people died of drug-related causes last year. The bill would also require the CDC to develop a comprehensive anti-drug plan.

The Drug Policy Alliance had prodded Durbin to act and welcomed the bill's introduction. "Many policymakers have been sitting on their hands while people lose their loved ones to drug overdose, but Sen. Durbin has taken decisive action to save lives," said Bill Piper, DPA's director of national affairs."

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Issue #442 -- 6/30/06

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Feature: Reefer Madness from the United Nations on International Anti-Drug Day | Feature: Summer Music Festival Season is Here, and So Are Police Checkpoints -- Know Your Rights! | Follow-Up: Medical Marijuana Gains Support in Congress -- Slightly -- Some Surprises | DRCNet Book Review: Race to Incarcerate, Revised Edition," by Marc Mauer (2006, The New Press, $15.95 PB) | "Scoops" in Drug War Chronicle Last Week | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Law Enforcement: Revelation of Major Sleaze Among "Operation Lively Green" Informants, Cover-Up by FBI Agent | Newsbrief: California Legislature Votes to Gut Prop. 36 -- Court Challenge Imminent | Harm Reduction: Responding to Wave of Fentanyl Overdose Deaths, Senator Durbin Proposes OD Prevention Bill | Hemp: California Industrial Hemp Bill Wins Another Committee Vote | Europe: Italian Ministers Announce Drug Law Revisions | Southwest Asia: Iranian Official Says Country Could Ignore Drug Traffickers if UN Doesn't Up Anti-Drug Aid | Web Scan: Government Waste, Len Bias Legacy, World Drug Report, Zogby Poll, John Stossel, Steph Sherer, Nathan Riley | Weekly: This Week in History | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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