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posted by janrinok on Friday May 25 2018, @07:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the how-to-spoil-a-lot-of-parties dept.

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

Related Stories

Opioid Addiction is Big Business 24 comments

The recent uptick in heroin and opioid addiction along with new laws are making addiction treatment an attractive target for investors:

Every crisis presents an opportunity, as the saying goes. And when it comes to opioid addiction, investors and businesses are seeing a big opportunity in addiction treatment. Places like [Gosnold on Cape Cod] are being gobbled up by private equity companies and publicly-traded chains looking to do what is known in Wall Street jargon as a roll-up play. They take a fragmented industry, buy up the bits and pieces and consolidate them into big, branded companies where they hope to make a profit by streamlining and cutting costs.

One company that advises investors listed 27 transactions in which private equity firms or public companies bought or invested in addiction treatment centers and other so-called behavioral health companies in 2014 and 2015 alone. Acadia Healthcare is one national chain that has been on a shopping spree. In 2010 it had only six facilities, but today it has 587 across the country and in the United Kingdom.

What's driving the growth? The opioid addiction crisis is boosting demand for treatment and two relatively recent laws are making it easier to get insurers to pay for it. The Mental Health Parity Act of 2008 requires insurers to cover mental health care as they would cover physical health care. "Mental health parity was the beginning. We saw a big benefit. And then the Affordable Care Act was very positive for our industry," says Joey Jacobs, Acadia's CEO. He spoke at an investor conference last month.

Marketplace has an article about how data and new databases are being used to track and prevent addiction. It cites the following report from Health Affairs:

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Are Associated With Sustained Reductions In Opioid Prescribing By Physicians (DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1673)


Original Submission

Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid 32 comments

When customers want a longer-lasting high, heroin dealers respond by augmenting their products with drugs like carfentanil:

A powerful drug that's normally used to tranquilize elephants is being blamed for a record spike in drug overdoses in the Midwest. Officials in Ohio have declared a public health emergency, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says communities everywhere should be on alert for carfentanil. The synthetic opioid is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, the prescription painkiller that led to the death earlier this year of the pop star Prince. Fentanyl itself can be up to 50 times more deadly than heroin.

In the past few years, traffickers in illegal drugs increasingly have substituted fentanyl for heroin and other opioids. Now carfentanil [alt link] is being sold on American streets, either mixed with heroin or pressed into pills that look like prescription drugs. Many users don't realize that they're buying carfentanil. And that has deadly consequences.

"Instead of having four or five overdoses in a day, you're having these 20, 30, 40, maybe even 50 overdoses in a day," says Tom Synan, who directs the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force in Southwest Ohio. He's also the police chief in Newtown, Ohio. Synan says carfentanil turned up in Cincinnati in July. At times, the number of overdoses has overwhelmed first responders. "Their efforts are truly heroic, to be going from call to call to call," he says. "One district alone had seen 14 in one shift, so they were nonstop."

First responders and emergency room workers are being told to wear protective gloves and masks. That's because carfentanil is so potent, it can be dangerous to someone who simply touches or inhales it. This was devastatingly clear back in 2002, after a hostage rescue operation in Moscow that went wrong. To overpower Chechen terrorists who'd seized control of a theater, Russian Special Forces sprayed a chemical aerosol into the building. More than 100 hostages were overcome and died. Laboratory tests by British investigators later revealed [open, DOI: 10.1093/jat/bks078] [DX] that the aerosol included carfentanil.

In the article about the DEA adding kratom to Schedule I, I mentioned an "unprecedented" amount of "heroin" overdoses in Cincinnati. The carfentanil-cut heroin boosted the overdose tally to 174 in 6 days (225 in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and New Jersey):

Deaths have not spiked along with the overdose reports because police officers or emergency medical technicians are immediately administering naloxone, sometimes in more than one dose, to bring heroin users back to consciousness and start them breathing.


Original Submission

Cop Brushes Fentanyl Off Uniform, Overdoses 35 comments

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/16/health/police-fentanyl-overdose-trnd/

A police officer in East Liverpool, Ohio, collapsed and was rushed to the hospital after he brushed fentanyl residue off his uniform, allowing the drug to enter his system through his hands. The officer had apparently encountered the opioid earlier in the day while making a drug bust.

"This is scary. He could have walked out of the building and left and he could have passed out while he was driving. You don't even know it's there on his clothes," East Liverpool Police Chief John Lane told CNN.


Original Submission

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis 64 comments

There were 42,249 deaths due to opioid overdoses in 2016, compared to a projected 41,070 deaths from breast cancer in 2017 (42,640 in 2015). U.S. life expectancy has dropped for the second year in a row:

The increase largely stemmed from the continued escalation of deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which jumped to 19,410 in 2016 from 9,580 in 2015 and 5,540 in 2014, according to a TFAH analysis of the report.

[...] The surge in overdose deaths has depressed recent gains in U.S. life expectancy, which fell to an average age of 78.6, down 0.1 year from 2015 and marking the first two-year drop since 1962-1963.

In a separate report, the CDC linked the recent steep increases in hepatitis C infections to increases in opioid injection.

Researchers used a national database that tracks substance abuse admissions to treatment facilities in all 50 U.S. states. They found a 133 percent increase in acute hepatitis C cases that coincided with a 93 percent increase in admissions for opioid injection between 2004 to 2014.

From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


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

"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S. 51 comments

Synthetics now killing more people than prescription opioids, report says

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have overtaken prescription opioids as the No. 1 killer in the opioid epidemic, according to a new report.

The report, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA [DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.2844] [DX], calculated the number and percentage of synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States between 2010 and 2016 using death certificates from the National Vital Statistics System. The researchers found that about 46% of the 42,249 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, while 40% involved prescription drugs.

That's more than a three-fold increase in the presence of synthetic opioids from 2010, when synthetic drugs were involved in approximately 14% of opioid-overdose deaths.

Related: Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Study Finds Stark Increase in Opioid-Related Admissions, Deaths in Nation's ICUs
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors
The More Opioids Doctors Prescribe, the More Money They Make
Two More Studies Link Access to Cannabis to Lower Use of Opioids


Original Submission

British Medical Journal Calls for Legalizing All Drugs 68 comments

AlterNet reports

Embracing a harm reduction and public health perspective, one of the world's most prestigious medical journals has released a signed editorial calling for the legalization, taxation, and regulation of currently illegal drugs.

In an editorial [May 10] entitled Drugs Should Be Legalized, Regulated, and Taxed, Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the British Medical Journal, notes that under drug prohibition, the global trade "fuels organized crime and human misery", and asks, "Why should it not instead fund public services?"

Citing an opinion piece[1] in the same issue of the BMJ from British members of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP, formerly known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) Jason Reed and Paul Whitehouse, Godlee notes that in the United Kingdom (as in the United States) "vast sums are spent prosecuting individuals and trying vainly to interrupt the flow of drugs into cities" while that money would be much better "spent on quality control, education, treatment for drug users, and child protection". Under legalization, "revenues could be diverted from criminal gangs into government coffers", she writes.

Godlee notes that the global drug prohibition consensus is fraying around the edges, and points to the example of Portugal, which decriminalized the possession of all drugs in 2001. There, drug use remains in line with levels in other European countries, but the harms associated with drug use under prohibition have decreased dramatically, particularly in terms of fatal drug overdoses and the spread of injection drug-related infectious disease.

[1] Bad link in TFA; corrected in TFS.

Previous: Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization


Original Submission

CDC Report Says That Fentanyl is the Deadliest Drug in America 22 comments

Fentanyl is the deadliest drug in America, CDC confirms

Fentanyl is now the most commonly used drug involved in drug overdoses, according to a new government report. The latest numbers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics say that the rate of drug overdoses involving the synthetic opioid skyrocketed by about 113% each year from 2013 through 2016.

The number of total drug overdoses jumped 54% each year between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths.

[...] In 2016, over 18,000 overdose deaths involved fentanyl, and 16,000 fatalities were due to heroin.

China recently agreed to reclassify fentanyl as a controlled substance to curb sales to the U.S. Will that agreement hold given ongoing trade war tensions?

Also at CBS.

Related: 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.
120 Pounds (54 kg) of Fentanyl Seized in Nebraska
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Opioid Legislation; China Will Step Up Cooperation
The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA
U.S. Opioid Deaths May be Plateauing


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 25 2018, @08:07PM (20 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 25 2018, @08:07PM (#684180) Homepage Journal

    The drugs, seized last month, could kill over 26 million people

    There is also enough dihydrous oxide in the world's oceans, lakes, and rivers to kill all leventy-leven billion people who have lived all throughout history, as well as prehistory.

    --
    Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @08:13PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @08:13PM (#684186)

      Indeed. Can somebody convert to libraries of congress?

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday May 25 2018, @08:32PM (1 child)

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday May 25 2018, @08:32PM (#684194) Journal

        The amount of fentanyl is equivalent to the Library of Congress's hentai manga collection (located in a secret compartment in the Serial and Government Publications Division).

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @09:08PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @09:08PM (#684216)

          located in a secret compartment in the Serial and Government Publications Division

          It's in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by EvilSS on Friday May 25 2018, @08:54PM (2 children)

        by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 25 2018, @08:54PM (#684208)
        The average book page from a standard size hardback book with 60# paper (it is the Library of congress, so they get the good printings) weighs in at around 5.08g, so this bust is the equivalent of 10,630 book pages. Give or take, and not including covers. Figure the average book is around 250 pages, this comes out to around 42.5 books, again give or take. Online search shows the library of congress has around 38,000,000. So this bust is 1.12x10^-6 libraries of congress.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by BsAtHome on Friday May 25 2018, @08:23PM

      by BsAtHome (889) on Friday May 25 2018, @08:23PM (#684188)

      Haven't you heard? They are actually confiscating dihydrous oxide worldwide at travel-boarding-points. They really want to make sure that drowning cannot take place for your own and your neighbor's safety!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @08:25PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @08:25PM (#684190)

      Oh come on, it means the lethal dose is very small. And of course the DEA and cops are playing it up as usual, extrapolating out as far as they can stretch the numbers.

      Nothing new here.

      • (Score: 2) by BsAtHome on Friday May 25 2018, @08:34PM (4 children)

        by BsAtHome (889) on Friday May 25 2018, @08:34PM (#684197)

        The lethal dose of dihydrous oxide for an average human is about 7e-19 % of the world's supply (that is a decimal point followed by 20 zeroes before you get a seven).

        So, you only need very little amount of this excessively dangerous substance to kill us all!

        • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Friday May 25 2018, @09:03PM

          by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 25 2018, @09:03PM (#684212)
          What, exactly, do you think "hydrous" means? I'm curious.
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by vux984 on Friday May 25 2018, @09:18PM (2 children)

          by vux984 (5045) on Friday May 25 2018, @09:18PM (#684219)

          And if I put a tiny tiny fraction of the worlds supply of rock on your chest you'll die too. But I'm not carting around the worlds supply of rock in the trunk of my car am I? Nor are you going to just lie around while i stack it on your chest.
          54kg of fentanyl is pretty portable, and the lethal doses even moreso.

          Plus it's pretty hard to ingest a lethal dose of water. I mean, you CAN do it, but your body is telling you to stop long before you get there. Its way easier to drown in it than it is to poison yourself with it.
          Meanwhile a lethal dose of fentanyl can go down in one swallow, without being a significant part of what you swallowed.

          If you are trying to make a point, its not clear what that point is. fentanyl and water are simply not peers on the list of toxic substances that we need to be careful of.

          • (Score: 2) by BsAtHome on Friday May 25 2018, @10:12PM (1 child)

            by BsAtHome (889) on Friday May 25 2018, @10:12PM (#684239)

            7e-19 % of the world's supply of dihydrous oxide has a mass less than one fifth of that fentanyl stash confiscated. So, talking about ability to carry around a lethal dose of dihydrous oxide should be taken very seriously! I've seen criminals carrying that amount out of grocery stores! Go get 'm, those potential killers.

            • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Sunday May 27 2018, @07:17PM

              by vux984 (5045) on Sunday May 27 2018, @07:17PM (#684883)

              " ability to carry around a lethal dose "

              Now you are comparing a (singular) lethal dose that you'd have to try pretty hard to administer, and which is almost (but not quite) impossible to take accidentally with a substance that is extremely easy to overdose on, and is millions upon millions of times more portable.

              "should be taken very seriously!"

              No, it shouldn't. Your bare hands are more of threat. I'm actually safer from you if you are planning to kill me with water poisoning because its so unlikely to succeed; than if you'd planned to simply strangle me.

    • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Friday May 25 2018, @08:36PM (1 child)

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 25 2018, @08:36PM (#684198)
      It's cute when people think they know chemical nomenclature...
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @08:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @08:54PM (#684209)

      75 micrograms per hour is a standard patch dose, and they cost about $20 each in USA.

    • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Friday May 25 2018, @10:07PM (2 children)

      by NewNic (6420) on Friday May 25 2018, @10:07PM (#684236) Journal

      What's more that dihydrous oxide is addictive stuff. I can't live without it!

      --
      lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @10:09PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @10:09PM (#684237)

        I like vaping dihydrous oxide.

        • (Score: 2) by BsAtHome on Friday May 25 2018, @10:15PM

          by BsAtHome (889) on Friday May 25 2018, @10:15PM (#684241)

          Warning: You are exhaling it constantly! Take care not to drown the people around you.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @04:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @04:14AM (#684356)

      I have several gallons of oxidane [dictionary.com] at my house...

      At least five gallons of it are even reagent grade purity!

      I carry some in my van just in case I find myself in some intractable situation where its the best thing to "get the job done".

      Its enough to kill several dozen people!

      Guess I better hide it before the authorities come a looking for it.

  • (Score: 3, Touché) by Snotnose on Friday May 25 2018, @08:44PM (2 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday May 25 2018, @08:44PM (#684204)

    News this morning said some guy's office was closed because he got an envelope in the mail filled with white powder. Could be Anthrax, chirped the blond newsreader.

    Now, I'm no mad genius or anything so making Anthrax or Ricin or whatever is doable (yay college chem!), but difficult (no lab equipment). But, I can easily order fentanyl from China (or so I hear).

    How long will it take for the news droids to realize there are things much more likely than getting Anthrax in the mail.

    --
    Why is tamales pronounced tamales but females is pronounced females instead of females?
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday May 25 2018, @09:12PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday May 25 2018, @09:12PM (#684218) Journal

      It's rare to see such innovative methods being used. You just don't get many Ted Kaczynskis or anthrax/ricin letter senders (one suspect, never charged in the anthrax case, and James Everett Dutschke was convicted for sending ricin letters in 2013, but incidents a decade earlier remain unsolved [wikipedia.org]).

      It's a lot easier to just pick up a couple of guns [youtube.com]. You're more likely to be caught or gunned down by police, but sometimes that's part of the appeal too.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @04:20AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @04:20AM (#684357)

      BOO!

      Isn't it surprising how we can upset the whole apple cart with some flour?

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by requerdanos on Friday May 25 2018, @09:07PM (3 children)

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 25 2018, @09:07PM (#684215) Journal

    Just 2mg of fentanyl - or a few grains of table salt - is a lethal dosage for most people

    Okay. I give lab rat #1 2mg of fentanyl - several days' worth for even a bulky human, but *shrug* that's what the protocol says. The rat dies.

    Now I give lab rat #2 a few grains of table salt. The rat shows no ill effect, except he's licking his lips and he drank a sip of water.

    Experimental conclusion: The DEA is incompetent and should not be allowed to measure things.

    A lethal dose of table salt is somewhat larger than "a few grains," whether the grains are the deprecated measurement unit used for medication (1 "grain" =~ 65mg), or whether the word "grains" is being used as slang for granulated crystal pieces.

    This is incompetence mixed with fearmongering.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by takyon on Friday May 25 2018, @09:21PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday May 25 2018, @09:21PM (#684220) Journal

      Hahaha, good one. But it's the BBC's fault, not the DEA's. From the DEA's more carefully-worded FAQ:

      two milligrams of fentanyl (equivalent to a few grains of table salt) is considered to be a deadly dose for more than 95 percent of the American public

      However, the DEA/feds are known to include medium/packaging/glassware [wikipedia.org] when weighing drugs in order to inflict harsh sentencing:

      There can also be substantial discrepancies between the amount of chemical LSD that one possesses and the amount of possession with which one can be charged in the US. This is because LSD is almost always present in a medium (e.g. blotter or neutral liquid), and the amount that can be considered with respect to sentencing is the total mass of the drug and its medium. This discrepancy was the subject of 1995 United States Supreme Court case, Neal v. United States.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @09:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @09:40PM (#684225)

        There is also mention of purity in the article. More than likely it was already cut to heroin potency.

      • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday May 26 2018, @01:56AM

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 26 2018, @01:56AM (#684309) Journal

        From the DEA's more carefully-worded FAQ:

        two milligrams of fentanyl (equivalent to a few grains of table salt)

        Hardly careful, exculpatory wording. There is no measurable amount of fentanyl that's equivalent to any measurable quantity of table salt. Even were they similar in only one, or a few, features, which ones? Taste? Smell? Feel? Mass? Volume? Color? It doesn't say.

        This fentanyl can be dangerous stuff if you don't measure it carefully, yet the DEA is encouraging people to think it's just like NaCl--and saying it's deadly--in the same breath, robbing themselves of any credibility they previously possessed.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by mmcmonster on Friday May 25 2018, @10:58PM (6 children)

    by mmcmonster (401) on Friday May 25 2018, @10:58PM (#684254)

    54kg of Fentanyl was seized.

    To put it to some sort of scale, a fentanyl patch releases 25-100 mcg per hour. Typically the patch will contain 72 hours of fentanyl.

    The amount seized was 5.4x10^10 mcg.

    That's a LOT of hours of fentanyl.

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday May 25 2018, @11:42PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Friday May 25 2018, @11:42PM (#684265)

      Some people here seem to think it's not much, or worth talking about... Let them have their 3mg.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by edIII on Saturday May 26 2018, @02:39AM (3 children)

      by edIII (791) on Saturday May 26 2018, @02:39AM (#684322)

      It is odd. I believe that works out to between 7.5 and 30 million patches. If you were buying to use it and not die, you probably would never buy more than 150 patches per year. Whoever this was could meet supply for probably the entirety of the US population needing it, for at least a year or two.

      Moving that much supply into one single place is absolutely crazy.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @01:28PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @01:28PM (#684505)

        Opiate tolerance shoots up remarkably fast. A 2+ gram/day heroin habit (way past deadly for non-users) can be achieved in less than month of use. This guy was probably wholesaling over a large region, but several kilos a day wouldn't be extraordinary in a decent sized metropolis.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @10:25PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @10:25PM (#684682)

          Especially when used as a mussel relaxant

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 27 2018, @08:16AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 27 2018, @08:16AM (#684795)

            I did not know this.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @09:28AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @09:28AM (#684424)

      They are trying to create fear. Imagine chemtrails depositing fentanyl all over population centers.

      For all I know, they never found any fentanyl. They are only scaring people. Today it is fentanyl. Tomorrow it will be something else after the scare of fentanyl reduces.

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