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posted by martyb on Monday July 31 2017, @06:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the lives-matter dept.

The Cook County Jail in Chicago, IL has trained hundreds of inmates on how to use the opioid overdose-reversing drug naloxone, and has given doses out to inmates upon release:

Cook County now gives at-risk inmates the overdose-reversing drug naloxone upon their release from jail and Los Angeles is poised to follow suit, putting the antidote in as many hands as possible as part of a multifaceted approach to combatting the nation's opioid epidemic.

Cook County Jail, the largest single-site jail in the country, has trained about 900 inmates how to use naloxone nasal spray devices since last summer and has distributed 400 of them to at-risk men and women as they got out. The devices can undo the effects of an opiate overdose almost immediately and are identical to those used by officers in many of the country's law enforcement agencies.

[...] It is too soon to gauge the effectiveness of Cook County's program, but Dart said anecdotal evidence suggests that the kits have saved lives, including a man who was arrested again, returned to jail, and told of how a friend he had trained to use the kit had done so when he overdosed. In New York City, more than 4,000 kits have been distributed to friends and relatives of inmates at the city's jail at Rikers Island since the program there was launched in 2014.

Related: Kroger Supermarkets to Carry Naloxone Without a Prescription
Obama Administration Expands Access to Suboxone Treatment
One Upside to Opioid Overdoses: More Organ Donors
Development of a Heroin Vaccine


Original Submission

Related Stories

Kroger Supermarkets to Carry Naloxone Without a Prescription 29 comments

In order to help fight the heroin epidemic in the northeast United States, Kroger supermarkets and CVS pharmacies will carry the anti-overdose (opioid antagonist) drug naloxone (trade name: Narcan) over the counter:

Ohio-based grocery chain Kroger Co. said Friday it will make the overdose-reversal drug naloxone available without a prescription in its pharmacies across Ohio and northern Kentucky, a region hard-hit by deadly heroin. Kroger said more than 200 of its pharmacies will offer naloxone over the counter within days. "We want families dealing with addiction to know that they can count on having the drug available in the event that they need it," Jeff Talbot, Kroger vice president of merchandising, said in a statement.

Ohio fire crews and other first responders use naloxone thousands of times a year to revive opioid overdose victims. Ohio overdose deaths jumped 18 percent in 2014, one of the nation's sharpest increases. Those on the front lines of the battle against heroin's spread have increasingly supported allowing and educating families and friends of addicts to administer naloxone in emergencies.

State regulators in Ohio and Kentucky have allowed the drug to be sold over the counter. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, joined Kroger officials at a Cincinnati grocery store for the retailer's announcement. Portman has been pushing a multi-pronged heroin bill in the Senate that includes expanded availability of naloxone. "This marks an important step in our fight to combat addiction and we all need to continue to work for a bottom-up, comprehensive approach to the heroin epidemic," Portman, from the Cincinnati area, said in a statement.

CVS said recently it will soon offer naloxone without a prescription at its Ohio pharmacies.

Naloxone became available over the counter in Australia on February 1.

In the U.S., there are currently a patchwork of state laws which govern access to Naloxone.

In the U.K. as of 1 October, 2015, "...[A]ny worker in a commissioned drug service can now distribute naloxone without prescription."

Related: Alarming Rise in Death Rates for Middle-Aged White Americans


Original Submission

Obama Administration Expands Access to Suboxone Treatment 10 comments

The Obama administration is loosening restrictions on buprenorphine/Suboxone prescriptions in order to fight the "heroin epidemic", while calling on Congress to act on a request for $1.1 billion in additional funding for opioid treatment programs across the U.S.:

The Obama administration is making it easier for people addicted to opioids to get treatment. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced new rules Wednesday to loosen restrictions on doctors who treat people addicted to heroin and opioid painkillers with the medication buprenorphine. Doctors who are licensed to prescribe the drug, which is sold mostly under the brand name Suboxone, will be allowed to treat as many as 275 patients a year. That's almost triple the current limit of 100, and HHS estimated that as many as 70,000 more people may have access to the drug as a result.

"There are a number of ways we are trying to increase access to medication-assisted treatment," said Michael Botticelli, the director of national drug control policy, on a conference call with reporters. "This rule itself expands access and gets more physicians to reach more patients."

Suboxone is itself an opioid. It eases withdrawal symptoms and cravings, but doesn't make people high. [...] Botticelli said an average 129 people a day die from opioid overdoses.

Here is some basic information about the differences between buprenorphine (Suboxone) and Naloxone (Narcan).

Previously:
White House Announces Heroin Response Strategy for the US Northeast
Alarming Rise in Death Rates for Middle-Aged White Americans
Kroger Supermarkets to Carry Naloxone Without a Prescription
4/20: Half-Baked Headline


Original Submission

One Upside to Opioid Overdoses: More Organ Donors 21 comments

More organs have become available for transplant in British Columbia, Canada, due to a rise in drug overdoses:

After a brutal year where more than 900 people died of drug overdoses in British Columbia, doctors are pointing to one morbid upside. It might sound like something out of a dystopian horror comic, where drug users are wiped out and harvested for organs. New stats released by the health agency responsible for organ transplants show that's not exactly a far-off nightmare anymore. Health officials have noticed a significant uptick in organ donor deaths, and say that fentanyl is likely playing a role. According to BC Transplant, the number of organ donors in the first weeks of 2017 has doubled over this time last year, from 10 to 20. That's resulted in 59 transplants, up from 37 organs over the same period in 2016.

[...] "We started tracking the connection between fentanyl and organ donation more closely at the start of 2017, and fentanyl has been a contributing factor in about a quarter of our donors so far this year." BC Transplant's statement cautions against drawing conclusions based on a small amount of recent data. But long term trends show the proportion of organ donors dying from overdose has gone up steadily over many years. Back in 2013, 7.5 percent of organ donors tested positive for drugs. In 2016, that number rose to 22.7 percent.

Previously: Opioid Addiction is Big Business
Obama Administration Expands Access to Suboxone Treatment
DEA Welcomes Kratom to the Schedule I List Beginning September 30
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
The Calm Before the Kratom Ban


Original Submission

Development of a Heroin Vaccine 27 comments

Dr. Lowe, from In The Pipeline, writes about the development of a vaccine for heroin:

At first thought, that might seem like a weird idea. Drugs of abuse, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine et al. are small molecules, and as such are too small to set off immune responses on their own. But a strategy could be to attach them to some larger protein that can raise antibodies – if those antibodies recognize the drug-labeled part of the protein conjugate, they may well retain activity against the drug molecule in its free state.

[...] It's been a long road. The first morphine immunoconjugate was described in 1970, and a morphine vaccine was tested in rabbits in 1975. But very little progress in the field occurred over the next twenty years or so, partly because methadone treatment for heroin addiction had become widely used. It's interesting to note, though, that vaccine development work against amphetamine seems to have followed a roughly similar path

[...] It would seem that we really are getting close to human clinical trials for some of these, which will be quite interesting. A drug-abuse vaccine is not going to be magic, though. Because of the specificity of the immune response, someone who's been vaccinated against heroin would almost certainly still respond to morphine, and most definitely would to compounds like fentanyl or oxycodone [...] But vaccines could, at the same time, provide the extra help needed for people to finally break free of a particular drug, and addicts who are really trying to quit need all the help that they can get.

I'd say that last part is the key. One of the big issues in drug addiction is (in the end) a philosophical argument about free will (which would explain why it never gets resolved!) Is drug addiction a disease, a choice, a behavior, a biochemical problem. . .the arguments go on forever, complicated by the way that different people attach different meanings to those terms.

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2017/06/26/a-heroin-vaccine
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.7b03334


Original Submission

Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan 98 comments

"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don't start, they won't have a problem." – President Donald J. Trump

President Trump has declared the "Opioid Crisis" a nationwide public health emergency. This action will allow for "expanded access to telemedicine services" to remotely prescribe medicines for substance abuse, allow the Department of Health and Human Services to "more quickly make temporary appointments of specialists with the tools and talent needed to respond effectively to our Nation's ongoing public health emergency", allow the Department of Labor to issue dislocated worker grants for those "displaced from the workforce" due to the Opioid Crisis, and will help people with HIV/AIDS to receive substance abuse treatment. The press release lists several actions that the Trump Administration has taken to respond to the Opioid Crisis, including the July 2017 law enforcement action against AlphaBay.

The declaration has been criticized for not requesting any funds to respond to the Crisis. The "nationwide public health emergency" declaration is also distinct from a promised "national emergency declaration", which would have freed up money from the Disaster Relief Fund to be spent on the Crisis. 14 Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would authorize $45 billion to address the Opioid Crisis. The Obama Administration called on Congress last year to pass just over $1 billion in funding for opioid treatment programs nationwide. This funding was included in the 21st Century Cures Act.

The Department of Justice has arrested and charged the founder and majority owner of Insys Therapeutics Inc., John Kapoor, along with other executives from his company. Kapoor is accused with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors and illegally distribute the company's fentanyl spray, intended for cancer patients, so that it could be prescribed for non-cancer patients. Kapoor stepped down as CEO of Insys in January. Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb said, "Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit. Today's arrest and charges reflect our ongoing efforts to attack the opioid crisis from all angles. We must hold the industry and its leadership accountable - just as we would the cartels or a street-level drug dealer." Six former Insys executives and managers were charged in December.

[takyon: a262 would like you to know that Insys Therapeutics donated $500,000 to help defeat Arizona's 2016 ballot initiative that would have legalized recreational use of cannabis.]

U.S. Surgeon General Urges More Americans to Carry Naloxone 61 comments

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has urged more Americans to carry the opioid overdose reversal treatment naloxone, known under brand names such as Narcan and Evzio. However, the drug and its delivery systems have become more expensive in recent years:

As opioid-related deaths have continued to climb, naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses, has become an important part of the public health response. When people overdosing struggle to breathe, naloxone can restore normal breathing and save their lives. But the drug has to be given quickly.

On Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory that encouraged more people to routinely carry naloxone. "The call to action is to recognize if you're at risk," he tells Morning Edition's Rachel Martin. "And if you or a loved one are at risk, keep within reach, know how to use naloxone."

[...] The medicine is now available at retail pharmacies in most states without a prescription. Between 2013 and 2015, researchers found a tenfold increase in naloxone sold by retail pharmacies in the U.S. But prices have increased along with demand. Naloxone-filled syringes that used to cost $6 apiece now cost $30 and up. A two-pack of naloxone nasal spray can cost $135 or more. And a two-pack of automatic naloxone injectors runs more than $3,700. And while it's true that naloxone can prevent many opioid-related deaths, it doesn't solve the root cause of the problem.

Also at NYT and CNN.

Related: Kroger Supermarkets to Carry Naloxone Without a Prescription
Chicago Jail Handing Out Naloxone to Inmates Upon Release
Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @06:26PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @06:26PM (#547279)

    Like handing out free condoms to teenagers is a good idea. Since opioid addiction is addictive like sex is hormonal.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @06:49PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @06:49PM (#547292)

    a man who was arrested again, returned to jail, and told of how a friend he had trained to use the kit had done so when he overdosed.

    Sorry for being blunt. But if the overdose were not prevented then there would be less crime and less jail costs?
    There's a reason why people go to jail normally. And that is because someone else is a victim. So less overdoses prevented saves people from more violent crime done to get money for drugs.

    In New York City, more than 4,000 kits have been distributed

    More than 4000 people will suffer robberies etc?

    Sometimes supposedly good deeds have negative consequences.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @06:57PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @06:57PM (#547295)

      Less recidivism means less funding. Think of the jails which might close down without offenders to fill them. Think of the correction officers who have families and bills to pay.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:09PM (#547305)

        I think we spotted a double case of perverted incentives..

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:58PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:58PM (#547331)

        Maybe, but the fact remains dead criminals = less crime.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:16PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:16PM (#547339)

          Dead niggers = less crime.

          Firebomb the South Side!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:31PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:31PM (#547351)

            The niggers don't stay on their side of town anymore. They're slowly migrating north as urban decay depopulates the city. Chicago will be the next Detroit but the effect is less immediately noticeable because the Chicago is just so damn big.

            • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday July 31 2017, @11:54PM

              by kaszz (4211) on Monday July 31 2017, @11:54PM (#547424) Journal

              Can't they just put up a big wall?
              Kind of like the one in North Ireland.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by LoRdTAW on Monday July 31 2017, @08:13PM (1 child)

      by LoRdTAW (3755) on Monday July 31 2017, @08:13PM (#547337) Journal

      Can we get better trolls in here? I mean this is just bad trolling.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday August 01 2017, @02:58PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @02:58PM (#547662)

        People who disagree with you aren't categorically trolls. Have you ever heard of Nietzsche?

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 1, Troll) by jmorris on Monday July 31 2017, @06:58PM (13 children)

    by jmorris (4844) on Monday July 31 2017, @06:58PM (#547297)

    People taking that stuff obviously want to die, so why are we meddling? It is evolution in action.

    Seriously, we are spending a lot of money rolling emergency services to these junkies, in many cases many times, and most eventually succeed in killing themselves eventually. Show me a treatment regime where at least half the junkies end up tax paying productive citizens within two years and I could be convinced to support expending dwindling tax resources on them. Otherwise I can't improve upon; "If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:02PM (#547301)

      Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons? Oh wait.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday July 31 2017, @07:16PM (6 children)

      I've attempted in a serious way twice.

      However psychiatric treatment got me back to work. I'm now a tax paying citizen.

      I'm not an addict but "the mentally ill" is commonly said in sentences that include "addicts".

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:53PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:53PM (#547327)

        There's a big difference... You're a good guy, the others are not and most of them will commit serious crimes again.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:23PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:23PM (#547347)

          MDC has charmed you with his gift of the gab, proving yet again that sociable extroverts always win. Why don't you give personality tests in school, brand the introverts as losers, and fucking kill them all to put the bad shits out of their misery before they commit crimes against your society where bullshitters are the good guys.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @09:26PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @09:26PM (#547374)

            That's funny considering I'm an INTJ, graduated from high school with honors, four women fell in love with me within 4 years, educated myself because I couldn't afford a higher education, started working at 14 and went full time the day after graduation, worked my ass off, raised a family with 4 kids without govt assistance, bought a house in SoCal and paid off the mortgage in 13 years, and was able to retire at age 55.
            What were you saying about introverts again?

            • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday July 31 2017, @11:57PM

              by kaszz (4211) on Monday July 31 2017, @11:57PM (#547427) Journal

              This means you were born 1962 or earlier. In those times introverts had a better opportunity in some ways. And the job opportunities were different.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @12:55AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @12:55AM (#547456)

              graduated from high school with honors

              Congratulations for being able to rote memorize a bunch of information and spew it all back on assignments and tests on command.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @02:47PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @02:47PM (#547660)

                I didn't study before finals or any other test, and didn't start assignments until the last minute. Also I think the I's have a better grip on life and love than the E's who just blissfully skate through life ignorantly.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:21PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:21PM (#547311)

      No they do not obviously want to die, otherwise they wouldn't be taking a pleasure drug more than once.

      There is something seriously wrong with you and quite a few others on this site. The solutions proposed by people like you are often the first steps towards crimes against humanity.

      Try to embody the positive traits of humanity like compassion and charity instead of cynicism and hate.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:35PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:35PM (#547317)

        Kill yourself.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:18PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:18PM (#547342)

          You first :D

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday August 01 2017, @12:34AM

      by c0lo (156) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @12:34AM (#547445) Journal

      People taking that stuff obviously want to die, so why are we meddling?

      <sarcasm>Ummm... have you tried distributing cyanide?
      You can pose as their benefactor at a much cheaper price. </sarcasm>

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:53PM (#547753)

      I know a guy who got off opiods and is now a teacher.

      So, basically, if you think people who get addicted to drugs are worthless and/or beyond help, think again.

  • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:45PM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @07:45PM (#547323)

    When the goal is less junkies, it makes no sense to prolong the lives of junkies.

    The use of heroin is a voluntary act of will. Actions have consequences.

    • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Monday July 31 2017, @08:15PM (4 children)

      by NewNic (6420) on Monday July 31 2017, @08:15PM (#547338) Journal

      And addiction isn't a thing, obviously.

      --
      lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:35PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:35PM (#547353)

        Addiction requires a conscious decision to engage in the first, second, and subsequent instances of a behavior.

        This whole "addiction is a disease" bullshit is just a money-mill for the headshrinkers and an excuse for SJW's to canonize more "victims".

        • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Arik on Monday July 31 2017, @11:34PM (2 children)

          by Arik (4543) on Monday July 31 2017, @11:34PM (#547411) Journal
          "Addiction requires a conscious decision to engage in the first, second, and subsequent instances of a behavior."

          Yet many addicts have gotten their first doses while *un*conscious and unable even to give or deny consent.

          Something doesn't add up there, in fact it's clear you're quite simply wrong. Drugs have their effects, including addiction, without regard to consent.
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @11:54PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @11:54PM (#547425)

            Nu-uh! The world is just! Life is fair! Kill them all! Kill everybody at the first sign they need help!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:41AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:41AM (#547800)

            Congratulations! You have finally figured out why legalizing hard drugs is a terrible, suicidal idea.

            The issue you describe will, and has historically, skyrocketed when hard drugs were legal. Cocaine, heroin, etc.

            Read some history!

    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:21PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:21PM (#547345)

      I guess you've never had a family member struggle with addiction, or fall on hard times.

      Junkies are not the problem, they should only be a problem to themselves. But add the drug war and now you have tons of self-created problems. Answer: legalize drugs, spend taxes on rehab / support programs.

      But most likely you're one of the many brainwashed fools who believe the war on drugs is a good thing.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:31PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:31PM (#547352)

        Piss off. Your sister is probably a crack whore.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:40PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @08:40PM (#547355)

          And your father smelt of elderberries.

          I see the shithead troll is back, my guess is an angsty teenager trying to achieve EDGE LORD status.

          Keep going kiddo, one day you also can be reviled and picked up by the FBI.

          • (Score: 2, Troll) by c0lo on Tuesday August 01 2017, @12:40AM

            by c0lo (156) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @12:40AM (#547448) Journal

            I see the shithead troll is back, my guess is an angsty teenager trying to achieve EDGE LORD status.
            Keep going kiddo, one day you also can be reviled and picked up by the FBI. may use the jmorris2nd nick with pride

            FTFY.

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by kaszz on Tuesday August 01 2017, @12:07AM (3 children)

      by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @12:07AM (#547432) Journal

      The problem is not the prolonging of their lives. The problem is that they provide a quick fix for a side effect symptom. What should be done is to do away with jail sentences and put drug addicts into forced rehabilitation. Release upon successful treatment. Then they won't need the quick fix and there will be a lot less crime.

      But it needs to deal with addiction. AND the underlying problems that pushed the person into the addiction to cover up the underlying problem they could not handle on their own. That unfortunately will collide with the punish them hard mindset. And treat them like humans even though they won't treat others that way always.

      It's kind of funny how when it comes to other problems. There will be analyze and trying different methods. And do what has been proven to work. Except for crimes. Then it's punish and revenge. And if it didn't work.. try the same again and expect a different result.

      Don't ever let scientific method stand in the way of tribal instinct! ;-)

      • (Score: 2, Troll) by jmorris on Tuesday August 01 2017, @02:41AM (2 children)

        by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @02:41AM (#547494)

        Where do you live where unproductive or outright defective practices are examined and changed? What are your immigration laws?

        Our war on poverty created more poverty, encourages people to remain mired in the web of the welfare state. Any suggestion that we might have made a wrong turn there only gets you labeled a hater.

        If tax and spend, socialism lite, could create prosperity we would have one example in the world to hold up by now. Good luck getting any elected official to consider stopping.

        No matter how many times it is shown that simply increasing the minimum wage increases unemployment and generally hurts the people it is intended to help, the fact it is a vote getter means it keeps happening.

        And so on. Seriously, show me a modern example where we actually learn from a mistake. I need some good news, it ain't fun being an Eeyore .

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by c0lo on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:26AM

          by c0lo (156) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:26AM (#547512) Journal

          Our war on poverty created more poverty, encourages people to remain mired in the web of the welfare state.

          Your? But of course. Because you just make-believe playing you are doing it.

          If tax and spend, socialism lite, could create prosperity we would have one example in the world to hold up by now.

          Like the Scandinavian countries, you mean? Or Germany, which can afford to offer free tertiary education for anyone that wants it, foreigners included?
          Riiiight! They obviously failed, they are only social-democracies and this didn't even defend them against opening a Surströmming in a public place [thelocal.se] (or... was it the Bowling Green Massacre [wikipedia.org]?).

          Seriously, show me a modern example where we actually learn from a mistake.

          You aren't able to learn from your own mistakes, much less from other's successes [soylentnews.org]
          (e.g. while 900 people died of drug overdoses in British Columbia [soylentnews.org] from a population of 4.6 million, Spain managed to have a 556 drug-induced deaths in a population of 46.77 million, spending 0.03% of their GDP)

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by sjames on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:50AM

          by sjames (2882) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:50AM (#547514) Journal

          The problem isn't social programs. The problem is sabotaged social programs. Giving poor people aid is helpful. Demanding that they aren't allowed to have any savings and that they be cut off the instant they show the slightest sign of improvement keeps them poor. So quit sabotaging the social programs and perhaps we can make some progress.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @09:39PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @09:39PM (#547380)

    I don't know which is more offensive, treating criminals like human beings or treating drug addicts like human beings.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @11:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2017, @11:56PM (#547426)

      Kill them all! Kill them all! Kill them all!

      Trump! Trump! Trump!

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by c0lo on Tuesday August 01 2017, @12:28AM

    by c0lo (156) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @12:28AM (#547442) Journal

    I'll just let this (PDF) one [europa.eu] here for anyone really interested (Spain country drug report 2017).

    The TL;DR:

    • drug possession is not a crime in Spain. Drug trafficking is.
    • drug-related public expenditure was estimated to represent 0.03 % of gross domestic product.
    • In 2014, 6 441 emergency episodes related to drug use were notified and 556 drug-induced deaths were reported - in a population of 46.77 million. The proportion of heroin-related intoxications fell by a factor of 3 since 2000.
    • 2.1 per 1,000,000 population new HIV infections related to injectable drugs use
    • a decrease in the proportion of deaths attributed to both heroin and cocaine, with deaths mainly in the over 45 years of age (mirroring the ageing of the Spanish heroin users’ cohort)
    • the top 5 drugs use in Spain: cannabis at 23.1%, cocaine at 4.6%, MDMA at 1.9%, amphetamines at 1.4% and heroin at 0.21%.

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    Some extensive excerpts with my emphasis and [addenda]:

    In 2013 and 2014, drug-related public expenditure was estimated to represent 0.03 % of gross domestic product. Most of the total of approximately EUR 333 million (about 65 %) was spent by the autonomous communities and cities, while the remaining 35 % was spent by the central government.
    ...
    In Spain, consumption or minor personal possession in public places is deemed a serious order offence, punishable by administrative sanctions (Figure 2), with fines of EUR 601 to EUR 30 000 [Law on the Protection of Citizens’ Security (2015), Article 36]. For minors, the fine can be suspended if the offender voluntarily attends treatment, rehabilitation or counselling activities.
    ...
    The prevalence of use of illicit substances in Spain has been relatively stable over the last few years, with approximately one third of the adult population reporting lifetime use of an illicit substance. Cannabis, followed by cocaine, is the most commonly used drug, with use mainly concentrated among adolescents and adults below 35 years. Although the latest available data from the 2015 general population study confirm that the prevalence of use of both substances has declined in the last 10 years, the levels of cannabis and cocaine use in Spain remain higher than in other European Union countries.
    [figure 4. shows cannabis use at 23.1%, cocaine at 4.6%, MDMA at 1.9% and amphetamines at 1.4%]
    ...
    In Spain, heroin remains the main substance linked to serious adverse health and social consequences, such as drug-related infections. The estimated number of high-risk heroin users has shown a decreasing trend since 2010, and remained stable in 2013-14 (Figure 6). The number of high-risk cocaine users in Spain has been falling since 2009. Injecting drug use has also declined in the last 30 years among those admitted to treatment.
    [Figure 7 shows heroin use at 0.21% - 2.1 per 1000 population]
    ...
    In the last 20 years, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has represented one of the main health problems associated with drug use in Spain. However, since the end of the 1990s, a significant decrease has been observed in HIV infection associated with injecting drug use (Figure 8).
    [Figure 8 shows 2.1 per 1,000,000 population new HIV infections related to injectable drugs use]
    ...
    Information on drug-related emergencies in Spain originates from the National Plan on Drugs, which was introduced in 1987, and which monitors hospital emergencies directly caused by non-medical use of psychoactive substances among 15- to 54-year-olds. In 2014, 6 441 emergency episodes related to drug use were notified, continuing the rather stable trend seen over the previous five years. Cocaine was the substance
    most frequently reported as the cause of the emergency episodes, followed by cannabis. The proportion of cannabis-related emergency episodes shows a clear upward trend since 2000, while the proportion of heroin-related intoxications fell by a factor of 3 during the same period. Amphetamines and MDMA were less common causes of drug-related emergencies in Spain in 2014; however, there are some indications of an upward trend in the last five years.
    ...
    The Special Registry, based on forensic and toxicological sources, indicated stable trends in drug-induced deaths in the last five years, with 556 drug-induced deaths reported in 2014. According to the available toxicological results, opioids, followed by cocaine, were found in the majority of deaths; however, there has been a decrease in the proportion of deaths attributed to both substances in recent years. Most victims were male and more than half were older than 45 years, which mirrors the ageing of the Spanish heroin users’ cohort.
    ...
    The reduction of drug-related risk and harm is one of the principal objectives of the National Drug Strategy for 2009-16, and further detailed in four-year action plans for 2009-12 and 2013-16. ... In 2014, public NSPs in Spain distributed approximately 1.5 million syringes, continuing a declining trend that started in 2005. This trend coincided with the scaling up of opioid substitution treatment (OST), which has been shown by the available evidence to have a positive outcome for treatment retention and reduction in illicit opioid use, reported risk behaviour and drug-related harms and mortality.

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
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