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In the opium capital of the world, very late lessons in drug enforcement

Localização: 
Kabul
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
International Herald Tribune (France)
URL: 
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/15/asia/opium.php

Public Health: DEA Puts Fentanyl OD Death Toll at More Than a Thousand

Last year's wave of overdose deaths from heroin cut with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid pain reliever, killed more than a thousand people, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The deaths began early in the year in the Mid-Atlantic states before spreading to the Midwest, with significant clusters in Chicago and Detroit.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/fentanyl-packet.jpg
fentanyl packet
Early official responses to the wave of deaths was slow and spotty, but concern spread as the death toll mounted. By December, more than 120 public health experts signed an open letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt calling for a more aggressive response. The deaths have continued, but not at the torrid pace of last fall and summer.

The DEA estimate of the death toll came in an interim rule regulating a fentanyl precursor chemical, N-phenethyl-4-piperidone (NPP), published in
Monday's federal register. "The recent distribution of illicitly manufactured fentanyl has caused an unprecedented outbreak of hundreds of suspected fentanyl-related overdoses, at least 972 confirmed fentanyl-related deaths, and 162 suspected fentanyl-related deaths occurring mostly in Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania," the agency reported.

Noting that fentanyl is 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin, the DEA went on to warn of its dangers. "The legitimate medical use of fentanyl is for anesthesia and analgesia, but fentanyl's euphoric effects are highly sought after by narcotic addicts," the agency explained. "Fentanyl can serve as a direct pharmacological substitute for heroin in opioid dependent individuals. However, fentanyl is a very dangerous substitute for heroin because the amount that produces a euphoric effect also induces respiratory depression. Furthermore, due to fentanyl's increased potency over heroin, illicit drug dealers have trouble adjusting ("cutting") pure fentanyl into proper dosage concentrations. As a result, unsuspecting heroin users or heroin users who know the substance contains fentanyl have difficulty determining how much to take to get their "high" and mistakenly take a lethal quantity of the fentanyl. Unfortunately, only a slight excess in the amount of fentanyl taken can be, and is often, lethal because the resulting level of respiratory depression is sufficient to cause the user to stop breathing."

The death toll suggests the DEA is not exaggerating in this instance. Let's be careful out there, kids.

CA: Overdose Bill Moves Forward: Unanimous Judiciary Committee Support

[Courtesy of the Harm Reduction Coalition] For Immediate Release: May 8, 2007 Contact: Emalie Huriaux, tel: 510-469-7941 Overdose Bill Moves Forward: Unanimous Judiciary Committee Support SACRAMENTO - California Senate Bill (SB) 767, the Overdose Treatment Liability Act, cosponsored by the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC), a national health and human rights advocacy group working to reduce drug-related harm, and the County of Los Angeles passed the bipartisan California Senate Judiciary Committee today in a 5-to-0 vote. SB 767 will make it easier for health care professionals to participate in comprehensive drug overdose prevention programs that prescribe the opioid antagonist naloxone, thereby removing a large obstacle to the creation and expansion of such programs in California. This proposed legislation will also make it easier to get opioid antagonists into the hands of the people who are the most likely to be bystanders to opioid overdoses, increasing the likelihood that people overdosing on opioids will receive naloxone promptly. Emalie Huriaux, HRC's Overdose Project Manager stated after the unanimous vote, "We are pleasantly surprised. Liability legislation rarely gets support from the Senate Judiciary Committee. This vote shows that committee members understand the lifesaving effects SB 767 will have." Sandi McClure, a member of the Los Angeles Overdose Taskforce, delivered powerful testimony about the loss of her daughter, Jennifer, 15 months ago to a heroin overdose, and how access to naloxone may have saved her life. In addition, Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Medical Director for the County of Los Angeles, spoke about the drug overdose epidemic in Los Angeles and throughout the country. Although naloxone is a very safe drug and recent studies have proven that lay people, with appropriate training, can safely and properly administer it, some clinicians are concerned about prescribing take-home naloxone for use by lay people. Clinicians voice concerns that patients may use naloxone on a third party experiencing an overdose and, in the event of an adverse reaction, the clinician could be held liable. In recent years, New York, New Mexico, and Connecticut have enacted legislation similar to SB 767 to protect licensed health care professionals from civil and criminal liability when prescribing take-home opioid antagonists. Since November 2003, HRC's Overdose Project has collaborated with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to provide overdose prevention, recognition, and response training, including naloxone prescriptions, to people at risk for experiencing an opioid overdose. To date, this collaboration has provided training and prescriptions to nearly 1,000 people and heard reports from 250 of them that they used naloxone in an overdose situation. Drug overdose, which is entirely preventable, is the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States. When a person overdoses on opioids (heroin, morphine, methadone, oxycontin, etc.), he/she is rendered unconscious and is in danger of dying because the opioids slow down, and eventually stop, the person's breathing. Naloxone counteracts life-threatening depression of the central nervous and respiratory systems caused by an opioid overdose, allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally. Currently, naloxone can be prescribed only by licensed health care professionals, and has the same level of regulation as prescription ibuprofen. SB 767 protects providers who prescribe take-home naloxone, facilitating greater access to lifesaving medicine for people experiencing opioid overdoses. The bill will be heard later this month by the Senate Appropriations Committee and, if passed, will move on for a vote by the entire Senate later this year. # # # # For more information about the Harm Reduction Coalition, visit http://www.harmreduction.org.
Localização: 
Sacramento, CA
United States

Afghan fighters processing opium to boost drug profits: US official

Localização: 
Brussels
Belgium
Publication/Source: 
EUbusiness (UK)
URL: 
http://www.eubusiness.com/news_live/1178636419.5

U.S. will limit use of fentanyl ingredient

Localização: 
Washington, DC
United States
Publication/Source: 
Detroit Free Press
URL: 
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070508/NEWS05/705080338/1007

US drugs czar urges Europeans to use influence with Venezuela to help reduce cocaine flows

Localização: 
Brussels
Belgium
Publication/Source: 
International Herald Tribune (France)
URL: 
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/05/08/europe/EU-GEN-EU-US-Drugs.php

More overdoses seen as heroin grows stronger

Localização: 
Torrington, CT
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Register Citizen (CT)
URL: 
http://www.registercitizen.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18308588&BRD=1652&PAG=461&dept_id=12530&rfi=6

Americans losing the war on Afghan opium

Localização: 
HEL
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
The Hamilton Spectator (Canada)
URL: 
http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=hamilton/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1178081118833&call_pageid=1020420665036&col=1112188062581

Afghanistan, Plan Colombia and Drug Eradication: Problems and Solutions

Recent increases in opium production in Afghanistan presents a Catch-22 to U.S. policymakers. On the one hand, a November 2006 United Nations and World Bank report found that forced eradication of opium crops is driving poor Afghans into the hands of the Taliban, empowering crime syndicates and destabilizing the country. On the other hand, doing nothing about the heroin trade allows major drug traffickers to enrich themselves unfettered. Is there a third option? Rep. Carnahan has suggested licensing Afghan farmers to grow opium for legal pain medications, the way the international community diminished the drug trafficking problem in India and Turkey. Senator Sununu has suggested the U.S. buy the opium crops from the farmers and destroy them. Senator Biden has suggested switching the focus away from poor farmers towards disrupting the drug cartels that are moving the drugs. Some experts suggest building roads and schools and providing alternative employment to poor Afghans. Others suggest ending drug prohibition all together. This panel explores the problems posed by both opium production and opium eradication and offers possible solutions. It looks at not only what is going on in Afghanistan right now, but lessons that can be learned from eradication policies in Latin America and elsewhere. Speakers include: Vanda Felbab-Brown, Ph.D. - Research Fellow at the the Brookings Institution Ted Galen Carpenter - Vice President for Foreign Policy and Defense Studies at the Cato Institute Ethan Nadelmann – Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance Sanho Tree – Director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Please RSVP to Grant Smith at [email protected] or 202-216-0035. Space is Limited. Snacks and beverages provided
Data: 
Tue, 04/24/2007 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Localização: 
Washington, DC
United States

The First World Conference on Medication Assisted Treatment of Opiate Addiction

It is an honour and a pleasure to invite you to The First World Conference on Medication Assisted Treatment of Opiate Addiction with Inaugural Meeting – World Federation for the Associations for the Treatment of Opiod Dependence. We greatly appreciate the honour to organise a three-day interdisciplinary conference with the presentation of practice, drug policy research and evaluation, in the field of medical assisted treatment of opiate addiction (substitution treatment). The Inaugural Meeting of the World Federation of the Associations for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence would be the opportunity to get a partner to other international organisations in dialog for advocating for substitution treatment and a forum for scientific and policy discussion. Every international, national, city and community organisation or individual working in this field is welcome to join federation, so please give us a hand. We are delighted that so many distinguished world experts, clinicians, researchers and other professionals, members of users’ organisations, and others involved in the field have already agreed to attend. We will create every opportunity for a lively debate, from plenary and major meetings to small-scale workshops, and from debating sessions to round tables and forum discussions, so we really count on your participation and would be delighted to hear from you - your thoughts, comments, questions, and suggestions, which will be given proper consideration. You are invited to present different practices: in your country, city, communities, prisons and/or organisations, networks or at your own. You can present your research, good practices or obstacles in developing and scaling up substitution treatment. Slovenia's location between Europe's East and West and its diversity - a touch of the Mediterranean, the Alpine peaks and valleys with clear streams and lush forests, the Pannonian plain opening to the East - as well as its cultural heritage and the proverbial hospitality of the people, can likewise contribute appreciably to a successful acceptance and exchange of different views, and perhaps even to opening new horizons. We know we can make this event a most useful, enjoyable, and memorable experience for you. For registration and more information, see http://www.seea.net/conference-07/2007/index.htm.
Data: 
Sun, 07/01/2007 - 9:00am - Tue, 07/03/2007 - 7:00pm
Localização: 
Ljubljana
Slovenia

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