Soaring drug overdose deaths
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Started by metmike - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:38 p.m.

An estimated 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in one year, a never-before-seen milestone that health officials say is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and a more dangerous drug supply. Overdose deaths have been rising for more than two decades, accelerated in the past two years and, according to new data posted Wednesday, jumped nearly 30% in the latest year.

Drawing from the latest available death certificate data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 100,300 Americans died of drug overdoses from May 2020 to April 2021. It's not an official count. It can take many months for death investigations involving drug fatalities to become final, so the agency made the estimate based on 98,000 reports it has received so far.

The CDC previously reported there were about 93,000 overdose deaths in 2020, the highest number recorded in a calendar year. Robert Anderson, the CDC's chief of mortality statistics, said the 2021 tally is likely to surpass 100,000.

"2021 is going to be terrible," agreed Dr. Daniel Ciccarone, a drug policy expert at the University of California, San Francisco.

By metmike - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:50 p.m.
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One of the things that I've enjoyed the most  being moderator the past 3.5 years has been the research and learning, to share information with readers to learn too. 

This was almost 3 years ago but as you read today, it's MUCH worse today.

                Overdose Death Rates            

                            11 responses |          

                Started by metmike - Feb. 16, 2019, 9:04 p.m.    

By metmike - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:52 p.m.
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The illegal drug trade or drug trafficking is a global black market dedicated to the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of prohibited drugs. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs through the use of drug prohibition laws. The think tank Global Financial Integrity's Transnational Crime and the Developing World report estimates the size of the global illicit drug market between US$426 and US$652 billion in 2014 alone.[1] With a world GDP of US$78 trillion in the same year, the illegal drug trade may be estimated as nearly 1% of total global trade. Consumption of illegal drugs is widespread globally and it remains very difficult for local authorities to thwart its popularity.

By metmike - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:55 p.m.
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As marijuana profits fade, cartels increasingly smuggle fentanyl across the border

By metmike - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:59 p.m.
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Facts about Fentanyl

Producing illicit fentanyl is not an exact science.  Two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage.  DEA analysis has found counterfeit pills ranging from .02 to 5.1 milligrams (more than twice the lethal dose) of fentanyl per tablet.

  • 42% of pills tested for fentanyl contained at least 2 mg of fentanyl, considered a potentially lethal dose.
  • Drug trafficking organizations typically distribute fentanyl by the kilogram.  One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people.

It is possible for someone to take a pill without knowing it contains fentanyl. It is also possible to take a pill knowing it contains fentanyl, but with no way of knowing if it contains a lethal dose.

According to the CDC, synthetic opioids (like fentanyl) are the primary driver of overdose deaths in the United States. Comparison between 12 months-ending January 31, 2020 and the 12 months-ending January 31, 2021 during this period:

  • Overdose deaths involving opioids rose 38.1 percent.
  • Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids (primarily illicitly manufactured fentanyl) rose 55.6 percent and appear to be the primary driver of the increase in total drug overdose deaths. 

Unless a drug is prescribed by a licensed medical professional and dispensed by a legitimate pharmacy, you can't know if it’s fake or legitimate. And without laboratory testing, there’s no way to know the amount of fentanyl in an individual pill or how much may have been added to another drug. This is especially dangerous because of fentanyl's potency.

By metmike - Nov. 17, 2021, 8 p.m.
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By kris - Nov. 17, 2021, 8:19 p.m.
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"Consumption of illegal drugs is widespread globally and it remains very difficult for local authorities to thwart its popularity."

Death penalty/life in prison for possession/importation seems to work well in some Asian countries.

By metmike - Nov. 17, 2021, 8:34 p.m.
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Sadly kris,  in quite a few cases, the people are causing their own unintended death penalties

DEA Launches Project Wave Breaker to Stop Flood of Deadly Fentanyl


New initiative focuses on stemming the tide of synthetic fentanyl flowing into the United States

“While a major entry point for fentanyl is the Southwest border, the cartels are spreading their poison into communities across the Nation,” said DEA Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans. “Through this initiative, we’re tackling a very real public health, public safety, and national security threat, identifying the most egregious street-level networks in our communities and working our way up through the supply chain.”

The eleven divisions participating in Project Wave Breaker are credited with 85 percent of all synthetic opioids seized by the DEA in 2020.  They include: Phoenix, New York, San Diego, New England, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, San Francisco, Houston, and El Paso.

Mexican cartels, particularly the Sinaloa Cartel, have capitalized on the opioid epidemic and prescription drug misuse and abuse in the United States, flooding communities with illicit fentanyl and driving the record-setting rates of overdose deaths.

Facts about fentanyl:

  • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent that morphine.
  • Of counterfeit pills tested in DEA laboratories, one in four pills made with fentanyl contained a potentially lethal dose.
  • A kilogram of fentanyl can contain 500,000 potentially lethal doses.  Last year, the eleven divisions participating in Project Wave Breaker seized a combined total of 2,316 kilograms of fentanyl (more than a billion potentially lethal doses).
  • The seizure of fentanyl-laced pills along the Southwest border increased more than 89 percent from January 2019 to December 2020.  

Project Wave Breaker aims to reduce the amount of fentanyl coming across the Southwest border, reduce crime and violence associated with drug trafficking, and ultimately save lives by reducing the demand for illicit fentanyl.

By mcfarm - Nov. 17, 2021, 8:38 p.m.
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unless  missed it I did not see the chief cause of these deaths...namely the lockdonws from covid

By metmike - Nov. 17, 2021, 8:42 p.m.
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ICYMI Rep. John Katko: Strengthen Southern Border to Stop Flow of Heroin, Fentanyl

This problem existed long before the southern border crisis during the current administration but one would assume that its gotten even worse now.

Is VP Harris also going to stop the flow of illegal drugs by fixing the drug problems in the countries sending them here by applying her so called strategy of fixing border problems by fixing the issues in the countries where the people are coming from (instead of effectively addressing the problem directly)?

By metmike - Nov. 18, 2021, 1:11 a.m.
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The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (Pub.L. 100–690, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988, H.R. 5210) is a major law of the War on Drugs passed by the U.S. Congress which did several significant things:

  1. Created the policy goal of a drug-free America;
  2. Established the Office of National Drug Control Policy;[2] and
  3. Restored the use of the death penalty by the federal government.

The change from the Act of 1986 to the Act of 1988 concerns the mandatory minimum penalties to drug trafficking conspiracies and attempts that previously were applicable only to substantive completed drug trafficking offenses.  The Act amended 21 U.S.C. 844 to make crack cocaine the only drug with a mandatory minimum penalty for a first offense of simple possession.  The Act made possession of more than five grams of a mixture or substance containing cocaine base punishable by at least five years in prison.  The five year minimum penalty also applies to possession of more than three grams of cocaine base if the defendant has a prior conviction for crack cocaine possession, and to possession of more than one gram of crack if the defendant has two or more prior crack possession convictions.[3]