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posted by martyb on Saturday October 28 2017, @05:55PM   Printer-friendly
from the we-need-a-heroin dept.

"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.]

Walgreens has announced that it will stock Narcan® (naloxone) nasal spray in all of its over 8,000 pharmacies nationwide. Naloxone is a life-saving essential medicine that can reverse opioid overdoses and treat opioid withdrawal. Naloxone is available over-the-counter in 45 states, but still requires a prescription in Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, and Wyoming. Delaware recently allowed over-the-counter sales of naloxone. Laws in Hawaii and Missouri are pending, and Montana has agreed to grant CVS wider access to the drug.

Maybe banning kratom was a mistake.

Nationwide Public Health Emergency: Also at NYT, BBC, Reuters, and Fox News.

Insys Therapeutics Inc.: Also at NPR and Bloomberg.

Walgreens Narcan: Also at NPR, ABC, and CBS.

Previously: 4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm
Jeff Sessions Reboots the Drug War
Development of a Heroin Vaccine
Goal of US's First Opioid Court: Keep People Alive
Chicago Jail Handing Out Naloxone to Inmates Upon Release


Original Submission   Alternate Submission

Related Stories

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

DEA Welcomes Kratom to the Schedule I List Beginning September 30 32 comments

Kratom, an herbal drug made of ground-up tree leaves, is "temporarily" joining other natural substances such as cannabis, psilocybin, and peyote on the schedule I list of the Controlled Substances Act. The active ingredients in kratom, the indole alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, are both being added to the list for up to three years, after which they can be added permanently.

Prior to this move, the U.S. has already been seizing shipments of kratom:

In 2014, the FDA issued an import alert that allowed US Customs agents to detain kratom without a physical examination. "We have identified kratom as a botanical substance that could pose a risk to public health and have the potential for abuse," said Melinda Plaisier, the FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. According to the DEA, between February 2014 and July 2016, nearly 247,000 pounds of kratom were seized.

Advocates say that kratom is a natural treatment for opioid addiction, an application that the Drug Enforcement Agency dismisses. Meanwhile, the heroin/opioid epidemic continues with "unprecedented" events like the recent 174 heroin overdoses in just six days in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Check out the implosion of this kratom subreddit, which is attempting to get 100,000 signatures on the White House petition site:

APATHY WILL GET US NOWHERE. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME FOR US TO BAND TOGETHER, ITS NOW. stand with me brothers and sisters. hope is not lost.


Original Submission

Insys Execs Charged Over Alleged Opioid Prescription Kickbacks 2 comments

Six former executives and managers from Arizona-based drugmaker, Insys Therapeutics, face conspiracy charges over what a federal prosecutor calls a "racketeering crime." In this case, according to the indictment, the former employees of the drug manufacturer are alleged to have rewarded doctors for prescribing their spray version of the opiate fentanyl, even when it wasn't medically appropriate.

[...] Three years ago on CNBC, Michael Babich demonstrated the company's drug, "Subsys," a prescription pain reliever for cancer patients which is delivered through a spray. The medication, which the company first sold in 2012, racked up $329 milllion in sales last year. "The device that I brought with me today allows the patient to simply with no priming spray the drug underneath their tongue," Babich explained.

According to the indictment, the defendants "conspired with one another to use bribes and kickbacks" for doctors who "wrote large numbers of... prescriptions, most often for patients who did not have cancer." The scheme allegedly funneled tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to practitioners, including one whom a sales representative boasted in an email was running "a very shady pill mill and only accepts cash."

Source: CBS News


Original Submission

4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm 55 comments

Past articles: 20152016

What's up, Soylenteers? I've got to write another one of these? #420TooMainstream.

Legalization Status

Timeline of cannabis laws in the United States
Timeline of cannabis law

Since this time last year, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas legalized medical cannabis, Illinois decriminalized it, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts legalized recreational cannabis. An attempt to legalize recreational cannabis in Arizona narrowly failed.

29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use, although restrictions vary widely from state to state.

Germany's medical cannabis law was approved in January and came into effect in March. Poland has also legalized medical cannabis, and Georgia's Supreme Court has ruled that imprisonment for possession of small amounts of cannabis is unconstitutional.

Recently: West Virginia on Course for Medical Marijuana

🍁 Cannada: Not So Fast 🍁

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled (archive) legislation (archive) that would make Canada the first major Western country to legalize recreational cannabis (the only country to legalize it to date is Uruguay, although implementation has taken years), dealing a serious blow to the crumbling United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. However, the Liberal Party of Canada intends to wait more than a year to act on its campaign promise, during which time Canadians can still face prosecution for possession of the drug:

True to form, this government has written down a series of talking points, in this case, trying to make it sound like it's cracking down on pot rather than legalizing it. And Justin Trudeau's ministers are sticking to the messaging from party central like a child reciting Dr. Seuss.

Not once in that As It Happens interview did [Justice Minister Jody] Wilson-Raybould explain why the government intends to keep on criminalizing Canadians so unfairly (see the Liberal party's website statement) for another year. Instead, literally every second time she opened her mouth, she re-spouted the line about "strictly regulating and restricting access." Off asked eight questions. Four times, Wilson-Raybould robotically reverted to the same phrase.

Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, a parliamentary lifer who mastered the art of repetitive dronetalk sometime back in the last millennium, was out peddling more or less the same line, but with an added warning: Not only will the government continue to criminalize Canadians for what it considers a trifling offence, enforcement will be vigorous. "Existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place, and they need to be respected," Goodale declared. "This must be an orderly transition. It is not a free-for-all." Why the government cannot simply decide to invoke prosecutorial and police discretion, and cease enforcing the cannabis laws it considers unjust, was not explained. Why that would necessarily be a "free for all" also went unexplained.

The Liberal Party of Canada has taken pains to remind everyone that the Conservative Party will "do everything they can to stop real change and protect a failed status quo". Unfortunately, they did not get the memo that "marijuana" is a term with racist origins.

Make like a tree and legalize it, Cannadia... Cannibinoidia.

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Backtrack to April 20th, 2016. Bernie Sanders still seemingly had a shot at becoming the President of the United States. Sanders, as well as Hillary Clinton (though begrudgingly), supported decriminalization of cannabis, medical use, and the continuation of states making decisions about recreational use. The #2 Republican candidate Ted Cruz also had a "let the states sort it out" stance.

One contender stood out, and he went on to become the @POTUS to #MAGA. The widely predicted "third term" was prevented, and that outcome may greatly affect a burgeoning semi-legal cannabis industry. One recent casualty are Amsterdam-style "cannabis clubs" (think: brewpubs). Colorado's legislature has backed off on a bill that would have allowed on-site consumption of cannabis at dispensaries due to the uncertain future of federal enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

Trump's position on cannabis has been ill-defined, although he supports medical use and has indicated that states should handle the issue. But the same can't be said of his Attorney General, former Senator Jeff Sessions. Here are some quotes about the drug from Mr. Sessions:

I thought those guys were OK until I learned they smoked pot. [Source. Context: Sessions later testified that the comment was a joke.]

We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it's in fact a very real danger.

I think one of [President Obama's] great failures, it's obvious to me, is his lax treatment in comments on marijuana... It reverses 20 years almost of hostility to drugs that began really when Nancy Reagan started 'Just Say No.

You can't have the President of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink... It is different... It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal.

Good people don't smoke marijuana.

Cannabis advocates are becoming increasingly paranoid about the federal government's stance towards the states (and a certain District) that have legalized cannabis. And this is following an Obama administration that was criticized for conducting raids in states with legalization. It is too early to tell how the Trump administration will choose to deal with cannabis, but there are signs that harsher policies and greater enforcement could be coming:

On Wednesday, [April 5th,] Jeff Sessions directed Justice Department lawyers to evaluate marijuana enforcement policy and send him recommendations. And some state officials are worried. This week the governors of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington wrote the attorney general. They asked Sessions and the new Treasury secretary to consult with them before making any changes to regulations or enforcement.

At the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said recently that the president is sympathetic to people who use marijuana for medical reasons. He pointed out that Congress has acted to bar the Justice Department from using federal money to interfere in state medical cannabis programs. But Spicer took a harsh view of recreational marijuana. "When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we need to be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law we need to abide by," Spicer said.

Really, Spicer? Recreational cannabis use shouldn't be encouraged during an opioid addiction crisis? Read on.

Politics nexus unavailable for comment.

The Opioid Crisis Drags On (it's relevant)

Heroin use has become more dangerous as dealers have increasingly added other substances that massively increase potency without affecting the size of a dose significantly. Carfentanil, which is used as an elephant tranquilizer, has led to hundreds of deaths over very short timespans. It is impossible for the average user to predict the potency and potential danger of street heroin. While there have been international responses to these compounds, new chemical analogues are being created all the time:

Chinese labs producing the synthetic opiates play hide-and-seek with authorities. On their websites, they list fake addresses in derelict shopping centers or shuttered factories, and use third-party sales agents to conduct transactions that are hard to trace. The drugs themselves are easy to find with a Google search and to buy with a few mouse clicks. A recent check found more than a dozen Chinese sites advertising fentanyl, carfentanil, and other derivatives, often labeled as "research chemicals," for sale through direct mail shipments to the United States. On one website, carfentanil goes for $361 for 50 grams: tens of thousands of lethal doses.

The cat-and-mouse game extends to chemistry, as the makers tinker with fentanyl itself. Minor modifications like adding an oxygen atom or shifting a methyl group can be enough to create whole new entities that are no longer on the list of sanctioned compounds. Carfentanil itself was, until recently, unregulated in China.

2016 saw the addition of kratom to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S. Advocates for the tree leaf drug, which was formerly classified as a supplement, believe that its painkiller effects and low risk factors make it a useful replacement for the oft-deadly opioids that millions of Americans are addicted to. Kratom users have treated their pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms using the formerly "legal high". The DEA has refused to acknowledge this application and points out the "skyrocketing" number of calls to the Poison Control Center regarding kratom in recent years. One skeptic of kratom, Dr. Josh Bloom of the American Council on Science and Health, has looked at the same evidence and concluded that the trail of bodies left by substances like fentanyl and the scarce number of deaths (perhaps wrongly) attributed to kratom make it clear that the substance is the better "poison". He also notes that:

The number of calls to poison control centers is not reliable for determining how many poisonings actually occurred. It is a crude approximation at best.

Much like kratom, medical cannabis has been touted as a solution to the opioid crisis. States with legalized medical cannabis have seen a reduction in reported instances of opioid dependence [DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.006] [DX] So it is puzzling that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would use opioids as a bludgeon against cannabis legalization while AG Sessions expresses astonishment over the suggestion of using cannabis as a "cure" for the opioid crisis.

Bonus: Here's a video (2m14s) of a woman getting administered Narcan/naloxone. Here's an alternate video (2m39s) in which a man who overdosed on heroin is able to sit up in about a minute after being administered naloxone.

⚚ The Slow March for Science ⚕

While the Drug Enforcement Agency has refused to reclassify cannabis from its current Schedule I status, citing the supposedly rigorous conclusions reached by the Food and Drug Administration, it will allow more than one institution to grow cannabis for research purposes, ending the monopoly held by the University of Mississippi. However, the Schedule I status of cannabis remains an impediment to further research:

[...] DEA's decision not to reschedule marijuana presents a Catch-22. By ruling that there is not enough evidence of "currently accepted medical use"—a key distinction between the highly restrictive Schedule I classification and the less restrictive Schedule II—the administration essentially makes it harder to gather such evidence.

"They're setting a standard that can't be met," says David Bradford, a health economist at the University of Georgia, Athens. "That level of proof is never going to be forthcoming in the current environment because it requires doing a really extensive clinical trial series, and given that a pharmaceutical company can't patent whole plant marijuana, it's in no company's interest to do that."

Schedule I status presents obstacles for clinical researchers because of restrictions on how the drugs must be stored and handled, Bradford says. Perhaps more significant, that listing may evoke skittishness at funding agencies and on the institutional review boards that must sign off on research involving human subjects.

Researchers have disparaged the quality and potency as well as the appearance and odor of the University of Mississippi's cannabis products:

"It doesn't resemble cannabis. It doesn't smell like cannabis," Sisley told PBS NewsHour last week.

Jake Browne, a cannabis critic for the Denver Post's Cannabist marijuana news site, agrees. "That is, flat out, not a usable form of cannabis," he said. Browne should know: He's reviewed dozens of strains professionally and is running a sophisticated marijuana growing competition called the Grow-Off.

"In two decades of smoking weed, I've never seen anything that looks like that," Browne said. "People typically smoke the flower of the plant, but here you can clearly see stems and leaves in there as well, parts that should be discarded. Inhaling that would be like eating an apple, including the seeds inside it and the branch it grew on."

Research on cannabinoids and psychedelics is proceeding, slowly. One study published yesterday (74 years after the first LSD trip) came to an astounding conclusion: Psychedelics can induce a "heightened state of consciousness":

Healthy volunteers who received LSD, ketamine or psilocybin, a compound found in magic mushrooms, were found to have more random brain activity than normal while under the influence, according to a study into the effects of the drugs. The shift in brain activity accompanied a host of peculiar sensations that the participants said ranged from floating and finding inner peace, to distortions in time and a conviction that the self was disintegrating.

[...] What we find is that under each of these psychedelic compounds, this specific measure of global conscious level goes up, so it moves in the other direction. The neural activity becomes more unpredictable," said Anil Seth, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Sussex. "Until now, we've only ever seen decreases compared to the baseline of the normal waking state."

Inconceivable!

Increased spontaneous MEG signal diversity for psychoactive doses of ketamine, LSD and psilocybin (open, DOI: 10.1038/srep46421) (DX)

♯ Ending on High Notes ♯

Vape Naysh, y'all!

Politics: Jeff Sessions Reboots the Drug War 132 comments

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that he has directed his federal prosecutors to pursue the most severe penalties possible, including mandatory minimum sentences, in his first step toward a return to the war on drugs of the 1980s and 1990s that resulted in long sentences for many minority defendants and packed U.S. prisons.

[...] In the later years of the Obama administration, a bipartisan consensus emerged on Capitol Hill for sentencing reform legislation, which Sessions opposed and successfully worked to derail.

In a two-page memo to federal prosecutors across the country, Sessions overturned former attorney general Eric H. Holder's sweeping criminal charging policy that instructed his prosecutors to avoid charging certain defendants with offenses that would trigger long mandatory minimum sentences. In its place, Sessions told his more than 5,000 assistant U.S. attorneys to charge defendants with the most serious crimes, carrying the toughest penalties.

More at Washington Post, Fox News, Huffington Post, The Hill

Memorandum on Department Charging and Sentencing Policy - US Department of Justice PDF


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

Goal of US's First Opioid Court: Keep People Alive 48 comments

The Associated Press newswire reports:

After three defendants fatally overdosed in a single week last year, it became clear that Buffalo's ordinary drug treatment court was no match for the heroin and painkiller crisis.

Now the city is experimenting with the nation's first opioid crisis intervention court, which can get users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days, requires them to check in with a judge every day for a month instead of once a week, and puts them on strict curfews. Administering justice takes a back seat to the overarching goal of simply keeping defendants alive.

[...] Buffalo-area health officials blamed 300 deaths on opioid overdoses in 2016, up from 127 two years earlier. That includes a young couple who did not make it to their second drug court appearance last spring. The woman's father arrived instead to tell the judge his daughter and her boyfriend had died the night before.

[...] "This 30-day thing is like being beat up and being asked to get in the ring again, and you're required to," 36-year-old Ron Woods said after one of his daily face-to-face meetings with City Court Judge Craig Hannah, who presides over the program.

Woods said his heroin use started with an addiction to painkillers prescribed after cancer treatments that began when he was 21. He was arrested on drug charges in mid-May and agreed to intervention with the dual hope of kicking the opioids that have killed two dozen friends and seeing the felony charges against him reduced or dismissed.

[...] "I don't want to die in the streets, especially with the fentanyl out there," Sammy Delgado, one of the handcuffed defendants, said.


Original Submission

Two Dark Web Marketplaces, AlphaBay and Hansa, Shut Down 10 comments

An international investigation has taken down two dark web marketplaces:

Two of the largest dark web marketplaces have been shut down following a "landmark" international law enforcement investigation.

The AlphaBay and Hansa sites had been associated with the trade in illicit items such as drugs, weapons, malware and stolen data.

According to Europol, there were more than 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and toxic chemicals on AlphaBay.

Hansa was seized and covertly monitored for a month before being deactivated.

The agency said it believed the bust would lead to hundreds of new investigations in Europe.

"The capability of drug traffickers and other serious criminals around the world has taken a serious hit today," said Europol's executive director Rob Wainwright.


[Ed. addition] The US Department Of Justice announcement goes into considerable detail about the size of the site and the products carried there, as well as the agencies around the world which assisted with the takedown.

Further, Ars Technica UK explains the critical opsec mistake that lead to the takedown:

Chicago Jail Handing Out Naloxone to Inmates Upon Release 41 comments

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

Senate Investigators Google Their Way to $766 Million of Fentanyl 66 comments

With Google, Bitcoins, and USPS, Feds realize it's stupid easy to buy fentanyl

A congressional report released Wednesday lays out just how easy it is for Americans to buy the deadly opioid fentanyl from Chinese suppliers online and have it shipped to them via the government's own postal service. The report also lays out just how difficult the practice will be to stop.

After Googling phrases such as "fentanyl for sale," Senate investigators followed up with just six of the online sellers they found. This eventually led them to 500 financial transaction records, accounting for about $766 million worth of fentanyl entering the country and at least seven traceable overdose deaths.

[...] "Thanks to our bipartisan investigation, we now know the depth to which drug traffickers exploit our mail system to ship fentanyl and other synthetic drugs into the United States," Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said in a statement. "The federal government can, and must, act to shore up our defenses against this deadly drug and help save lives."

Related: Opioid Addiction is Big Business
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Tip for Darknet Drug Lords: Don't Wear Latex Gloves to the Post Office
Cop Brushes Fentanyl Off Uniform, Overdoses
Congress Reacts to Reports that a 2016 Law Hindered DEA's Ability to go after Opioid Distributors
Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan


Original Submission

Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors 46 comments

Pain Pill Giant Purdue to Stop Promotion of Opioids to Doctors

Pain-pill giant Purdue Pharma LP will stop promoting its opioid drugs to doctors, a retreat after years of criticism that the company's aggressive sales efforts helped lay the foundation of the U.S. addiction crisis.

The company told employees this week that it would cut its sales force by more than half, to 200 workers. It plans to send a letter Monday to doctors saying that its salespeople will no longer come to their clinics to talk about the company's pain products.

"We have restructured and significantly reduced our commercial operation and will no longer be promoting opioids to prescribers," the company said in a statement. Instead, any questions doctors have will be directed to the Stamford, Connecticut-based company's medical affairs department.

OxyContin, approved in 1995, is the closely held company's biggest-selling drug, though sales of the pain pill have declined in recent years amid competition from generics. It generated $1.8 billion in 2017, down from $2.8 billion five years earlier, according to data compiled by Symphony Health Solutions. It also sells the painkiller Hysingla.

Oxycodone.

Also at Reuters, USA Today, The Verge, and CNN.

Previously: City of Everett, Washington Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma
OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem
South Carolina Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue

Related: Opioid Crisis Partly Blamed on a 1980 Letter to the New England Journal of Medicine
President Trump Declares the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency
Study Finds Stark Increase in Opioid-Related Admissions, Deaths in Nation's ICUs
CVS Limits Opioid Prescriptions
Congress Reacts to Reports that a 2016 Law Hindered DEA's Ability to go after Opioid Distributors
Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan


Original Submission

120 Pounds (54 kg) of Fentanyl Seized in Nebraska 35 comments

Record US fentanyl bust 'enough to kill 26 million people'

Nearly 120lbs (54kg) of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic painkiller, has been seized by police in Nebraska - one of the largest busts in US history.

The drugs, seized last month, could kill over 26 million people, according to estimates by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Police found the fentanyl in a fake compartment of a lorry. The driver and a passenger were arrested.

[...] It was the largest seizure of fentanyl in state history, Nebraska State Patrol said in a Twitter post on Thursday.

[...] Just 2mg of fentanyl - or a few grains of table salt - is a lethal dosage for most people, and even exposure can cause a fatal reaction, according to the DEA.

Another estimate: they could make 260 million people pain-free for a day.

Bonus story:

Mussels test positive for opioids in Seattle's Puget Sound

Scientists at the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife have found that mussels in Seattle's waters are testing positive for opioids. The finding suggests "a lot of people" are taking oxycodone in the Puget Sound, researchers say.

Also at the Puget Sound Institute.

Related: Opioid Addiction is Big Business
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Cop Brushes Fentanyl Off Uniform, Overdoses
Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Senate Investigators Google Their Way to $766 Million of Fentanyl
"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S.
British Medical Journal Calls for Legalizing All Drugs


Original Submission

Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis 23 comments

Opioid commission's anti-marijuana argument stirs anger

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, head of the presidential commission on opioids, warned of the dangers of marijuana in a letter to President Donald Trump earlier this month about the panel's findings, saying the current push for marijuana legalization could further fuel the opioid epidemic.

"There is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency, and abuse potential for marijuana. This mirrors the lack of data in the 1990s and early 2000s when opioid prescribing multiplied across health care settings and led to the current epidemic of abuse, misuse and addiction," Christie wrote in the letter, which was released with the commission's final report.

"The Commission urges that the same mistake is not made with the uninformed rush to put another drug legally on the market in the midst of an overdose epidemic."

[...] But some experts say the commission's fixation on marijuana was bizarre and troubling, lending credence to outdated views of marijuana as a gateway drug. And these experts want to nip such thinking in the bud.

They emphasized that they support efforts to curb the nation's opioid epidemic, but not the demonization of marijuana in the process.

"I was surprised to see negative language about marijuana in the opioid report," said Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Research that examines pain and marijuana shows that marijuana use significantly reduces pain. In addition, the majority of studies examining marijuana and opioids show that marijuana use is associated with less opioid use and less opioid-related deaths."

You had one job.

Previously:


Original Submission

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: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:08PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:08PM (#588737)

    another day, another case of dual construction.
    its not hard to figure out how these people were enable by lawmakers or what has happened with all the poppy growing in afghanistan, is it now? ... but let me step aside while the DFG designated fall guys get shredded.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:12PM (14 children)

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:12PM (#588738) Homepage

    " "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 "

    Hahahaha, that sounds a lot like one of those "winners don't use drugs" public service announcements we saw during the Reagan era. Well, fuck cracking down on doctors, go after big pharma themselves. Motherfuckers are the reason why weed is still federally illegal. CBD oil actually saved a friend of a friend's kids life (epilepsy)!

    Fucking junkies are ruining things for the rest of us. Once fucked up my back during a trip and had to go to a hospital in Lancaster, which is a dump out in the middle of nowhere. Instead of responding to my intense pain quickly, the doctors thought I was just another pillhead jonesing for a fix, even though I had no history of painkiller prescription (and, indeed, I dislike opiates and never enjoyed using them recreationally. When I was prescribed Vicodin from that injury I ended up throwing half the bottle in the trash even though I could have sold them on the street for two bucks a pop).

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:48PM (#588750)

      The largest determining factor in becoming addicted is how long the initial prescription is. You get into the danger territory at about one week. Less than that and patients get a renewal if they're in pain, and get another renewal if they're in pain... Patients who get a two week prescription get hooked more often than patients who have four four-day prescriptions.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by fyngyrz on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:26PM (6 children)

      by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:26PM (#588834) Homepage Journal

      junkies are ruining things for the rest of us.

      No. It's congress and the state legislatures. It's been going on for a long time.

      Junkies are only ruining things for themselves. Which is fine by me.

      --
      The eyes are the windows to the soul.
      Sunglasses are the window shades.
      • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Sunday October 29 2017, @10:45PM (3 children)

        by meustrus (4961) <meustrusNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday October 29 2017, @10:45PM (#589234)

        Junkies wrecking their own lives should be fine with all of us. It doesn’t hurt me if you kill yourself. But instead of living by that idea, we’re stuck between conservatives that want the government enforcing arbitrary moral standards and liberals that want the government to save us from ourselves.

        --
        If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Mykl on Monday October 30 2017, @02:34AM (2 children)

          by Mykl (1112) on Monday October 30 2017, @02:34AM (#589314)

          I disagree. Mostly because junkies wrecking their own lives always affects others:

          • Those they steal from
          • Those they injure/threaten
          • Those who love them
          • Medical professionals looking after these people instead of other patients. By that reasoning, ALL OTHER EMERGENCY PATIENTS
          • Any who were once dependent on them (e.g. kids)

          The government's objective here is not arbitrary, and they're saving more than just the junkies. If they can reduce the number of junkies, they can reduce the strain on the whole of society, and improve the happiness of their citizens (both potential junkies and potential affected-by-junkies). If that means you can't inject whatever you want into your veins then I say to you - Boo Hoo.

          • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Monday October 30 2017, @06:26PM

            by meustrus (4961) <meustrusNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday October 30 2017, @06:26PM (#589578)

            Ah, the practical argument. It's a damn shame more people don't think that way. In this and many other political issues.

            --
            If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday November 16 2017, @07:45AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 16 2017, @07:45AM (#597608) Journal
            And yet, the illegality of these drugs is the primary cause of the problem. Jailing junkies, for example, doesn't help them come up with options to theft (like holding a job) to pay for their habit. The expense of the drugs also contributes to theft behavior. To cover their habit, they need more money.

            Further, there's a lot of dangerous drugs out there. Most of these risks are mitigated by government regulators (particularly, the ATF and FDA) and liability lawsuits. You don't see cigarette manufacturers cutting their product with a lot of strychnine or liquor sellers mixing in wood alcohol, and causing serious poisonings and death. But that does happen with illegal recreational drugs all the time. And what recourse does a junkie have when their dealer sells them a defective product?

            Junkies aren't less of a burden on society when they're moving in and out of jail. It's not solving anything. It's not making any harms of drug use less severe or junkies more beneficial to society. The various abuses of the war on drugs don't help us. We're not better off because authorities can steal your money via illegal civil asset forfeiture. We're not better off due to the various sorts of secretive spying programs like Sting Ray. We're not better off due to the various gang wars that are funded by the illegal drug trade. We're not better off by having 1% of the population in jail.

            The war on drugs is evil. It ruins peoples' lives. It destroys our freedom. It squanders public funds. There is no excuse for your support of this.
      • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Monday October 30 2017, @06:02PM (1 child)

        by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 30 2017, @06:02PM (#589562)

        Nobody ever thinks of where all of the drug money that the junkies steal goes to. AFAIK it goes to the hands of the drug dealers who want to expand their territories and user bases.

        The rich yuppies of today are not the hippies of yesteryear who grew their own dope. They are quite literally funding gang warfare with their hedonism, because they are supporting the existence of the gangs. No, established, private, independent pot shops are not always the sole growers of the products they sell. They too require sources of the stuff. So long as junkies are making their own meth/heroin/pot/whatever, then it's fine by me.

        • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Monday October 30 2017, @06:58PM

          by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 30 2017, @06:58PM (#589600) Homepage Journal

          Nobody ever thinks of where all of the drug money that the junkies steal goes to. AFAIK it goes to the hands of the drug dealers who want to expand their territories and user bases.

          Part of it (which is a lot of money, and property turned into money) is skimmed by law enforcement. My local cops in my tiny little rural town have a very nice vehicle that says in huge letters on the side something to the effect of "bought with drug money" (I'd have to go find it to get the exact wording, but that's precisely what it means.) And of course even more goes into the pockets of law enforcement and prisons as it is taken directly from taxpayers pockets, people who otherwise aren't involved in the illicit drug trade at all.

          The yuppies (and other customers) are strictly second-order, downstream effects. Not causes.

          The problem boils down to the legislation that created the black illicit / otherwise unavailable drug market, which in turn creates arbitrarily high prices (and unreliable quality and dosage), which in turn puts needy druggies squarely into the "I need more money than I have" category, while at the very same time they enjoy being in the "I am already a criminal, why not just steal what I need, it's not like it'll change my status" class.

          The manufacturing cost of most addictive and/or highly attractive drugs is very low. That's why the illicit market is so well addressed, and why there is so much internecine violence involved. The illegals don't bother making expensive drugs for the "home entertainment" market. The margins are too low. Why should they bother when the various governmental entities have made sure that they can make loads of money whipping up the cheapest stuff anyway?

          You know how much pot and peyote are actually worth outside of the costs brought on by ill-advised legislation? A bucket of dirt and some water, that's what. Many other popular drugs are in the same, or nearly the same, class. Some require a little bit of chemistry, but really, not much. Any legal drug manufacturing facility worthy of the name could manufacture them in high quality and very, very inexpensively. If, you know, legislation wasn't in the way.

          The whole black drug market is an artificially created thing, and the most of the serious problems that came along with it directly consequent to its illegal status.

          Also a direct insult to personal liberty. Not a small thing, that, IMHO.

          --
          The eyes are the windows to the soul.
          Sunglasses are the window shades.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:25AM (2 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:25AM (#588863) Journal

      "go after big pharma themselves. "

      I think a top-down approach, as well as a bottom-up, is fitting. Remember all the crap we were told about pushers, decades ago? They were predators, lowlifes, less-than-human, pushing their poison to children, and the weak. The hell with the street corner pushers. Forget about some old crack whore running a crack house. Those are small time players, and putting them out of action will do diddly-squat.

      The people to go after are the LAWMAKERS who passed the laws allowing all those "legal" drugs. Go after the Big Pharma executives, those bastards KNOW they are pushing poison to old, young, and everyone. The doctors? Well, those sons of bitches know at least as well as those Big Pharma execs that they are helping to push poison. All of those are the real parasites.

      A large number of junkies wouldn't even BE junkies, if their trusted medical professional hadn't got them hooked. But, it wasn't just the doctor - those execs were pushing, and the lawmakers made it "legal". The rest of the junkies couldn't have become junkies either, if the shit wasn't even being manufactured, and pumped into the supply line.

      But, "Less than 1% of medical opioid users get hooked" - or words very similar to that.

      Parasites.

      Poetic justice would be, if those lawmakers and pharma execs all bury all of their own god damned children - and grand children too. They need to lose everything dear to them, to understand how badly they have fucked the American citizens.

      --
      Hawking believes that alien life forms will likely be simple and primitive, or, as they’re known on Earth, Democrats.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @06:19AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @06:19AM (#588951)

        You are partially right and partially wrong.

        Of all the addicts I know not one got addicted because of their doctor. I am not saying it does not happen. But most were recreational up until it was no longer recreational. I also know many who keep it recreational and never progressed.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Spamalope on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:21PM

        by Spamalope (5233) on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:21PM (#589037) Homepage

        Well, big pharma started lacing opiods with acetaminophen so they'd kill addicts and reduce the PR problem.

        According to the FDA, acetaminophen remains the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S., despite repeated government warnings. However, the majority of acetaminophen-related deaths are due to prescription drugs, not over-the-counter medications.

        How about at least manslaughter charges?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:47AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:47AM (#588886)

      There's some truth to it, normally people didn't get hooked on drugs if their lives were good, there wasn't any reason to try.

      The reason we're having these issues with opioid abuse is that people get legitimate prescriptions for opioids, insufficient monitoring and wind up hooked. If we'd ban the sale of these substances there'd be more pain, but fewer addicts.

      And if we'd get medical marijuana nationally, it would be a manageable problem.

      • (Score: 2) by SacredSalt on Sunday October 29 2017, @11:52AM

        by SacredSalt (2772) on Sunday October 29 2017, @11:52AM (#589007)

        If opioids were banned or more restricted you would see more suicides in addition to greater pain. People forget about all of those legit pain patients that are out there that these medicines at least make their lives semi-tolerable, if not always productive. You can cut the opioid death rate, but I suspect that most methods used will simply end up raising the suicide rate by an amount roughly equal to any reduction in opioid deaths, and driving yet more people to the black market.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:33PM (#589060)

      His party believes it works for financial and family planning, too.

      If you just do what they tell you, they'll be fine.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by jelizondo on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:17PM (2 children)

    by jelizondo (653) on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:17PM (#588740)

    Yep, it's the bad hombres from south of the border poisoning America, not big pharma.

    Build the wall! It will solve all problems!

    As it was (not) learned during Prohibition, as long as there is demand there will be supply. Gangs are reputed to give free samples to hook people into buying their drugs, big pharma bribes doctors to push their addictive drugs. Is there any moral difference between the two?

    A street pusher will be sent to jail, when are sending doctors to jail?

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:24PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:24PM (#588742) Homepage

      They have been cracking down on doctors, there's been a lot of pressure to get people with "chronic pain" (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) weaned off of painkillers. I have seen it firsthand because a lot of my friends are addicted to painkillers.

      Especially since we're by the Mexican border, and those Mexican Farmacias sell anything to just about anyone.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:19AM

      by c0lo (156) on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:19AM (#588903)

      Is there any moral difference between the two?

      Big pharma pay some (minimized to the max, yes) taxes

  • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by Snospar on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:30PM (3 children)

    by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:30PM (#588743)

    Where's the @realDonaldTrump when we really need him?

    • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by takyon on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:37PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:37PM (#588744) Journal

      He's busy fighting the Opioid Crisis one sermon at a time.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Snospar on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:41PM (1 child)

        by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:41PM (#588747)

        But I really need him... you know, really, really need @realDonaldTrump right now

        • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:59PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:59PM (#588753)

          @rdt was posting all night and this morning, he's probably sleeping off that binge.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Whoever on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:39PM (4 children)

    by Whoever (4524) on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:39PM (#588746) Journal

    As a U.S. Attorney in Alabama in the 1980s, Sessions said he thought the KKK "were OK until I found out they smoked pot.”

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/jeff-sessions-coming-war-on-legal-marijuana-214501 [politico.com]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:43PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @06:43PM (#588749)

    Granada, panama, El Salvador, Gulf I Gulf II, Iraq I, II, III... what not involved and greeted as liberators are we up to ?

    It's all war for profit, is the Colombian war still happening ? what where the CIA's profits from Afghanistan this year?

    So like all of the warfare drugs no one will really be held responsible, the war on the disenfranchised and the poor will continue and 7000 people will walk away from they misery the caused all the richer.

    No one will say a word, only the 7000 matter

    Please Mr. President press that button

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by sjames on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:12PM (16 children)

    by sjames (2882) on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:12PM (#588756) Journal

    The problem is far more complex. Opiates are still the best treatment we have for severe pain. We can minimize their necessity by also legalizing marijuana, but even then there will be a non-zero need for opiates. Some pain just won't relent with an aspirin.

    The problem cuts both ways. Doctors over-prescribing or falling for marketing and prescribing riskier formulations are a problem. On the other side, doctors cutting patients off cold turkey sometimes create street junkies out of otherwise average patients. Most people who take medically indicated opoids will be just fine, but some may need a little help stopping. That should be treated as just another phase of the treatment. Doctor and patient need to be able to be confident that there will be no legal implications to that phase of treatment.

    We also know that stress can make withdrawal much more difficult. For example, getting ambushed by surprise bills for more money than you make in a month "due immediately" and you can't even tell what the hell they're for or why insurance didn't cover it. Meanwhile, the people dunning you are a billing service that has no idea what it's for, just that they're like super sure it's valid even though that means insurance should have covered it.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by takyon on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:30PM (3 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:30PM (#588760) Journal

      We know that cannabis reduces opioid consumption [drugabuse.com] in states that legalize it. We know that kratom has been used as an alternative to opioids [wired.com]. We know that municipalities can reduce deaths by providing safe [cbslocal.com] places [sifnyc.org] for addicts [wbur.org] to shoot up (supervised injection sites [wikipedia.org]).

      There are a lot of simple solutions out there. What we've gotten instead is a ban on kratom and other previously legal highs [dea.gov] (irrespective of harm/safety), a promise of stronger drug enforcement [theatlantic.com] (same old failed policies that didn't stop crack), mixed messages on cannabis with zero momentum on descheduling it and legalizing it federally, a few token needle exchanges, and a slow rollout of Narcan (relative to its life-saving importance).

      The simplest solution might be to let people die. Let tens of thousands of Trump voters die of opioid overdoses until they demand real change or can't re-elect tough-on-crime Republicans. And let the old people in both parties die so they can be cleared out (might not be feasible if anti-aging is developed, then you have to shame them instead).

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:59PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:59PM (#588773)

        When the simplest solution is to let people die then we know we've gone wrong. Sad face.

        Time to hit up the bong for some more giggles. Damn, this is some good shit.

        At least I don't have a fucking opioid problem!

        P.S. I too miss @realDonaldTrump at these times.

        P.P.S. Watching Trump on YouTube while totally baked is surreal and often hysterical... he's got to be reading from a chatbot right?

      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:18AM

        by sjames (2882) on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:18AM (#588879) Journal

        All of those are potential parts of a solution. I'll believe the feds are serious about actually solving the problem when they let go of their sacred cows. Part of the problem is that for way too much of law enforcement and even the justice system, justice was long ago forgotten. Today it's all about hunting people and locking them in cages. Guilt, innocence, and justice are irrelevant to them. Decriminalizing any drugs means only that they lose a perfectly good excuse to exert their authority.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:54PM (8 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:54PM (#588770) Journal

      I had a procedure this summer and they gave me opiates for the pain. The first day was fantastic. The second day was ok. The third day they gave me intense headaches. What am i doing wrong? How can i develop a more sustainable addiction?

      I would enjoy having that lovely feeling on a regular basis.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @10:35PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @10:35PM (#588817)

        Have you tried doing something you enjoy doing in life? Maybe some exercise, some cupcakes... or shooting up a school or music event? Regular stuff, not drugs.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by HiThere on Sunday October 29 2017, @12:06AM (2 children)

          by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @12:06AM (#588842)

          Cupcakes are a drug.

          --
          Put not your faith in princes.
          • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday October 29 2017, @04:53AM (1 child)

            by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @04:53AM (#588928) Homepage

            Oh, yes, those chocolate cupcakes, or White cake cupcakes, are both delicious to the extreme.

            When the frosting is put on them you become a pure addict. I don't give a flying fuck about mainlining cake, but when you cut a piece off that has that nice cake frosting, all bets are off.

            There is a reason why Star Trek had a whole episode dedicated to...mint frosting. You will never understand unless you felt that addiction yourself.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @08:24PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @08:24PM (#589643)

              Personally, if the neural peptide cake is covered with mint whipped cream frosting, I'd rather not partake.

      • (Score: 1, Redundant) by Runaway1956 on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:46AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:46AM (#588868) Journal

        Not sure if there's an element of sarcasm there or not.

        Whatever, it bothers me to have odd sensations and feelings from drugs. Very low levels of an opiate are good sometimes, for my aches and pains. Very low - just enough to relax all those tensions. No feel-good though. If I start the feel-good, I know I've had far to much. It fuzzes the senses, clogs thoughts, and just generally screws me up. I've never wanted any part of that.

        --
        Hawking believes that alien life forms will likely be simple and primitive, or, as they’re known on Earth, Democrats.
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:24AM (1 child)

        by c0lo (156) on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:24AM (#588905)

        I would enjoy having that lovely feeling on a regular basis.

        Why have you stopped having sex, then?

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:42AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:42AM (#588909)

          Sex is an expensive habit.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @05:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @05:23AM (#588936)

        Study your agonists, avoid rigorous scheduling (the "ritual" and routine tell your body to prepare for drugs - effectively raising your tolerance), allow yourself to come down before re-dosing to avoid quckly building a high tolerance, better to simply avoid daily use though if you want a sustainable high that won't require large amounts of drugs.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:41AM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:41AM (#588867) Journal

      It is even more pervasive than doctors prescribing to patients. I've mentioned a coupe of times that I had medical problems last year. A pinched hernia put me into shock, the ambulance was called, and almost the first thing they did was to shoot me up with morphine. You mention "severe pain". There was little "pain" associated with my problem. On a scale of one to ten, the pain was about 1 - comparable to maybe stubbing your toe. Maybe hitting your finger with a hammer. Or a moderately bad headache. I was simply NOT in any kind of severe pain. But, the ambulance crew shot me full of morphine, all the same.

      From my own EMT training, that medical crew should have given me NOTHING. My teacher harped on one them more than any other - stabilize and transport. By "stabilize" she meant stop bleeding, get respiration going, treat for shock. An EMT is simply NOT supposed to administer drugs, unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.

      I needed no drugs, period. But the ambulance crew is part of the system into which Big Pharma is pumping their drugs. Those executives have to get their bonuses, but there will be no bonuses if they aren't pushing unnecessary drugs.

      --
      Hawking believes that alien life forms will likely be simple and primitive, or, as they’re known on Earth, Democrats.
      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:18AM

        by sjames (2882) on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:18AM (#588901) Journal

        That is a problem. I can only imagine how many average people became street junkies because big pharma advertised one of the most addictive formulations ever as non-addictive.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:58AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:58AM (#588889)

      No, they're not. If they're going to be legal at all, they need to be used as last line options after already having tried the other safer options. Marijuana, hypnosis and medication are all effective methods of managing pain. And then there's the numerous other pharmaceuticals that don't have the risk of addiction that opioids have.

      There's also just simply allowing people to feel pain. At a certain point, if you don't learn how to manage your own pain, you're going to be stuck on pills forever. Which isn't a good thing, even the ones that don't have the issues with addiction have long term consequences when taken for years on end.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:15PM (23 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:15PM (#588757)

    Disclaimer: Posting anonymously as I could lose my job.

    Are we sure that free access to Cannabis is the answer? Many years ago I smoked a lot of that shit and the long term effects were not good. I went from being a "normal", fully functioning member of society to a complete drop out within a very short period of time (couple of years). I loved the weed, being stoned was amazing, granting me true freedom of mind, sometimes just laughing for hours, other times exploring the real deep meanings of life and the universe with like minded friends.

    But then the dark side... unnerving paranoia, inability to maintain relationships even with the stoner "friends" and no hope of a job because I was way too wasted all the time. Endless cannabis means you will spiral down - even if each individual session seems fantastic your life will start to unravel. And worst of all, once you're in that state of mind and while you're constantly wasted you probably won't notice how bad things are getting.

    And then the depression sets in. Hard. I've never experienced a down like it and I hope never get to that same place again. Got to the point where I was seriously considering making the last exit... to the point where I was working through a list of suicide methods and trying to work out which would be "best" (I know, sounds screwy now, thinking that jumping off a skyscraper would at least give a couple of minutes of free fall).

    Luckily I met my anchor and I was pulled back from that abyss but it was a close thing. I cut down the weed and eventually gave it up altogether. Now I'm so "normal" my ex stoner friends wouldn't recognise me but I'm alive with a family who genuinely don't know anything about any of this. Well, obviously my partner knows I'm an ex-smoker but not how close to the edge I was when we met.

    We need something better than cannabis to replace the opioids - hang on, isn't cannabis just another opioid itself?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:25PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:25PM (#588758)

      Use a strain that has a minium of 5% CBD and you will avoid most of the negative effect you describe.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:39PM (16 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:39PM (#588763) Journal

      Cannabis is not considered an opioid, although it can affect opioid receptors [wikipedia.org].

      States with legalized cannabis have seen lower opioid overdoses:

      https://drugabuse.com/legalizing-marijuana-decreases-fatal-opiate-overdoses/ [drugabuse.com]
      https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/medical-marijuana-opioid-pain-relief-substitute [leafly.com]

      Cannabis overdoses are non-existent. Cannabis while driving (potentially leading to a higher frequency of car crashes) is illegal, and could be made moot to a degree by self-driving cars when they land (or today's Uber and yesterday's taxis).

      The other AC suggests a strain with more CBD instead of THC in it. Now that states are allowing legal/medical cannabis, many new strains have been developed with precise labeling of chemical components. You can have an idea of what you're getting, unlike the dime bags of yore. And you have greater choice. Although some strains are pushing THC to ridiculous heights, you can just avoid those.

      Kratom [soylentnews.org] may be an alternative to cannabis and opioids.

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      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Snospar on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:14PM (15 children)

        by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:14PM (#588779)

        My wife watches a lot of those Camera Cops shows and it seems like every single car they stop has "a strong smell of cannabis". Those drivers must know that driving on cannabis is illegal because here in the UK any cannabis use is still illegal. Well, sort of, there are very strange rules depending on the amount you are caught with (self use, but you can't buy it legally or carry it in public, more than a small amount is 'attempt to supply' I think and above that who knows).

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:24PM (14 children)

          by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:24PM (#588782) Journal

          When/where cannabis becomes legal, the problem is not the "smell" of cannabis (often used as justification for a search). Unless it's illegal for passengers to use or even carry cannabis in the car (compare to state open alcohol container laws), the main question becomes "Is the driver driving while intoxicated?" That question is not necessarily easy to answer [npr.org].

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          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:28PM (6 children)

            by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:28PM (#588835) Homepage

            I like to think that, when it comes to driving, small amounts of cannabis or alcohol actually make people better, safer drivers. Obviously too much of either will reverse the effect and make them retarded drivers, like a distant family member who while drunk crashed his car into the front of a pet store, or like my friend's then-fiancee who while stoned took us right off the edge of a freeway off-ramp.

            • (Score: 3, Funny) by takyon on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:44PM

              by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:44PM (#588837) Journal

              "I only had one Bud, occifer."

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            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:55AM (4 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:55AM (#588872) Journal

              You do realize that "I like to think" isn't an argument for or against any position.

              But, just how "small" an amount of alcohol or cannabis are you talking about? With alcohol, I'd like to stick to pretty well established facts. A single drink doesn't impair the average adult. Two drinks begin to impair. Three drinks impair the driver a bit more. By the fourth drink many people are acting downright stupid. You metabolize a drink per hour, so two drinks over the course of two hours is pretty much equivalent to one drink when you leave the bar. Before the laws got stupid, it was pretty routine for me to nurse three or four drinks over the course of three or four hours, then drive home.

              Today - sniffing a beer cap is just about enough to get you arrested for drunk driving.

              You take your chances with your ideas on becoming a better driver. I'll pass.

              --
              Hawking believes that alien life forms will likely be simple and primitive, or, as they’re known on Earth, Democrats.
              • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday October 29 2017, @04:08PM (3 children)

                by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @04:08PM (#589071) Homepage

                " By the fourth drink many people are acting downright stupid. "

                Lightweight. It takes me at least a 12-pack -- of strong beer like Natty Ice or Stone -- to start acting stupid.

                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday October 29 2017, @08:51PM (2 children)

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @08:51PM (#589204) Journal

                  We're talking people in general. The masses. Unless you have a tour bus of booze hounds, then the average tour bus has people starting to get stupid on just three or four beers. Ethanol Fueled is not the average American. Ethanol Fueled is the standard by which insecure rednecks judge their own performance. Some of my neighbors and work mates have proudly proclaimed "I bought a 30 pack on the way home Friday night, and then bought another one Saturday so that I'd have some beer for Sunday."

                  I don't like beer enough to buy a thirty pack - I prefer some kind of spirit, preferably Scotch whiskey. But then, I feel no need to drink a bottle on the weekend to prove how manly I am.

                  --
                  Hawking believes that alien life forms will likely be simple and primitive, or, as they’re known on Earth, Democrats.
                  • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday October 29 2017, @09:11PM (1 child)

                    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @09:11PM (#589212) Homepage

                    Both Scotch and Scots Whiskey or Whisky are for tryhard pretenders. Even the shit that's been aged 15 years. But you've already admitted that you're not a hardcore drinker, so could I suggest something more to your taste?

                    Like, Boones Farm Stawberry Hill? Maybe other Wine-coolers that come in 4-packs. Perhaps some Michelob Ultra?

                    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday October 30 2017, @09:49AM

                      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 30 2017, @09:49AM (#589390) Journal

                      To my taste, you say? Scotch works just fine. Long ago, when I was more adventurous, I'd go for almost anything - rum, gin, vodka, almost anything with a bunch of fruit in it, anything with sloe, Jaegameister (sp?) tequila. I seldom demanded the best stuff, but I never drank the crap, either. Beer never was really my thing, especially not pilsener. I do enjoy a good ale, preferably a nice dark one, with some body to it. Wine coolers mostly suck - though I have bought a few for women who liked them. Andre' Cold Duck was probably the best of all that stuff.

                      Surprised you didn't offer some of those putrid flavored beers. The wife stuck a bottle in my face some years back, "Here, try this - you don't need to read it, just taste it." Well - it didn't exactly "taste" like anything. After I drank, I was allowed to read it. Some stupid name, like Uncle Elmer's hard lemonade. Or, Ebenezer's kettle cleaning brew - it's hard to remember now. The bunch of women she was with at the time had at least 9 different drinks, with various silly names, but ALL of them were pilsener beers, with various flavorings added in. That's the kind of thing that can give a man nightmares, I tell you. The label says "strawberry flavored beer", but my shoe probably tastes more like strawberries.

                      --
                      Hawking believes that alien life forms will likely be simple and primitive, or, as they’re known on Earth, Democrats.
          • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:49AM (6 children)

            by sjames (2882) on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:49AM (#588887) Journal

            I have seem a few studies that suggest that stoned driving tends not to be a problem since stoned drivers tend to drive slower and more carefully in proportion to their impairment.

            It's interesting that the complaint is that they can't tell you're stoned but they still worry about it.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:03AM (5 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:03AM (#588894)

              The complaint isn't that they can't tell that people are stoned, the issue is that it's more difficult to enforce the rules than it is with alcohol. Same goes for prescription medications and anything else that might effect how people drive and their reaction time.

              Bottom line is that anybody that's driving impaired ought to be pulled over and arrested. I have no particular issue with people being drunk or high at home, but the moment they get in their cars and risk other people's lives is the moment they completely lose any of my support in the matter. Just because they tend not to speed doesn't mean that they're cool to drive, it just means that they're going to be driving slower when they run people over and the like.

              • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:36AM (4 children)

                by sjames (2882) on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:36AM (#588906) Journal
                >p>If it's adversely affecting their driving, then you can tell they're on something.
                • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:45AM (1 child)

                  by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:45AM (#588910) Journal

                  "This person sucks at driving or is tired" usually results in much less punishment than "this person failed a field sobriety test".

                  "This person hit the bong an hour ago" = ???

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                  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday October 29 2017, @05:27AM

                    by sjames (2882) on Sunday October 29 2017, @05:27AM (#588939) Journal

                    Sure, but not zero. The goal is to correct the bad behavior, not maximize punishment (at least that is supposedly the goal). We managed w/ alcohol before the breathalyzer. If the person demonstrates coordination, balance, good orientation, and reasonable reaction time, it's a bit silly to whine that they might have smoked pot. Honestly, is it REALLY worse if someone habitually drives intoxicated than if they habitually drive while impaired by fatigue? Impaired is impaired.

                    Of course, if we are going to make things illegal just because something may be hard to enforce, we'll have to ban tomatoes. It seems pot growers have been known to hang red Christmas balls on their plants (I'm not kidding!).

                • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @04:34AM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @04:34AM (#588925)

                  You have to have probable cause that they've done something illegal in order to get the blood draw necessary to make that determination in general. Pot is a particular problem because nobody really knows how to adequately determine if somebody is too impaired to drive.

                  Determining whether or not somebody is too drunk to drive is relatively straightforward, there's a field sobriety test and breathalyzer that can be used to establish the probable cause necessary for an arrest and more invasive testing. With pot and most other drugs, the limits aren't as well established, which makes it really tough to set the rules, you can't just say that you can't have more than X in your system because nobody really knows what that value should be and it seems to vary significantly more than for alcohol.

                  As it stands a lot of the impairment comes from just being tired, hungry or sleepy, none of which are currently illegal. There also isn't a legal standard of how focused and attentive you need to be in order to operate a motor vehicle in any country that I know of.

                  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Sunday October 29 2017, @06:24AM

                    by sjames (2882) on Sunday October 29 2017, @06:24AM (#588954) Journal

                    We managed DUI enforcement before there even was a breathalyser. Close your eyes and touch your nose. Walk the line heel to toe. Recite the alphabet, etc. If you flunk, there's your probable cause.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:30PM (#588784)

      > ...Endless cannabis means you will spiral down ...

      While it was interesting reading your story, you are being very presumptuous to use "you will" instead of "I did". Your experience may or may not be common, but it is not the only possible experience with dope.

      For just one counter-example, a brilliant friend got a job doing extremely complex mathematical analysis (nonlinear fluid dynamics). He found that when he was high he had more focus and was more productive -- and he was a star at that job. He mostly quit smoking pot after that job was over.

    • (Score: 5, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:46PM (#588791)

      You've got unlimited access to alcohol. Did that make you an alcoholic? I've got access to pretty much everything and yet I sit here sober.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @10:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @10:37PM (#588818)

      Alcohol is the solution.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:36AM

      by sjames (2882) on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:36AM (#588883) Journal

      It sounds like you abused pot hard. But I'm betting despite that that spending a year or two in jail and coming out with a scarlet letter saying nothing but menial jobs for you for the rest of your life would not have helped. In fact, it might have more or less stuck you there until you took that exit.

      Our answer to controlling cannabis is so bad that free access is actually better, even for those who refuse to use moderation. At least it leaves them some chance to get it together.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @05:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @05:29AM (#588941)

      Sounds like you had more problems than just weed. Smoking, for me, made my life complete. I have never been happier, more succesful, had more friends and better relationships, than when I spent almost 100% of my waking hours high. Being sober is a pitiful existence being crushed by daily drudgery, depression, and an inability to connect or communicate with others.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by idiot_king on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:33PM (14 children)

    by idiot_king (6587) on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:33PM (#588761)

    ...to the Tyrant behind the platitudes!
    I have to be honest, if there wasn't already proof that unser Fuhrer was a racist idiot, it's this right here. His primary voter base, i.e. rural white rednecks and 3k out-of-work coal miners, are the ones suffering from the opioid crisis the most. So of course it's a national emergency that his voterbase is dying, oh no! But when us colored folk get killed by cops, or Hispanics get blasted by hurricanes, or, GOD FORBID an undocumented citizen has cancer and needs medical attention -- he's willing to just throw us all under the bus time and time again. It's true -- only white votes matter, and this is just more proof of it. Makes me sick this man hasn't been impeached yet. Opioid crisis? What about the War on Drugs? That wasn't good enough? Why not Repubs just call it what it always is for them: "Platitudes for our Voterbase! Because Your Vote Matters more than You Do(tm)!"

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:42PM (8 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:42PM (#588764) Journal

      So of course it's a national emergency that his voterbase is dying, oh no!

      Trump foot-dragged for months on declaring a "nationwide public health emergency", skipped the "national emergency declaration" option, and hasn't committed real resources to the problem. You live up to your username yet again.

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      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by idiot_king on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:31PM (7 children)

        by idiot_king (6587) on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:31PM (#588787)

        He also foot-dragged on condemning actual Naz- Oh wait. He never condemned any Nazis for killing a woman at a White Supremacist rally.
        Meanwhile, Puerto Rico is without electricity and millions of undocumented citizens might have their livelihoods ripped from their hands because those voters he "foot-dragged" about hate brown people.
        You seemed to miss the word "platitudes," as in, he's a sociopath-racist who also simultaneously doesn't care about who he steps on as long as he sucks votes out of what's left of uneducated whites while keeping his educated, rich white friends in power. The biggest part of that is pretending those uneducated whites matter to him, because that's how he and his bigot-capitalist buddies stay in control.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @10:47PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @10:47PM (#588820)

          Look what's the point of "fixing" coal jobs or fixing opioid deaths if people think it's the other team's fault? Half the country thinks Obama destroyed the country. So long as it stays destroyed these are guaranteed votes. That's how they're playing everything. It's chaos. Nukes in North Korea? Not my fault. Here's some noise to fill the front 4 pages of the news this week.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:01AM (5 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:01AM (#588874) Journal

          Oh, FFS - one more time. As much as I detest Nazis, those particular Nazis were permitted to take part in a legal protest, and they were obeying the law. The bitch who was killed was a socialist activist who was there for the sole purpose of instigating a riot. Her fellow socialists attacked the Nazis. The socialists were using potentially deadly force. The Nazi in the car has a pretty valid case of "self defense". That defense may or may not work in court, but the fact is, he was under attack by the group that the socialist activist was attached to.

          Yes, Nazi evil. But, socialist equally evil. So, just fuck off with your whining about some dead socialist bitch.

          --
          Hawking believes that alien life forms will likely be simple and primitive, or, as they’re known on Earth, Democrats.
          • (Score: 5, Touché) by c0lo on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:59AM

            by c0lo (156) on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:59AM (#588919)

            The Nazi in the car has a pretty valid case of "self defense".

            Whatever you smoke, stop it, seems it leads in a bad trip and triggers paranoia at the end.

            Self defence require the presence of immediate danger - I find hard to believe that the idiot went back to his car and instead of escaping the danger (assuming he was in one) he heads back for quite a distance towards the crowd which supposedly threatened him [youtube.com].
            If that's a "self-defence" reaction, then I suppose him driving in reverse afterwards makes him offensive?

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday October 29 2017, @04:30AM (2 children)

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @04:30AM (#588924) Journal

            If you weren't already going to hell, that post would have punched your ticket.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday October 29 2017, @10:01AM (1 child)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @10:01AM (#588982) Journal

              I'll be in good company with Arnaud Amalric, right? Except, I don't like Nazis or commies. Let them kill each other. Arnaud was willing to kill a bunch of his own, to ensure he got the other side. Isn't that worser? Or not?

              --
              Hawking believes that alien life forms will likely be simple and primitive, or, as they’re known on Earth, Democrats.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @05:41AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @05:41AM (#589352)

                Some people use standard time; others observe daylight saving time. Let the killing begin, eh?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @05:37AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @05:37AM (#589350)

            > The Nazi in the car has a pretty valid case of "self defense".

            You haven't seen the videos, I say hopefully.

    • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:59PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @07:59PM (#588772) Homepage

      " His primary voter base, i.e. rural white rednecks and 3k out-of-work coal miners, "

      It's that kind of dismissive attitude that loses elections and gets establishments overthrown. Even I'm a Californian and there's nothing that pisses me off more than Silicon Valley wagging their fingers and trying to dictate to the rest of the nation what to believe and how to behave. And the worst part about those types is that they're nothing but a bunch of goddamn hypocrites -- Silicon Valley is to diversity just as Hollywood is to feminism.

      If North Korea manages to launch a nuke towards the West Coast, I will pray to Jesus Christ that it hits San Francisco or Sunnyvale or something -- though taking out Los Angeles would also do the rest of the nation a favor.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:40PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:40PM (#588790)

      was a racist
      Could you post a few videos of him being racist? I am sure those exist. I am coming up a little dry to back you up. My google fu is failing today.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @06:39AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @06:39AM (#588960)

        > Could you post a few videos of him being racist? I am sure those exist. I am coming up a little dry to back you up. My google fu is failing today.

        If you can't find videos of Trump being racist, it's time to seek help for your condition.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @10:30AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @10:30AM (#588985)

          AC's "condition" seems to be that he thinks for himself.

          Listen to you - "We told you that he's racist, boy, wtf you need some kind of proof? We say who's racist, you take our word, or you're one of them!"

    • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:32AM (#588882)

      That's kinda interesting and all - but WTF are "colored folk" killing "colored folk"? Don't black lives really matter? And, if the "colored folk" don't realy care about black lives, then WTF should any of the rest of us?

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Entropy on Saturday October 28 2017, @09:41PM (3 children)

    by Entropy (4228) on Saturday October 28 2017, @09:41PM (#588810)

    No matter what you do with drugs, people will use them. If you make weed hard to get, people will use spice--Which is far worse. Limiting safe supply of drugs will simply make drug seeking individuals go somewhere else, and possibly somewhere much more dangerous for their high. Meth? Spice? These are responses to making drugs illegal.

    If people want to use drugs, let them. Yes, some people will be harmed but life isn't a safe thing and you won't get out alive anyway. Legal weed will absolutely help A LOT, however, it won't really really be stigma-free for quite some time.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @10:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @10:51PM (#588822)

      You just watch: now they've legalized weed, CO, WA and CA will become basket cases like the southern States.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:06AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @03:06AM (#588897)

      To an extent yes, but the people who wind up having serious drug problems are usually either hooked because they were given an opiod prescription without adequate monitoring or who have serious issues with their lives that they're trying to avoid.

      It's unrealistic to ever expect to completely solve drugs, but fixing our broken medical system and making sure that people have the means to work their way up in society would likely do wonders for cutting the rates down in a way that incarceration hasn't.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @10:32AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @10:32AM (#588986)

        So, tell me - how many people do you know who DON'T issues in their lives?

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:12AM (#588859)

    Seriously, why is this _necessarily_ a bad thing?

    It's been shown that living entities turn to drugs when it's a better alternative than their living situation. If we prevent people from overdosing to death, are we going to pull them out of poverty? Give them friends to hug and be merry with? Give them a _reason_ to live, as opposed to dope up? The studies have shown that if they have a good living situation and are part of a friendly community, they turn away from offers of drugs -- so it's (almost) only people with severe underlying problems that are abusing the drugs. Never have I heard a discussion about helping those underlying problems.

    Lets continue. So what if people overdose and die? Seriously. Why is that a drawback? Because they _might_ be happier later? Because 1% of those that do were unhappy family people, and disturbing a family is more abhorrent than a car wreck? Are we angry because 5% of them work and help build the economy? What about the 50% on the streets who don't have a job, and die there? Do we care if they die? _Why_ do we care? (Are you _certain_ that remaining alive, living on the streets, with the _hope_ of becoming a millionaire one day is better than dying on the streets tomorrow because you haven't eaten but rotten dumpster food for three days?)

    Are these deaths really affecting people that would be happy and content without these drugs? Are these deaths really affecting the economy? Without a religious, "If You Can Live You Must Live"-decree, _why_ are we so concerned about druggies, homeless, depressed, chronically miserable people dying?

    How do we prevent overpopulation? What do we do with people who can't work for their living? What if we don't have enough food readily available for everyone? In the past we had wars; in the present, we just keep growing. I see a distinct benefit to these deaths.

    Why is this country so hell-bent on maintaining individual suffering for as long as possible?

    Let them use the drugs. Let them die whenever they happen to die. They're not losing anything and we're not losing anything. It doesn't matter. Or does it? Please elaborate.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @04:35AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @04:35AM (#588926)

    Democrats want to spend 45 billion on this? Surprise, surprise.
    That's over $100 per person; an obvious money grab.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @09:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @09:45AM (#588976)

      You're right! Tax cuts and deregulation to the rescue.

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