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1 CN BC: Fentanyl Test Boosts Dose-Reduction RateMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:84 Added:05/19/2017

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.

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2 US FL: A Florida Sheriff Catches Attention, And Some Heat, With AnWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fortin, Jacey Area:Florida Lines:138 Added:04/15/2017

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 you. Run."

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.

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3 CN BC: Opioid Crisis: Recreational Drug Users Hit HardestFri, 03 Mar 2017
Source:Goldstream Gazette (Victoria, CN BC) Author:Engqvist, Katherine Area:British Columbia Lines:104 Added:03/08/2017

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."

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4CN BC: OPED: It's Time That We Offered Prescription HeroinSun, 05 Feb 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:McAdam, Tasha Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2017

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.

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5 CN BC: Fernie Prepares For FentanylThu, 02 Feb 2017
Source:Free Press, The (Fernie, CN BC) Author:McLachlan, Phil Area:British Columbia Lines:98 Added:02/05/2017

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 opioid overdoses.

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."

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6CN BC: B.C. Health Officer Backs Prescription HeroinTue, 31 Jan 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Meissner, Dirk Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/04/2017

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 programs work.

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."

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7US KY: 'Dreamland' Author Sam Quinones Talks Kentuckiana OpioidThu, 26 Jan 2017
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Winer, Madeleine Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:01/26/2017

Like most of small town America, Southern Indiana was unprepared for the opioid crisis.

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 savings."

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8 US MD: Hogan, Rutherford Announce Heroin Initiatives For 2017Tue, 24 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:83 Added:01/26/2017

Governor Hogan announces heroin crisis initiatives

Governor Larry Hogan announces a number of new initiatives to combat the statewide heroin crisis at a press conference at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. (Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette)

Governor Larry Hogan announces a number of new initiatives to combat the statewide heroin crisis at a press conference at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. (Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette)

Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford came to Anne Arundel Medical Center Tuesday to announce new initiatives aimed at combating a rising tide of heroin abuse across the state.

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9 US NJ: West Milford Police Revive Overdose VictimTue, 24 Jan 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:35 Added:01/26/2017

West Milford police revived a 31-year-old Hewitt woman suffering from a heroin overdose on Jan. 21.

[photo] A West Milford police car sits idle behind town hall on Dec. 31, 2016.(Photo: Joe Sarno/NorthJersey.com)

WEST MILFORD -- Local police revived a 31-year-old Hewitt woman suffering from an apparent heroin overdose on Saturday afternoon.

West Milford police officers administered the opioid-blocking medication naloxone to the resident after finding her unresponsive at approximately 2:12 p.m. on Jan. 21, according a Jan. 24 press release from the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office.

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10 US CT: CDC: Connecticut Second In Percent Increase Of SyntheticSun, 22 Jan 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT)          Area:Connecticut Lines:116 Added:01/23/2017

[photo] In this Aug. 9, 2016, photo, a vial containing 2mg of fentanyl, which will kill a human if ingested into the body, is displayed at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Testing and Research Laboratory in Sterling, Va. A 2mg dose of fentanyl is fatal to 99 percent of humans. A novel class of deadly drugs is exploding across the country, with many manufactured in China for export around the world. The drugs, synthetic opioids, are fueling the deadliest addiction crisis the U.S. has ever seen. (Cliff Owen / AP)

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11US NY: Carlucci: Opioid Deaths Rising In RocklandThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY)          Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

[photo] The state senator wants more drug disposal sites and access to medication to treat addiction.

NEW CITY - Opioid deaths, including fatal heroin overdoses, are on the rise in Rockland County, where state Sen. David Carlucci is pushing a pair of proposals to help addicts.

There were 37 opioid deaths in Rockland last year, up from 25 in 2015, according to a report from the Rockland County Medical Examiner's Office.

That's compared to 36 opioid deaths in total between 2003 and 2009 in Rockland, according to Carlucci's office.

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12US NJ: Advocates, Critics React To Christie's Sweeping Drug PlanWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Asbury Park Press (NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:Excerpt Added:01/18/2017

Anti-drug advocates hailed Gov. Chris Christie's pledge Tuesday to make New Jersey's addiction crisis a top job in the final year of his term in office, but there were worries about funding and follow through.

Using soaring rhetoric, heartfelt personal stories of loss and unmistakable zeal, the governor used his State of the State address to outline a series of new initiatives to battle the opioid epidemic that has devastated New Jersey.

Paul Ressler, who lost his son Corey to a heroin overdose and now runs an organization that informs the public about the use of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, praised the goal of getting more teenagers into treatment. Christie promised to change state regulations that exclude 18 and 19 year olds from treatment facilities for children.

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13 US CT: Strung Out At 4 A.M.: Emergency Room Doctors Treating HeroinSun, 15 Jan 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Budde, Kristin S. Area:Connecticut Lines:118 Added:01/16/2017

At four in the morning, the hospital's emergency department lights fluoresce directly into your brain. Everyone, everything looks green, especially the midnight heroin users. They are always shivering. Partly the withdrawal, partly the cold, damp Connecticut weather. They tend not to have proper jackets.

On a stretcher in the hallway, a 25-year-old "opioid withdrawal" is curled up with three hospital blankets pulled over his head. I gently shake his leg, but nothing is really gentle here. I introduce myself and whisper a question about what brought him in. No response.

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14 US MA: In Plymouth County, A Drug Program Finds Success Tackling TheSun, 15 Jan 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Carozza, Jacob Area:Massachusetts Lines:171 Added:01/15/2017

[photo] (Debee Tlumacki for The Boston Globe) Paul Jehle, pastor of the New Testament Church of Cedarville, shook hands with recovering addict Justin Todd at a Project Outreach drop-in center hosted by the church in Plymouth.

One in a series of occasional articles about opiate abuse and its consequences.

It took multiple applications of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, Paul Hachey of Plymouth recalled, to revive him in late September. The 38-year-old was "dead" from an OxyContin overdose for three minutes before he slipped back to life, he said.

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15 US PA: ACA's Repeal Would Devastate Fight Against Opioid AddictionFri, 13 Jan 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:127 Added:01/13/2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Thursday that Congressional Republicans are on a "rescue" mission to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and that he and President-elect Donald Trump are in perfect sync with the process of replacing Obamacare. (CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES)

Funding for mental illness and opioid addiction treatment in Pennsylvania will take a big hit if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, according to research published this week by Harvard Medical School.

More than 181,000 Pennsylvania residents with mental and substance abuse disorders will lose access to services made available under the ACA, concluded Harvard health economics professor Richard G. Frank and New York University public service dean Sherry Glied.

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16 US: How An `Abuse-Deterrent' Drug Created The Heroin EpidemicTue, 10 Jan 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Ingraham, Christopher Area:United States Lines:129 Added:01/13/2017

The reformulation of the powerful painkiller OxyContin in 2010 is the chief driver of the explosion in heroin overdose deaths in subsequent years, according to a new working paper from researchers at the RAND Corp. and the Wharton School.

OxyContin, released by Purdue Pharma in 1996, is a powerful extended-release opioid designed to provide 12-hour relief to patients suffering from severe pain. The original formulation was particularly prone to abuse, as drug users found that they could crush the pills and chew, snort or inject them in order to deliver 12 hours of powerful painkiller dosage all at once.

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17 US PA: 'Our Children Are Dying': Christie Vows To Fight AddictionThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hanna, Maddie Area:Pennsylvania Lines:142 Added:01/12/2017

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, arrives in the Assembly chamber of the Statehouse to deliver his State Of The State address Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

TRENTON - Gov. Christie vowed Tuesday to devote his final year in office to battling drug addiction, skirting other challenges confronting New Jersey as he delivered an unusual and impassioned State of the State address focused almost exclusively on the issue.

Telling personal stories of people affected by addiction - a state employee whose son died from a heroin overdose two days after she celebrated his sobriety at a Statehouse vigil; the son of a state Supreme Court justice, now in recovery and opening a treatment center - Christie said he hoped to make New Jersey an example for the nation on drug recovery.

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18 US WV: This Drug Dealer's Heroin Was So Powerful That It Led To 26Thu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC)          Area:West Virginia Lines:74 Added:01/12/2017

The man responsible for more than two dozen heroin overdoses -- which all occurred in one day in a state deemed the ground zero for the opioid epidemic -- faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

Bruce Lamar Griggs, 22, pleaded guilty on Monday to distribution of heroin, about six months after 26 people overdosed in Huntington, a city in the southwest corner of West Virginia. The 911 calls came within hours of one another, the majority of which concerned overdoses in and around one apartment complex.

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19 US NJ: Heroin Busts Come With An Offer Of Detox To Help Break CycleWed, 11 Jan 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Pries, Allison Area:New Jersey Lines:266 Added:01/11/2017

One is a former nurse. Another used to be in law enforcement. There were a recruiter and a graphic designer.

Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal and Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino at the press conference on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016.

They were among 40 people arrested this week in an investigation led by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office to combat the area's "staggering" heroin epidemic.

This time, after arresting the alleged users for drug possession, detectives offered them help -- the chance to enter a five-day detox program run by Bergen County Regional Medical Center. Twelve people accepted.

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20 US PA: Havertown Couple Who Lost Fathers To Heroin Now Mourn FriendWed, 11 Jan 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Farr, Stephanie Area:Pennsylvania Lines:135 Added:01/11/2017

[photo] (ED HILLE / Staff Photographer) William McMonigle and Amy Zaccario of Havertown, who both lost their fathers to heroin overdoses in Philadelphia, are now planning the funeral of their best friend, Sean Jimenez, who died of a heroin overdose in Kensington on Monday.

At home in Jenkintown, Sean Jimenez had a decent job, a woman who loved him, and two young sons who bore a striking resemblance to Dennis the Menace, just as he did when he was little.

Gallery:

But Monday night on a Kensington sidewalk, Jimenez had nothing but the clothes on his back, a few dollars in his pocket, a cellphone, and a drug addiction that apparently took his life. He was pronounced dead there at 11:10 p.m.

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