After the death of her father, a prominent hotel owner in Seattle,
Ella Henderson started taking morphine to ease her grief. She was 33
years old, educated and intelligent, and she frequented the upper
reaches of Seattle society. But her "thirst for morphine" soon
"dragged her down to the verge of debauchery," according to a
newspaper article in 1877 titled "A Beautiful Opium Eater." After
years of addiction, she died of an overdose.
In researching opium addiction in late-19th-century America, I've come
across countless stories like Henderson's. What is striking is how,
aside from some Victorian-era moralizing, they feel so familiar to a
21st-century reader: Henderson developed an addiction at a vulnerable
point in her life, found doctors who enabled it and then
self-destructed. She was just one of thousands of Americans who lost
their lives to addiction between the 1870s and the 1920s.
[continues 901 words]
Midway through a community meeting in Northeast Philadelphia on the
opioid crisis Monday, a man stood up at the back of the room and yelled
out a question to city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley: "Doctor, where
do you live? Can we put a safe injection site next door to you?"
The crowd of 150 in the Fox Chase community center applauded and burst
into shouts in a display that vividly showed the tough sales job the
city is facing as it tries to fulfill a promise to allow a place where
people in addiction can use drugs under medical supervision. As heroin
has been adulterated with the deadlier opioid fentanyl, often without
the user's knowledge, the overdose death rate has soared. Quick
administration of a reversal medicine can save lives.
[continues 678 words]
No medical marijuana dispensaries have come to Harford County yet, but
two companies have applied for county government approval to open
their respective businesses in Joppa and Street, plus a dispensary has
already opened just across the Susquehanna River in Perryville.
Dispensaries must have a state license before they open and two
dispensaries are allowed in each of Maryland's 47 state Senate districts.
"Certainly any business that comes to Harford County has to meet all
of our local requirements, and these businesses will be held to that
standard, as any other," county government spokesperson Cindy Mumby
said in a recent interview.
[continues 1232 words]
A Philly nurse on safe injection sites
"You want me to do what?" "Where's your compassion?" "What a waste of
resources!" "I have an obligation to help people stay healthy."
These are conflicting responses I imagine nurses and health-care
professionals may have when asked to provide care at safe injection
sites, places where people can use drugs under medical supervision.
There aren't any such sites right now. But the City of Philadelphia
announced that it will encourage setting them up. Should health-care
professionals participate? It's a dilemma wrought with ethical, moral,
legal, and regulatory issues and more questions than answers. As a
nurse, I can understand and appreciate both sides.
[continues 551 words]
When I think about the people I've met in Kensington over the last
eight months, the people who've opened up to me about their addiction,
about their lives, talking to me from the cardboard mattresses and
train bridges and alleyways and library lawns where they live, I think
about the ones I haven't seen in a while.
No, Philly did not just approve of 'Hamsterdam'
Could City Council block Kenney's proposed safe injection sites?
I think about how many of them by now are dead.
[continues 752 words]
In May 2016, Taylor Weyeneth was an undergraduate at St. John's
University in New York, a legal studies student and fraternity member
who organized a golf tournament and other events to raise money for
veterans and their families.
Less than a year later, at 23, Weyeneth, was a political appointee and
rising star at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the White
House office responsible for coordinating the federal government's
multibillion dollar anti-drug initiatives and supporting President
Donald Trump's efforts to curb the opioid epidemic. Weyeneth would
soon become deputy chief of staff.
[continues 1631 words]
Vancouver comic Mark Hughes interviews fentanyl dealer as part of
recently launched podcast
Death has been a constant in Kyle's life for 25 years.
It's a narrative that goes hand in hand with his lifestyle, and shows
no signs of abating.
Kyle - not his real name - is a fentanyl dealer. He says he's killed
people with his own hands, and by extension, through his line of work.
Kyle spoke to Vancouver comedian Mark Hughes as part of Hughes'
recently-launched podcast called Pulling the Trigger. The Courier
attempted to speak with Kyle, but he declined on more than one occasion.
[continues 806 words]
Just six days after her 28-year-old son died from a heroin overdose,
the president of the Pennsbury school board wept as she thanked her
colleagues for unanimously approving an ambitious new $149,000
antidrug program aimed at fighting an opioid epidemic that has ravaged
young grads in their Lower Bucks County community.
"Thank you all for doing this - now more than ever it means the world
to me," a tearful Jacqueline Redner said immediately after the vote.
After a decadelong battle with addiction, her son Josh was found dead
in a motel room on Sept. 13.
[continues 690 words]
US: Connelly: Lawsuit seeks to block King County vote on safe injection
sites - seattlepi.com
Found: Tue Aug 22 14:21:02 2017 PDT
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)
Copyright: 2017 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Author: Joel Connelly
A lawsuit was filed Monday, challenging and seeking to block a public
vote on Initiative 27, which seeks to outlaw the opening of supervised
consumption spaces, health facilities where people use drugs in a safe
environment with access to treatment.
[continues 661 words]
School districts on Long Island and statewide are stocking naloxone
onsite in school buildings to have the opioid antidote at the ready
because of the growing issue of abuse of the deadly drugs, educators
and health officials said.
At least 340 schools across the state, including dozens on Long
Island, have provided training for school nurses or other personnel
about how to administer naloxone, according to the state Education
The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, based in
Westbury, also has seen interest grow in instructing school personnel
about the antidote, said Reisa Berg, director of education and prevention.
[continues 1060 words]
Chicago, I'm told, has a morality problem.
That's what White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
said the other day when asked if violence in our city is related to
easy access to guns.
"I think that the problem there is pretty clear that it's a crime
problem," she said. "I think crime is probably driven more by morality
than anything else."
That's an interesting statement, given the reason the question was
posed: The administration had just announced that 20 federal gun
agents were being dispatched to Chicago to help with a task force
focused on the flow of illegal guns into the city.
[continues 1083 words]
WASHINGTON - The Republican drive to roll back Barack Obama's health
care law is on a collision course with a national opioid epidemic
that's not letting up.
Medicaid cuts resulting from the GOP legislation would hit hard in
states deeply affected by the addiction crisis and struggling to turn
the corner, according to state data and concerned lawmakers in both
The House health care bill would phase out expanded Medicaid, which
allows states to provide federally backed insurance to low-income
adults previously not eligible. Many people in that demographic are in
their 20s and 30s and dealing with opioid addiction. Dollars from
Washington have allowed states to boost their response to the crisis,
paying for medication, counseling, therapy and other services.
[continues 820 words]
The man was still, mouth open, head back in a white Crown Victoria
stalled in the middle of a neighborhood street.
A paramedic pushed a flexible tube in the man's vein to pump in
lifesaving naloxone to block the effects of whatever opioid he had
taken and, if all worked well, revive him. Routine work. A little girl
stopped her bicycle, clutching a melting red ice pop as she watched.
"This is just normal for her," said David Geiger, director of
Covington Emergency Medical Services, nodding toward the child.
[continues 1477 words]
A pilot project operated by Vancouver Coastal Health has found success
with a simple detection strip for the notorious opioid
Drug users who test their drugs and discover fentanyl are 10 times
more likely to reduce their dose, raising the possibility that making
such tests widely available could reduce overdoses.
That is one finding of a drug checking pilot project at Insite,
Vancouver's supervised-injection site, operated by Vancouver Coastal
Health (VCH). Launched last July, the initiative offers drug users the
option of testing their drugs for fentanyl using a simple test strip,
which produces results in seconds.
[continues 504 words]
Maybe it was the ski masks that did it.
Or it could have been the steely look in the eyes of Lake County,
Fla., Sheriff Peyton Grinnell as he deadpanned: "We are coming for
Perhaps it was the muted background music: an eerie melody that
wouldn't have been out of place in a Batman movie.
In the end, what could have been an unremarkable public service
announcement about opioid abuse in Lake County spread widely on the
internet, garnering about a million views on the Facebook page of the
sheriff's office, where it was first posted Friday. It sparked
concerns about police militarization and drew more than a few
comparisons to Islamic State recruitment videos.
[continues 915 words]
Paramedics say naloxone doesn't reverse damage done to the brain from
lack of oxygen in an overdose
While a lot of emphasis is being put on the statistics relating to
overdose deaths, paramedics working on the West Shore are struggling
to help the patients they save, but are still ultimately lost.
"One of the issues we have is that naloxone has been touted as a great
drug, and it is
(But) it's not the magic pill everyone thinks (it
is)," said Brad Cameron, B.C. Emergency Health Services district
manager for Victoria. "They depend too much on naloxone as the fix-all."
[continues 696 words]
The overdose crisis, especially in British Columbia, has become an
issue of moral panic, and everyone is paying attention.
The B.C. Coroner's Report for 2016 revealed a shocking number of
deaths from overdose - 914, which far surpassed previous records and
is nearly three times the number of deaths from automobile collisions.
This crisis impacts us all and it requires a radical shift in the ways
all provinces provide health care.
Unfortunately, the human and financial toll continues to rise because
we continue to view illicit substance use as a moral and criminal
issue rather than the healthcare issue it is. As a health-care social
worker on the front line, I am lending my voice to those with
substance-use disorders, the ostracized and overlooked.
[continues 555 words]
All first responders in the Fernie area are now equipped to take on a
potential opioid crisis.
Fernie Fire and Rescue were the last group in the area to become
trained in opioid overdose situations by BC Emergency Health Services.
The main area of focus for training was on Naloxone, the antidote for
Unable to give any numbers at this time, Elk Valley RCMP Corporal Bob
Wright did state that, "We have responded to Fentanyl drug use in the
Elk Valley. It has resulted in overdose-type situations."
[continues 623 words]
Prescribing medicinal heroin to prevent overdose deaths might appear
to clash with common sense, but the provincial health officer in B.C.
is backing the idea because he says European-style drug treatment
The arrival of the powerful opioid fentanyl drove B.C.'s death toll to
a new peak last year of 914 overdose deaths, almost 80 per cent higher
than the 510 deaths recorded by the provincial coroner in 2015.
Dr. Perry Kendall said he wants support from colleagues in health care
and law enforcement to push the province to create treatment programs
that prescribe a pharmaceutical-grade version of heroin, called
diacetylmorphine. "It may be counterintuitive for people, but they
have been shown to improve functioning, improve physical health,
improve mental health," said Kendall. "They certainly get people out
of illegal drug markets and many of those people have gone on to have
relatively stable lives."
[continues 312 words]
Like most of small town America, Southern Indiana was unprepared for the
That's what Sam Quinones said, who is an expert on the roots of America's
heroin and prescription drug crisis.
"It's bad all over the country, but I would say it's probably particularly
unkempt in areas such as Southern Indiana," he said.
Smaller towns "never had to deal with the issues that come along with
opiate addiction like how hard it is to kick, all the ancillary effects of
having an addict in the family, aE& the lying, the destruction of family
[continues 820 words]