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(KY) This Week at the State Capitol


For Immediate Release

February 17, 2017

This Week at the State Capitol

February 13 – 17, 2017

FRANKFORT — Headlines in recent days have made it clear that Kentucky’s problems with heroin, other illegal opioids and prescription drug abuse, continue to take lives and devastate communities at a shocking rate.

In-state newspapers have recently reported the more than 52 drug overdoses occurred over a 32-hour period in Louisville, and nine overdose calls came in over 12 hours in Madison County. A national publication reported that one rural Kentucky county filled enough prescriptions over 12 months to supply 150 doses of painkillers to every person in the county.

The same conversations held across the state about the way the drug crisis is impacting the court system, police, health care workers, treatment facilities, social workers, prison officials and families are also being held in the State Capitol. Those deliberations resulted in a number of bills aimed at addressing the issue, including several bills that took steps forward in the legislative process this week.

On Tuesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 14, which is aimed at getting drug dealers off the streets by strengthening penalties for trafficking in heroin and fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Under the legislation, which was approved on a 36-0 vote, trafficking in less than two grams of these substances would be elevated to a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison.

Later in the week, a pair of bills addressing the drug crises were also approved in the House committees.

House Bill 333 would make it a felony to illegally sell or distribute any amount of fentanyl, carfentanil – a powerful opioid intended for large animals – and related drugs. Trafficking any amount of these drugs could result in up to 10 years in prison under the legislation. The bill would also restrict prescriptions for some painkillers to a three-day supply, though exceptions would be allowed in some circumstances. House Bill 333 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and now goes to the full House for consideration.

The House Education Committee approved House Bill 145, which would help fight opioid addiction by requiring that public school students be educated about the dangers of prescription pain killers and their connection to addiction to heroin and other drugs.

Bills on other issues that advanced in the General Assembly this week include the following:

· Senate Bill 1 is a sweeping education reform measure that sets the course to change educational standards and accountability for public schools. The more than 100-page-long bill is an omnibus measure aimed at empowering state education officials, locally-elected school board members and teachers to decide the best teaching methods for their communities. It would set up several committees and advisory panels to review educational standards. The bill would change how students are tested, and it would also set up a new way for intervening in low-performing schools by placing more power in the local school district during those interventions. The bill passed the Senate on a 35-0 vote and now goes to the House for consideration.

· House Bill 14 would give police, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel protection under the state’s hate crime statutes. Under the bill, those who assault, kidnap, or commit certain other violent offenses against first responders could face stricter sentencing in court. Currently only the legally-protected classes of race, color, religion and national origin, as well as sexual orientation, are covered under the state’s hate crime statute. House Bill 14 passed the House on a 77-13-1 vote and has been sent to the Senate.

· Senate Bill 78 would require public schools across Kentucky would to go smoke-free by next school year. The bill would outlaw the use of all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, on elementary, middle and high school campuses in addition to buses. The bill was approved by the Senate on a 25-8-2 and has been sent to the House.

· Senate Bill 75 would increase the amount donors can contribute to election campaigns. Under the legislation, individuals and political action committees could donate $2,000 in the primary and general elections in Kentucky– up from the $1,000 limit. The bill passed the Senate on a 27-10 vote and has been delivered to the House.

· House Bill 192 would make it easier for 16- and 17-year-olds in foster care to apply for driver’s permits and driver’s licenses. The bill, which passed 96-0 before being sent to the Senate,  would allow those in foster care to get a driver’s license or permit without requiring them to have a parent’s or other adult’s signature on the permit or license applications.

Members of the General Assembly are eager to receive feedback on the issues under consideration. You can share your thoughts with lawmakers by calling the General Assembly’s toll-free message line at 800-372-7181.

You can also write any legislator by sending a letter with the lawmaker’s name to: Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601.

–END–

How police tracked down a suspected heroin dealer after a rash of overdoses in Nicholasville


By Karla Ward

kward1@herald-leader.com

 

When a narcotics detective with the Nicholasville Police Department heard about a surge in heroin overdoses in Jessamine County this week, he got busy.

The detective, also a task force officer with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, notified Nicholasville Emergency Medical Services Tuesday that if there were more suspected heroin overdoses, he wanted to be notified. Within two hours, he got a call about a crash involving a suspected overdose.

Court records show that the police work that followed resulted in a federal charge Thursday against a suspected drug dealer. Jeffrey James Ruggiero was charged in U.S. District Court in Lexington with possession of heroin with intent to distribute. His first court appearance was scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday.

According to an affidavit, the chain of events began when emergency workers arrived on Southbrook Drive in Nicholasville at 7:02 p.m. Tuesday and found a driver, Nathaniel Brezeale, “in obvious distress with agonal breathing and eyes closed.”

Suspecting an overdose, they administered 3 milligrams of Naloxone, and the man revived.

Brezeale’s girlfriend told investigators “that he had a substance abuse problem” and that before the accident, they had been to a double-wide mobile home in Garrard County, where Brezeale went inside alone and stayed for about 10 minutes.

While driving back to Nicholasville, Brezeale began to act strangely, so she asked him to pull over. When he did, the vehicle’s front wheels went over a curb. Passersby called emergency crews.

Two DEA task force officers went to St. Joseph Jessamine and interviewed Brezeale, who told them that he had called Ruggiero that night and asked about buying heroin. He had bought from Ruggiero before, he said.

When Brezeale got to the mobile home, he told investigators, he paid $25 for a tenth of a gram of heroin, which he said Ruggiero took from a larger plastic bag of heroin. Ruggiero placed the heroin onto a piece of paper, and Brezeale snorted it before he left.

A DEA special agent went to Lancaster, found the mobile home and began surveillance about 9:40 p.m., according to the affidavit.

About five minutes later, a Chevrolet Impala left the mobile home heading toward Nicholasville, and the special agent followed. He called Nicholasville police and asked for help. Officers clocked the Impala going 64 mph in a 55 mph zone.

The Impala was stopped, but the driver wouldn’t cooperate. However, “a Nicholasville K-9 was presented to the vehicle and a positive alert was noted. A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in a quantity of suspected heroin being seized,” the affidavit states.

After that, a search warrant was obtained for the mobile home on Carlotta Drive.

Just before midnight Tuesday, about five hours after Brezeale’s accident, officers from the DEA in Lexington, the Nicholasville police detective bureau and Kentucky State Police went to the mobile home and detained Ruggiero while they searched the home and outbuildings.

Police seized about 1 gram of suspected heroin, plus prescription medication, several sets of digital scales and packaging material, and Ruggiero admitted that he had sold heroin to Nathaniel Brezeale earlier in the day, according to the affidavit.

Emergency crews responded to nine overdoses in Jessamine County in a 24-hour period Monday and Tuesday.

Karla Ward: 859-231-3314, @HLpublicsafety

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/crime/article126283869.html#emlnl=Morning_Newsletter#storylink=cpy

It’s not just about Marijuana, anymore…We are in a war for the right to food and water


 

Above:  Old bottle of Paregoric. Circa 1940s. The large red X on the label indicates that it was classified as an “exempt narcotic”, sold without prescription even though it contains morphine. Until 1970, paregoric could be purchased in the United States at a pharmacy without a medical prescription, in accordance with federal law.  Credit: Wikipedia

 

While you are reading this article, listen to THIS VIDEO OF GATEWOOD GALBRAITH – It may change your life!

 

It’s not just about Marijuana, anymore…

Oddly enough, I never believed that it was.  I was filmed in an interview by a couple in Cincinnati in 2005 who asked me why I was in this ‘movement’.  My reply was that it was because I wanted to know the REAL truth about why Marijuana was illegal because it damn sure wasn’t because someone wanted to sell timber and Newspapers.  “This is just a very small part of a much bigger agenda”, I told her.  I wish I had a copy of that interview!

When the 2014 Farm Bill was passed many businesses started up because of the fact that Hemp was officially allowed to be grown and sold, under specific guidelines of course, but nonetheless grown and sold. 

When I first started out writing about Cannabis prohibition I wasn’t too overly concerned about Agenda 21 and the taking of our rights to farm, have and/or use any kind of plant, I thought they were just after the “narcotics”.  It didn’t take too long to figure out that this just wasn’t the case.  But there were very few people who understood the ramifications of Agenda 21 and it’s far reaching effects out there, and even fewer who wanted to hear about it because everyone was under the impression that the U.N. and our own Government was there to protect us and they “wouldn’t do something like that”.  I was a “conspiracy theorist”.

The public is kept pretty much in the dark about what is happening at the U.N., because there is so many branches, divisions, offices, lack of media news coverage and also just the fact that most people work and have kids and do not have the time to sit down and listen to the news everyday, and then research it out on the internet!  They are just now beginning to see the effects of what I believe was a “test case” when the U.N., effectively made it illegal to consume Cannabis.  A test case for what?  Their ability to be able to control and regulate every plant known to man, especially the ones that can be consumed by us for food and medicine, i.e., Cannabis and Hemp, and to watch what our reaction would be.  How hard was it going to be to regulate us and contain us?  Apparently, it wasn’t too hard.

First, a little background on the U.N. and Agenda 21 because that is where they have Cannabis/Marijuana (and the rest of our food and medicinal plants) wrapped up:

The “League of Nations“, founded in 1920, was the start of what would become the “United Nations” in 1941.  The U.N. is responsible for Agenda 21 (Agenda 2030).  The U.N. is also responsible for the UNODC (U.N. Office of Drug Control), and the DEA is an extension of that, used to enforce drug regulation and drug law in the U.S. 

Roosevelt suggested the name (United Nations) as an alternative to “Associated Powers”

The U.N. was set up as a guise and sold to the people as a way …

…to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands.

The United States is a signatory country to Agenda 21, but because Agenda 21 is a legally non-binding statement of intent and not a treaty, the United States Senate did not hold a formal debate or vote on it. It is therefore not considered to be law under Article Six of the United States Constitution. President George H. W. Bush was one of the 178 heads of government who signed the final text of the agreement at the Earth Summit in 1992.

Are we fighting a war that we just cannot win?

March 19, 1991: Plant Breeders’ Rights Extended in Newly Revised UPOV Convention

Revisions to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants strengthen the intellectual property rights of seed developers. The convention was created in 1961 and is one of several international conventions and treaties that operate under the umbrella of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The convention’s governing body is the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). The newly revised UPOV agreement extends the term of plant breeders’ intellectual property protections for new varieties from 15 years to 20 years. It also prohibits farmers from saving seeds, though there is an optional clause that allows member countries to exempt farmers from this restriction under certain conditions. For example, the clause says the restrictions can be waived if member countries implement other mechanisms that provide equivalent protections for the “legitimate interests of the breeder.”

The top 10 seed companies account for $14,785 million – or two-thirds (67%) of the global proprietary seed market.  The world’s largest seed company, Monsanto, accounts for almost one-quarter (23%) of the global proprietary seed market.  The top 3 companies (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta) together account for $10,282 million, or 47% of the worldwide proprietary seed market.

Obviously it is  not just about Cannabis, although that is the focus of the drug war because of its illegality causing so many hundreds of thousands or more innocent people to be hurt, imprisoned, even killed and executed over a “treaty” that the U.S. and other signatories used to start the biggest control scheme ever brought down on mainstream humanity, as a whole.  The war over the right to plants.

There is an interesting article about the “top ten” used to be legal drugs on a site called TOPTENZ.  But that is only the beginning of a long list of plants which have been controlled since the beginning of the 20th Century and especially after 1970.  Thank you, President Nixon!  The DEA is the enforcement agency for the UNODC. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration was created by President Richard Nixon through an Executive Order in July 1973 in order to establish a single unified command to combat “an all-out global war on the drug menace.”

RELATED:  “Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

In 1970 the Controlled Substances Act served as the national implementing legislation for the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs   which was/is an international U.N. treaty  to prohibit production and supply of narcotic drugs and directs that they cannot be sold or used except under certain conditions as set forth by the U.N. for medical treatment .

Through this link CBD’s have officially been placed into Schedule I of the CSA, essentially meaning that as it stands right now, effective January 13, 2017, it is illegal to sell any CBD product as a cosmetic or health care product of any kind.  Final Rule : Establishment of a New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract (December 14, 2016)

There will be a battle over this because the people who have started businesses based on the 2014 Farm Bill were under the impression that they were a legal business.  And as far as I am concerned the DEA, up until this point let them believe that they were. The “Hoban Law Group”, a leading Law Firm in the industry of Cannabis has already promised to debate this in Court.

Hoban surmises, “The feeling is that this is an action beyond the DEA’s authority and we believe this is unlawful and we are taking a course of action for our clients. This Final Rule serves to threaten hundreds, if not thousands, of growing businesses, with massive economic and industry expansion opportunities, all of which conduct lawful business in reliance upon the Federal Government also acting pursuant to law, and as ordered by the Ninth Circuit in 2003 and 2004. We will see the Federal Government in court.”

Meanwhile, the DEA imposes a new rule and the CBD Manufacturers and Sales will have to  fight it out in court while the little people watch and wait and are scared to open the door to police because they have CBD products in the house.  They could be charged with a crime and sent thru Hell in a handbasket.  But this feeds the system too.  Through the police, jails, courts and lawyers and the medical system, which will feed everyone else from the construction people who will build the jails, hospitals and offices though to the sanitation workers who pick up their garbage and other refuse.  The flow of commerce and paper money, the “Law of Commerce”.  In fact, The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 was the U.S. attempt to control and regulate narcotics through taxation and the Law of Commerce, in accordance with the 1912 Convention.  The Hague International Opium Convention in 1912 was the beginning to the U.N. control of “drugs” – and plants.

Congress has often used the Commerce Clause to justify exercising legislative power over the activities of states and their citizens

Who is ultimately responsible for the loss of our Human Rights?  Are we not all guilty because it has happened on our own watch, and our parents, and grandparents watch, and we just weren’t paying enough attention?  My Father was an avid watcher of the nightly news, on all two stations.  I was the remote control that he used to switch back and forth between them so that he could catch all of it, because he knew, even in the 1960’s that the media was only telling you what they wanted us to hear.

What could we have done differently?  Our Parents and Grandparents spent most of their lives fighting in WWI and WWII.  By the time they made it home from Iwo Jima they were not able to fight a war against their own government over plants and medicines.  They did not even realize that they needed to!  

What can we do in the future, or FOR the future?  For a start, the power of REPEAL should be utilized, all the way back to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs  in 1961, if not before.  Timothy Leary was successful in getting the 1937 Tax Act on Cannabis Repealed.  However, this did not happen until 1969 and by early 1970’s the CSA was born. 

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is the statute establishing federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain substances is regulated. It was passed by the 91st United States Congress as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 and signed into law by President Richard Nixon.[1] The Act also served as the national implementing legislation for the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.  The legislation created five Schedules (classifications), with varying qualifications for a substance to be included in each. Two federal agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, determine which substances are added to or removed from the various schedules…

During the last decade, opposition to Agenda 21 has increased within the United States at the local, state, and federal levels.[18] The Republican National Committee has adopted a resolution opposing Agenda 21, and the Republican Party platform stated that “We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty.”

If things are to change around the world and in the U.S. on a peaceful basis, everyone is going to have to pay attention and get political!  I really do not know how to tell everyone to begin, especially those who work two jobs and still can’t afford a place to live for their families.  At the same time they are slaving to provide, they are going to have to pay attention and get political to change things. (?)  There is only 24 hours in a day, and that is what the U.N. is banking on.  That we just do not have enough time to figure the plan out and do anything about it, because we are all too tired from just trying to survive!  In a video by the late great Attorney Gatewood Galbraith (KY), he said;  “if you don’t get political, it will end up in the streets, and nobody wants to go there”…

The only other choice is just to ignore the “Law” around you and live as you can…until you get caught.  Then you end up property of the “correctional institute” of THEIR choice.

#GodBlessYouALL

Sk

 

 

For thought…

When chocolate was first discovered in the New World, the almighty Roman Catholic Church banned it as an addictive, mind- altering, sexually-stimulating drug. Well, it is. Now it is eaten by billions of people, even nuns and virgins, without people going rabid sexually.

If George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were alive today, they would both be facing a Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 5-40 years in Federal Prison for growing more than 100 Cannabis plants at their homes; Ben Franklin would be in prison simply because he was an opium addict, as would most of our Founding Fathers of America who used opium and hemp, had home alcohol stills, and illegally smuggled rum and moonshine to avoid taxes.

It would not stretch matters to say that the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 (P.L. 59-384, 34 Stat. 768), also known as the Wiley Act, stands as the most consequential regulatory statute in the history of the United States. The act not only gave unprecedented new regulatory powers to the federal government, it also empowered a bureau that evolved into today’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The legacy of the 1906 act includes federal regulatory authority over one-quarter of gross domestic product, and includes market gatekeeping power over human and animal drugs, foods and preservatives, medical devices, biologics and vaccines.

 

 

 

#Hastags:

#EndDEA #EndProhibition #ReformUN #EndDeathPenalty  #REPEALtheCSA   #PlantsRights #VeteransRights #ChildrensRights #PrisonersRights #USMJParty

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paregoric 

 

https://usmarijuanaparty.net/history/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_Nations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Nations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Six_of_the_United_States_Constitution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush

http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-drugs-that-used-to-be-legal.php

https://www.dea.gov/about/history.shtml

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/10/26/rights-and-freedoms-may-in-no-case-be-exercised-contrary-to-purposes-and-principles-of-the-united-nations-how-the-united-nations-is-stealing-our-unalienable-rights-to-grow/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_Substances_Act

https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2016/fr1214.htm

http://m.marketwired.com/press-release/dea-hurts-growing-industry-exceeds-its-authority-regarding-scheduling-controlled-substances-2183399.htm

http://www.votehemp.com/2014_farm_bill_section_7606.html

 https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2016/12/20/899140/0/en/Earth-Science-Tech-Announces-the-Development-of-3-New-Advanced-Formulated-Cannabis-CBD-Nutraceuticals-and-2-Cannabis-CBD-Based-Pharmaceutical-Drugs-under-its-Cannabis-CBD-Patent-IP.html

http://thelawdictionary.org/commerce/

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/commerce_clause

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leary_v._United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Leary

http://www.goodmedicinebadbehavior.org/explore/history_of_prescription_drugs.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Narcotics_Tax_Act

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/the-1912-hague-international-opium-convention.html

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Iwo_Jima

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5moSy-Ooouk

 

Apparent overdose in Ohio McDonald’s parking lot captured on Facebook live


 

 

 

Alyssa Raymond, WKYC 12:30 PM. CST November 19, 2016

SANDUSKY – A desperate search for help from the man seen in a Facebook Live stream who overdosed in a McDonald’s Parking lot in Sandusky Thursday evening.

The video and the man’s story are a powerful reminder of the heroin and opioid epidemic here in Northeast Ohio. The problem is real and so we want to warn you that we wanted to show you a clear picture, which some of you may find hard to watch. 

But the man on the ground and his family say they are glad this video is out there.

This is real life and people are dying. 

There have been 30 overdoses in 30 days in Sandusky.  Four people died. 

The family of the man you see on the ground wants everyone to share this story and this video.  They want the truth about heroin out there.

In an eleven and a half minute Facebook Live stream, you see a 27-year-old man gasping for air after overdosing on heroin.  That man lying there, seemingly lifeless, is Michael Williams.  Like so many, he watched the video over and over again.

“I was fighting back the tears,” said Michael Williams.  “I got goosebumps and teary eyed.  Like I said, I am a strong individual, and it was hard to watch.”

His older sister, Amber Roesch, found it hard to watch too.

“Watch that video and share it because that is terrifying,” said Roesch.

She hopes users all over the country see what happened to her brother.

“I do not want to have to bury him,” said Roesch.  “He needs help now.”

Amber says a week ago he told her he needed help, and he said it again today.

“I definitely have a problem,” said Williams.  “If I could get the help right now, I would definitely go.  I need it I want it.”

Michael’s family expected the worse when they received that phone call.  But EMS and Narcan saved his life.  Amber says they tried to thank everyone including Eddie Wimbley, the man who recorded it all.

“I hope it is like a wakeup call,” said Wimbley.  “I just do not understand how people can do something knowing that they could possibly die.”

Michael says he started using heroin four months ago.  Before that, he drank a lot and took pain pills.  But when he lost his job, he turned to something cheaper.  Michael will tell you, he never thought it would happen to him, but it did.

You might be wondering why Williams can’t just go out and get the help he needs.  He says he recently lost his job so he does not have insurance and he was told a lot of places would not take Medicaid.  His family told me it costs around $800 a day for him to go to an inpatient facility, which they say that’s what he needs, but cannot afford.

CONTINUE READING AND TO SEE VIDEO!

JCPS senior receives national recognition from Girl Scouts for heroin documentary


Posted: Nov 07, 2016 11:59 AM CST Updated: Nov 07, 2016 11:59 AM CST

Hannah Gadd Hannah Gadd

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Jefferson County Public Schools senior who created a documentary about heroin addiction has received national recognition from the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Hannah Gadd, a student at Louisville Male High School, has been named a 2016 National Young Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts.

Hannah worked with her mom, Julie Mattingly Gadd, to produce a documentary called Heroin: Drug of Sorrow, after the Sept. 29, 2013 death of her 32-year-old uncle, Jonathan Mattingly, from a heroin overdose. The film was was created to educate and raise awareness about the drug epidemic in the Louisville community, while at the same time providing educational resources for teachers and community organizations. The documentary was eventually added to the JCPS video library and shown at a community viewing party, attended by school board members and state representatives.

Hannah’s selection as a 2016 National Young Woman of Distinction means that she is among 10 Girl Scouts chosen from thousands in grades 9-12 who have received their Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.

“National Young Women of Distinction transform an idea and vision for change into an actionable plan with measurable, sustainable, and far-reaching impact at the local, national, and global levels,” a news release from the Girl Scouts of the USA states. “From creating an original comic book to support siblings of individuals with special needs, to developing a mock diagnostic activity to help young people learn about Ebola, the actions of these girls show how they’re taking the lead to solve today’s pressing issues, both in the United States and around the globe.”

To see a complete list of 2016 National Young Women of Distinction, CLICK HERE.

In many ways, Hannah doesn’t want to remember the pain and heartache that Sept. 29, 2013, brought to her family.

Hannah was at home with her parents when she found out that her 32-year-old uncle, Jonathan Mattingly, was found dead in his Fern Creek apartment. 

“I lost my uncle to a heroin overdose,” the 18-year-old told WDRB back in January. “We didn’t know he was using heroin, I had never heard the word heroin until his autopsy report.”

“When I saw the effects this passing did to my family, it was horrific and heart-wrenching,” she says. “No other family should have to deal with what we went through.”

Four months after her uncle’s death, Hannah decided she wasn’t going to let her family’s experience be in vain.

She began working with her mom, Julie Mattingly Gadd, to produce the documentary.

The video, shot by professional photographer Michael Clevenger, features interviews Hannah conducted with Kentucky Chief Medical Examiner Tracey Corey, Louisville EMS Major Jenny Cravens and current drug users. She also shares the stories of five families changed by heroin.

One of those families is that of Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell, whose son Matt O’Connell, died of a heroin overdose in May 2014.

“He was great, he had a lot of friends…a great personality,” O’Connell says in the video. “It is a big dark black hole that has not been replaced.”

Heroin: Drug of Sorrow began as a community service project Hannah could submit for the Girl Scout Gold Award. In the project, she had to find a problem in the community and come up with a solution.

“In reaching out to the community, I saw first hand that this was a bigger problem and I saw there needed to be a solution,” she said. “There is no other way to bring a solution other than to bring education to our youth.”

Hannah said a few years ago, Jefferson County Public Schools began showing suicide prevention videos to students at the start of the school year.

“It seemed to have an effect on people,” she said. “I thought it would be a good idea to spread awareness about drug abuse.”

Hannah said she started with JCPS, “because I had to have an advisor, someone to help me say the video would be used in middle and high schools.”

“Then I started to find people who wouldn’t mind being interviewed that had lost a loved one,” she said.

It took her months to find families impacted by heroin and to earn their trust in order to tell their story.

Two years and over 100 hours later, the documentary is now complete. 

On Jan. 5, it premiered during a remembrance ceremony at Fern Creek Baptist Church.

Later that month, she shared it with all five of Todd Driskell’s freshmen health classes at Male High School.

“It speaks volumes of her boldness and her willingness,” said Driskell, who has been teaching health classes since 1990. “She could have done other things to reach her community service hours for her Girl Scout Award, but she chose something that is going to leave a legacy and impact.”

During the 24-minute video, several of the Male High students began to cry.

Afterward, Hannah did a presentation about the effects of heroin.

“One in every 10 students knows someone who is on drugs or is affected by the drugs in our community,” Hannah said. “I had someone come up to me during sixth period and tell me a story about his brother who is using drugs.”

Jonathan Mattingly grew up playing baseball and had a lot of friends. He had worked at Ford and was the proud owner of a Mustang, Hannah said. 

“He was a good guy, he had a great life,” Hannah said. “We loved him so much.”

Her family found out Mattingly had started with cigarettes, marijuana and then prescription painkillers when he was a teen and young adult. They believe he began using heroin about four or five months before his death.

“We didn’t know,” Hannah said. “I wish I would have known so I could have tried to do something to help him.”

Now she hopes her documentary will help others.

“We have a very serious problem in our community and kids need to be warned,” says Hannah’s mom, Julie Mattingly Gadd, an elementary teacher in JCPS. “I hope that kids will remember this.”

According to the Kentucky Office for Drug Control Policy, there were 204 overdose deaths in Jefferson County in 2014, which is up by 12 from 2013. 

Heroin can be injected, smoked in a water pipe, inhaled as smoke through a straw, or snorted as powder through the nose.

If you’re concerned that a family member or friend is using heroin, there are some signs you may detect. 

Pat Fogarty with the Healing Place, an addiction recovery center in Louisville, passed along this information: 

If a loved one is “sick” a lot with flu-like symptoms this is one sign.  Heroin is relatively fast acting and most need to use a few times a day to prevent going into withdrawal.  The user feels terrible and matches this with their looks.  

Also, when a heroin user is going through withdrawals, their pupils can become very dilated. When someone is on heroin, their pupils become restricted and pinpoint.  These are two very good methods for recognizing withdrawal and one who is high on opiates.

The textbook answer will be lack of motivation, legal troubles, family troubles, etc… With heroin use, people have a hard time functioning in a normal capacity as the chase for the next high consumes their life.

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Bayer and Monsanto: a marriage made in hell


US agriculture giant Monsanto has agreed to a US$66 billion takeover by German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer. If the deal is approved by international regulators, Bayer-Monsanto will become the world’s biggest agribusiness, controlling 29 percent of the global seed market and 24 percent of pesticides.

The companies have dismissed widespread concern about the deal among farmers and environmentalists as fear mongering. Separately, they claim, their products have contributed to a significant boost in crop yields over the past few decades. Together, they’ll be able to increase investment in research and development, driving the agricultural innovation necessary to meet the demands of a growing world population.

We can only imagine what kind of new health and environmental threats may lurk in the “step change” a company like Bayer-Monsanto will make in an effort to restore profits.

In assessing the claims and counterclaims, we would do well to heed the words of radical US historian Howard Zinn: “If you don’t know history, it is as if you were born yesterday. And if you were born yesterday, anybody up there in a position of power can you tell you anything, and you have no way of checking up on it”.

Monsanto’s horrible history

Monsanto is one of the world’s worst corporate criminals.

Founded in 1901 in St Louis, Missouri, as a producer of artificial sweetener for Coca-Cola, Monsanto had its first big break in the 1930s, when it established itself as the sole US manufacturer of polychlorinated biphenyls, otherwise known as PCBs.

Monsanto’s profits soared. Evidence quickly mounted, however, that the chemicals were highly toxic and carcinogenic. As early as 1955, an internal document acknowledged, “We know Aroclors [PCBs] are toxic but the actual limit has not been precisely defined”. Nevertheless, the company continued producing PCBs until they were finally banned by the US government in 1979.

During World War II, Monsanto partnered with the US government on the Manhattan Project to produce the world’s first nuclear weapon, turning over one of their labs to the manufacture of polonium – a highly radioactive substance composing part of the ignition mechanism for the bomb.

In the 1960s, Monsanto was one of the main producers of Agent Orange – the chemical used by the US military to defoliate vast swathes of jungle during the Vietnam War. It contained a highly toxic dioxin by-product, exposure to which is associated with reproductive and developmental problems, immune system damage, interference with hormones and cancer. Millions of Vietnamese people, and many US and allied country veterans, including Australians, continue to suffer the consequences to this day.

When it wasn’t busy with chemical warfare overseas, Monsanto was waging it at home. From the 1940s, it joined a number of other companies in producing vast quantities of the powerful insecticide DDT, the environmental and health effects of which – powerfully documented in Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring – led to it being banned in 1972.

In more recent times, Monsanto’s negative press has come mainly from its status as producer of the widely used herbicide Roundup. Roundup was first sold by Monsanto in 1974. However, until the mid-1990s its use was limited due to the fact that it killed many crops as well as weeds. This all changed after 1996, when Monsanto introduced its genetically modified “Roundup Ready” soybeans, followed by corn in 1998. Now farmers’ fields could be sprayed with herbicide without damaging the crop.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is now history’s most widely used agricultural chemical. In 1987, around 5 million kilograms of it were used on US farms. Today, that figure is 136 million. A 2015 study in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe calculated that, globally, 8.5 billion kilograms of it have been sprayed onto fields. Monsanto’s revenue from Roundup and associated products was nearly US$5 billion in 2015.

This is bad news for human health and the environment. As with PCBs, DDT and Agent Orange before it, it seems glyphosate may be another Monsanto contribution to the “cancer industry”. In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen, and the company is currently defending itself against numerous lawsuits from farmers with cancer.

Given the widespread, and increasing, use of Roundup in Australia and around the world, this may be just the start.

Bayer: heroin and Nazis

Bayer may not boast quite the array of crimes of its US counterpart, but the sheer depravity of those it has committed is unmatched.

The company was founded in Barmen, Germany, in 1863. From its original line of business – making dyes from coal – it expanded into a chemical and pharmaceutical giant. In 1897, Bayer developed aspirin, which became the world’s first mass-market drug.

Two weeks later, it stumbled across a new “wonder drug” – a stronger version of opium which it named “heroin”. For the next 15 years, heroin was freely marketed and sold around the world as “a sedative for coughs”. Ironically, it was also often prescribed by doctors to patients struggling with morphine addiction.

During the severe economic crisis that followed World War I, Bayer merged with a number of other chemical and pharmaceutical companies to form the giant conglomerate IG Farben. In the early 1930s, IG Farben was among the biggest corporate donors to the Nazis – helping them consolidate power.

During World War II, the company was rewarded for its support with contracts for the supply of synthetic rubber, fuel and explosives to the Nazis and other Axis powers. One of its main centres of wartime production was Auschwitz. There and elsewhere, it made ample use of the slave labour of prisoners in the Nazi death camps.However, this wasn’t the darkest chapter in its alliance with Nazism. Not only was it profiting from the forced labour of Jewish and other prisoners in the camps. It was also profiting from their murder. IG Farben owned a 42 percent stake in another company, Degesch, which manufactured Zyklon B – one of the main chemicals used in the Nazi gas chambers.

After the war, the IG Farben conglomerate was broken up, and Bayer emerged again as an independent entity. Was it sorry for the direct role it played in the holocaust? Evidently not.

In 1956, Bayer appointed Fritz ter Meer as its new company chair, a role he continued in until his retirement in 1961. During the war, as a member of the IG Farben board, ter Meer played a leading role in the planning and construction of the forced labour camps at Auschwitz. On the stand at the Nuremburg IG Farben trial in 1948, he claimed that no specific harm was inflicted on workers in the camps as “without this they would have been killed anyway”.

In a particularly grotesque touch, following ter Meer’s death in 1967, Bayer established the Fritz ter Meer Foundation (later renamed as the Bayer Science & Education Foundation), to provide scholarships to German chemistry students.

Neither did Bayer hesitate at the prospect of getting involved again in the chemical warfare industry. In the early 1950s,it established the US-based Mobay Chemical Corporation, a joint venture with – you guessed it – Monsanto, that went on to supply one of the key, dioxin-contaminated, ingredients of Agent Orange.

Finally, in the 1980s, it was one of a number of companies selling plasma-based haemophilia treatments that infected thousands of people with HIV.

Should we trust Bayer-Monsanto with the future of global agricultural production? On balance, probably not.

Concentration of capital

The Bayer-Monsanto deal is just one among three proposed mergers among the “Big 6” global seed and pesticide giants, which also include BASF, DuPont, Dow Chemical and Syngenta. Dow Chemical and DuPont announced a US$130 billion merger in December, and earlier this year Syngenta agreed to a US$43 billion sale to China National Chemical Corporation.

In 1994, the four biggest global seed companies controlled 21 percent of the market. If all the proposed mergers currently on the table are approved, just three giant companies – Bayer-Monsanto, ChemChina-Syngenta and Dow DuPont – will control 59 percent of the global seed market and 64 percent of pesticides.

In Capital, Karl Marx wrote about this process of concentration and centralisation. In the short term, it can spur technological development and productivity gains. In the long term, however, it’s part of the capitalist system’s inherent tendency to crisis.

The agricultural industry shows the contradiction. The current rash of mergers isn’t a sign of health. Rather, like the heady rush to agglomeration in the banking and financial sector in the run-up to the 2008-09 global financial crisis, it’s a sign of an industry stumbling towards its destructive limits.

Past innovation has helped boost yields to the point where the world is now experiencing a glut of many products. Prices have declined, and farmers are struggling to stay afloat.

The total income of US farmers has dropped from US$123.8 billion in 2013 to just $71.5 billion in 2016. This, in turn, has put the squeeze on the profits of companies like Monsanto, as farmers simply can’t afford to pay the high prices demanded for their products.

At the same time, it’s clear that a new wave of innovation is necessary for yields to continue to grow in the decades ahead. The possibly devastating long term health and environmental impacts of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer aren’t its only problem. It also, increasingly, doesn’t work. Weeds are developing resistance, and new products will be necessary to address this.

There is a kernel of truth in the Bayer-Monsanto PR spin: to sustain its business model, it needs to innovate. Innovation, however, is expensive. According to Monsanto’s chief technology officer, Robert Fraley, “Fifteen years ago, we spent $300 million on R&D. Today we spend $1.5 billion … To realise a step-change, agricultural companies will need to invest more”.

We can only imagine what kind of new health and environmental threats may lurk in the “step change” a company like Bayer-Monsanto will make in an effort to restore profits. Given the history, we can, unfortunately, expect that it will come at a high cost to human society and the environment on which we depend.

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KY: Bill to outlaw fentanyl trafficking aired in committee


Image result for kentucky legislature

For Immediate Release

October 10, 2016

Bill to outlaw fentanyl trafficking aired in committee

GRAYSON—Jessamine County Sheriff Kevin Corman can think of days when Nicholasville has averaged two to four drug overdoses in 24 hours. Much of the blame for that, he told state lawmakers last week, goes to heroin and the abuse of the pain killer fentanyl.

The combination of the two drugs can increase the potency of heroin by up to 50 times, according to drug enforcement agencies. Hundreds of overdoses in central and northern Kentucky in recent months have been attributed to the mixture. Nationwide, more than 29,000 people died from overdoes of heroin and painkillers including OxyContin, hydrocodone or fentanyl in 2014 alone.

And drug use is only part of the problem, Corman told the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary on Oct. 7 at Ashland Community and Technical College. The other part is drug trafficking which is extremely lucrative where drugs like fentanyl are involved. A small amount can bring big money on the streets, he explained.

“I read something the other day that you can take $10 of this fentanyl and make $5000 worth on the street,” said Corman.

Nodding in agreement next to Corman was Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear who was at the meeting with State Rep. Russ Meyer, D-Nicholasville, and Rep Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, to support a bill proposed by Rep. Meyer that would add fentanyl analogues, or knock-offs, not approved for human consumption to the list of highly-addictive Schedule I drugs under state law. Schedule I drugs, which include heroin and LSD, have no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.

There are at least 800 known fentanyl analogues and could be 1,000 or more, according to committee testimony.

Calling the drug epidemic “Kentucky’s greatest threat in general,” Beshear covered highlights of the bill which would not only classify fentanyl analogues as Schedule I drugs but make trafficking in any amount of fentanyl or its analogues a Class C felony for the first offense and a Class B felony for the second or subsequent offense. The penalty would be pared down if the person had a “substance use disorder” at the time the offense was committed.  Trafficking 10 grams of more of fentanyl, including fentanyl analogues, would be a Class B felony under the proposal.

Judiciary Committee Co-Chair Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, asked Beshear if substance use disorder as defined in the bill would require a diagnosis or just a court finding. Beshear said the determination would just take a court finding under current language, and Meyer said that could be spelled out in the bill.

Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, was admittedly emotional when he spoke about the heroin epidemic and its impact on Boone County where he lives. He cast some of the blame on House Bill 463 passed by the 2011 Kentucky General Assembly. The bill, now law for over five years, reduced some drug penalties while moving defendants into drug treatment.

Schickel said Kentucky was below the national average for heroin overdoses in 2009-2010. After HB 463 was signed, he said, the state’s heroin overdoses spiked. He suggested the drug penalties amended by HB 463 be raised back to the level they were at before 2011.

From his perspective, Corman said the issue isn’t just about drug overdoses. It’s about an increase in crime overall which he linked to the drug culture.

“This is getting to the point that probably 90 percent of all crime is related to this problem,” said Corman.  “You look at burglaries, thefts, robberies, a lot of your domestic violence… Somehow we have to put a lid on this and start winning,” he told the committee.

The committee also received testimony on a proposed Reentry Drug Supervision Pilot Program explained by Rep. Lewis Nicholls, D-Greenup, heard a presentation on an evidence-based drug recovery model from the organization Celebrating Families,  and received an update on gross misdemeanors legislation pre-filed for the 2017 legislative session that is similar to a bill considered last session.

–END–

Could marijuana become a treatment for heroin addicts?


Some think it offers a gateway out of opioid use

Matt Koesters | WCPO contributor

7:00 AM, Sep 25, 2016

 

Is marijuana a gateway drug? Carrie Roberts sure hopes so.

%page_break%Roberts, a consultant with Colorado-based Medicine Man Technologies, doesn’t believe that marijuana use leads to abuse of harder drugs, though. Instead, she thinks it might present a gateway out of risky drug use for people struggling with opioid dependency.

"I think we could save a lot of lives," Roberts said. "Right now, it’s really about needing to focus on harm reduction. That’s so much of what we’re seeing in other states."

Roberts points to a 2014 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that concludes "medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates." States with medical marijuana laws saw about 25 percent fewer overdose-related deaths than states without, according to the study.

Roberts argues that this could be the case in Ohio, a state in the throes of an opioid epidemic that saw fentanyl-related overdoses spike in 2015. Fentanyl continues to cause heroin users to overdose, and the more recent introduction of carfentanil into the drug ecosystem has provided cause for further alarm.

"There is a lot of anecdotal evidence regarding being able to use cannabis as a treatment, either for people coming off of opioid pain medication to help them through the withdrawal phase of it, or just to keep people from having to use it in the first place," Roberts said.

WCPO Insiders can find out how this idea relates to Ohio’s new medical marijuana legislation, and why some people think it’s a distraction.

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U.S. Attorney General addresses opioid, heroin addiction during Richmond town hall


BY CRITLEY KING CNHI News Service

Lynch

RICHMOND — U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke to a crowded auditorium at a Town Hall meeting in Richmond as part of the Obama Administration’s newly designated National Prescription Opium and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

The audience, mainly consisting of young people, was addressed on the dangers of heroin and opioid addiction, the pathways that lead to destruction, and the redeeming hope that help is available.

“I want to hear your questions, I want to hear your comments, I want to hear your ideas about how we can solve this (crisis), and about how we can prevent this,” said Lynch on Tuesday at Madison Central High School. “It’s not just putting people in jail, its about stopping it before it happens. And making sure people that do have a problem get treated.”

In her opening comments, Lynch asked the nearly 500 students if they had been considering where they would go to college, what careers they had planned for their futures, whether as journalists, doctors, law enforcement, teachers or fashion bloggers.

Then, Lynch told the students to look around at their classmates and friends and asked them to consider that last year, in Kentucky, approximately 12,000 died from opioid and heroin abuse overdoses.

“Imagine if all of you and others who fill these chairs were suddenly gone,” said Lynch. “And then that each of you had a friend, just one of your friends each, all gone. That’s what happened last year in Kentucky. That’s why this is so important.”

The chief law enforcement officer in the U.S. spoke about not only the problem of substance abuse and how to stop it, but also how to prevent it from even starting.

Lynch also put out a call to action to the students.

“We are talking to young people like you, because you have a role in this effort,” she said. “We want you to understand the issues, we went you to understand how serious it is, and we went to give you the information you need to make good choices in your own life. We also need you to look out for each other.”

During a question and answer session with local high school students, Kayla Greene, who lost her son to overdose, Tonya Snyder, MCHS social worker, Alex Elswick, a recovered addict, and MCHS student Julia Rahimzadeh, joined Lynch onstage.

Later in the day, Lynch traveled to make remarks at the University of Kentucky. Both events were part of the awareness week and the President’s Cabinet and Federal agencies’ focus on work being done/new efforts to address the national prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, according to a release by the Office of the Press Secretary.

The release also noted that Federal agencies are currently taking actions such as:

Expanding substance abuse treatment in the TRICARE system so that it includes intensive outpatient programs and treatment of opioid disorders with medication-assisted treatment.

Working with the Chinese government to combat the supply of fentanyl and its analogues from entering the U.S.

Increasing patient limits from 100 to 275 for practitioners prescribing buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorders.

Support programs that increase access to healthcare, substance abuse treatment, and educational opportunities in rural areas, such as telemedicine and distance learning.

Currently, the President is seeking $1.1 billion in new funding to combat opioid abuse.

During a press conference following the town hall meeting, Lynch told The Register, that one of the ways the Department of Justice funding specifically would assist communities on a local level would be through a grant making process that provides assistance to law enforcement through grants for additional officers, resources to help states improve their prescription drug monitoring programs and provide examples of programs that are working efficiently and consistently.

Lynch reiterated that administration wide, when treatment is spoken of, they are referring to improving and increasing the availability of treatment facilities and also treatment within local hospitals.

Critley King writes for The Richmond Register.

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The Law of Unintended Consequences: Illicit for Licit Narcotic Substitution


Image result for heroin plant

Originally written July 15, 2014 at LINK below

Martin R. Huecker, MD and Hugh W. Shoff, MD, MS

 

The dealers will not use it. Heroin dealers have explicit knowledge of the addictive properties of their product. The heroin addict is no longer the desperate character living under a bridge. She is a 17-year-old high school senior who runs out of her grandmother’s oxycodone. He is the stockbroker who weighs the economics of purchasing one oxymorphone on the street for $100 or ten doses of heroin for $200. Because these people are ingesting and injecting products of unknown composition and unfamiliar potency, they can potentially overdose. If lucky, they end up in the emergency department rather than the morgue.

Kentucky ranks third in the nation in drug overdose mortality rate per 100,000 persons, with opioid pills making up the majority.1 In response to these statistics, the State of Kentucky passed House Bill One (HB1) in April 2012, effective October 2012. Also known as “the pill mill bill,” HB1 contains provisions intended to limit opioid prescriptions by pain management physicians and by other acute care providers such as emergency physicians. To prescribe narcotic pain medications, physicians must perform a full history and physical, prescribe only a short course, educate the patient on risks of controlled substances, and obtain a report from a statewide prescription monitoring program (PMP) (Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting [KASPER]).2

As a result, the number of registered KASPER users in Kentucky has gone from 7500 to 23,000 from December, 2011 to November, 2012. Reports are up from 3300 to 17000 in the same time frame.3 According to the same press release, Kentucky witnessed a decrease of 10.4% total prescriptions in the first six months since HB1 was enacted.3

Mandating PMP reports, as sixteen states currently do, leads to an increase in reports, but so far no statistical difference in opioid overdose mortality.1,4,5,6 In fact, this legislation may not even lower the rate of opioid consumption, rather may shift which opioids are being prescribed.6

Researchers in Ohio looked at the impact of real time PMP information on opioid prescriptions. With PMP data, providers changed prescriptions in 41% of cases; 61% giving fewer opioids but 39% prescribing more opioids.7

House Bill One was intended to and has reduced opioid prescriptions in Kentucky. Forty-four pain clinics in Kentucky closed overnight.8 Preliminary analysis at a large, metropolitan emergency department has shown a decrease in prescriptions for hydrocodone and oxycodone, along with a decrease in ED administration of these medications. This type of “pill mill” legislation has been passed in Louisiana, Florida, Texas and California with varying results.9

Florida had a sharp decrease in opioid prescriptions after similar legislation. Having 90 of the top 100 physicians on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) 2010 list of top opioid purchasers, Florida saw the number decrease to 13 in 2011, and zero as of April 2013.10 In 2011, Ohio passed a “pill mill bill” to crack down on pain management clinics.11 This legislation led to seizing of 91,000 prescription pills with 38 doctors and 13 pharmacists losing their medical licenses. In the end, 15 medical professionals were convicted on diversion charges.11 With all of this, pill overdose deaths began to decline, but heroin overdoses “skyrocketed.”11

The unintended but foreseeable consequence of such measures has been increase in distribution, abuse, and overdose of heroin. Heroin has gained market share in a similar way in the past. In 2010, Purdue Pharma began manufacturing a reformulated OxyContin after a $600 million fine for misrepresentation.12 Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. followed in 2011 with an Opana ER reformulation. This resulted in making the pills harder to crush into powder for snorting or injecting.13,14 States such as Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and Utah have seen patients turn to heroin after crackdown on prescription opioid availability.11,14

The New England Journal of Medicine warned us of what would be a two-fold increase in heroin use after the reformulation of Oxycontin.15 In the 2010 ODLL report, the United States DEA also attempted to warn health care organizations that Oxycontin users might switch to heroin.16,17 The first paper we know of to report this warning was published 3 years later in 2013.16 This paper, a qualitative study of the transition of opioid pill users to heroin users, provides insight into the economic and convenience factors associated with the switch. The researchers interviewed a small sample of heroin users, forty-one in all. All but one of the 19 heroin users aged 20–29 started with pills and progressed to heroin – “termed pill initiates.”16

Numerous popular news reports directly implicate decreased opioid pill availability in the rise of heroin abuse and overdose.16 However, very little discussion of this phenomenon has entered the emergency medicine literature.

The drug cartels have capitalized on the United States opioid appetite and now decreased supply of pills. The route from Mexico to Detroit, then south through Ohio, ends up in northern and central Kentucky. The Kentucky State Police recovered 433 samples of heroin in 2010. In 2012 the number was 1349.13 In Lexington, KY, the eight total heroin arrests in 2011 exploded into 160 in the first 6 months of 2013.18,19 Undercover narcotics officers in Lexington find it easier to buy heroin than marijuana.

Heroin-related overdoses in Kentucky increased from 22 cases in 2011 to 143 cases in 2012, and 170 in the first 9 months of 2013.8,20,21 Kentucky’s percentage of overdose deaths involving heroin went from 3.2 in 2011 to 19.5 in 2012 and up to 26 in 2013.8.21 This phenomenon has occurred in Florida, California, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Washington and Ohio.11,2224

The emergency medicine literature has minimal recent discussion of heroin overdose management in the ED; nor have we discussed secondary prevention. Supportive therapy suffices in the ED, with liberal naloxone use and airway protection. State and federal actions to curb heroin deaths can be effective. Good Samaritan laws, present in only one third of states, protect from prosecution those lay individuals attempting to help themselves or companions in overdose situations.

Also present in only one third of states are laws to expand community access to reversal agents such as naloxone. Twenty-two states have laws requiring or recommending education for opioid prescribers. Medicaid expansion to cover substance abuse treatment has occurred thus far in less than half (24) of states.1

As more states enact measures intended to reduce total opioid prescriptions, legislators and healthcare providers alike must be aware of the predictable and devastating rise in heroin sales, abuse, and overdose. Funding for this legislation should include monies allocated toward substance abuse treatment programs and availability of naloxone. Similarly, pill mill bills could universally be coupled with Good Samaritan laws in anticipation of the increase in parenteral opioid overdoses. Funds could be allocated to lay population education via public service announcements. Stricter punishments for drug traffickers could accompany such legislative changes. Many of these measures have been presented as interventions to combat prescription opioid abuse and can now be applied to the subsequent heroin abuse and overdose dilemma.9

At the first line of medical care, emergency physicians must be involved in efforts to minimize collateral damage in this long-term process of curing America’s addiction to opioid drugs and their horrible consequences.

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