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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The ‘Kill Pill’ The Fentanyl Epidemic

Police are investigating why a 10-month-old baby stopped breathing twice after being exposed to the opioid fentanyl in Methuen, Massachusetts
Methuen police said they were called to a Treetop Way residence at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday for a report of a baby who was not breathing. 

Upon arrival, emergency personnel immediately began treating the child before transporting her to Lawrence General Hospital, where she stopped breathing twice and had to be revived by hospital staff. The child was later flown to Tufts Medical Center in Boston via MedFlight helicopter and has since been released from the hospital. 
Hospital tests indicated that the baby had fentanyl in her system. The type of drug and amount ingested has not been released. 
The baby lives with her mother and grandparents in Methuen, according to Michael Quinn, an attorney and family friend. 

“There are a lot of questions and they have no answers,” Quinn said. 
Quinn says the mother found the baby unresponsive Saturday after a nap and the grandfather started CPR. 
The baby’s mother has struggled with drugs, but has been clean for several months, according to Quinn. 
“She has no idea how this happened, even before she delivered the baby she was in a program and she has been drug free ever since and that hasn’t changed, she has had negative drug tests the whole time, there hasn’t been anything,” Quinn said. “They are still cooperating with police and whoever wants to talk about it and whatever the investigation shows, they’d like answers as well.” 

"It's disconcerting," Methuen Police Lt. Michael Pappalardo said. "It's heartbreaking, to say the least. It's a 10-month-old baby. It's very difficult to deal with a young child that has become a victim." 
"The opioid epidemic knows no boundaries," added Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni. "We must continue to be vigilant in ensuring that children do not have access to harmful substances and to do everything we can to fight the disease of addiction." 
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid medication that is similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent. It is often mixed with or substituted for heroin. 
Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon said his department's focus now is to determine where the drug came from and how it wound up in the baby's system.

No arrests have been made, but police said charges are still possible.  
The Department of Children and Families is investigating in collaboration with Methuen Police, Massachusetts State Police and the Essex County District Attorney's Office. 

The law enforcers credited with bringing down the biggest cocaine cartel in history have warned Australians of a new, more potent drug that could hit epidemic proportions here like it has done in the United States
Drug Enforcement Agency special agents, Javier Pena and Steve Murphy, spent almost their entire professional careers undercover chasing Pablo Escobar and his Medellin Cartel cronies. The chasing ended in a wild shootout and the Colombian cocaine king’s death in 1993.
Speaking on the anniversary of the death of Escobar, the recently retired DEA pair said Australia needed to be aware of the far greater scourge of fentanyl and other prescription pain killers which has led to an unprecedented overdose epidemic in the US and Canada and was now entering Australia.
Earlier this year fentanyl, believed to have been behind the death of popstar Prince, was suspected to have been behind at least a dozen deaths notably in NSW and together with other prescription drugs behind the overdose deaths of more than 400 people nationally.
Mr Pena, 60, said forget cocaine, Australia needed to wake up to the fact this prescription drug derivative was taking over; it was too late for the US where it was already endemic.
“It’s all about fentanyl, it’s 10 to 15 times stronger than heroin coming in from Mexico and China,” he said, adding it had well and truly gripped US cities and was being added to make it more potent. It’s nickname in the US was the ‘kill pill’ because it’s measure could give a high or kill, particularly when mixed with another like heroin.
Mr Murphy, who with his crime partner inspired the Netflix smash hit Narcos, are to visit Australia next year on an official public program to talk about their famous case, law enforcement and drug trends. He said prescription drugs were the same if not more of a danger to illicit substances and society was not fully appreciating their potency.
“This will surprise you but the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States is prescription medications, that’s a horrible fact,” he told News Corp Australia.
“You take prescription medications then combine that with anything, heroin, cocaine, crack, meth amphetamines and fentanyl and there are more prescription drugs deaths out there than the others combined.
“What we are seeing is people abuse the opioids, Xanex, Oxycoton, (Oxycodone), Percocet, all the anti pain drugs out there that have opioids in their make up, have been driving the price of those pills up so what we see now is pure heroin, cut down for sale, being cheaper on the street now than it is to buy the pills.
“It’s really scary and now what we are seeing with fentanyl which is anywhere between 10 to 100 times stronger than heroin and its epidemic and driving everyone here crazy, it really is. Opioids is truly epidemic in the United States now and it’s a different drug fight that is required.”
Seizures of the synthetic opioid increased more than 400 per cent in the US in 2014 alone and was behind more than 1400 deaths in that year.
Australian Border Force could not be contacted for comment but sources within the law enforcement group confirmed small amounts of the opioids drug had been detected. The Australian Federal Police has also noted the presence of the synthetic drug but not in the quantities being seen in the US.
When the pair were tasked to tackle cocaine in the mid-1980s the drug was relatively unknown but soon Escobar’s crew was supplying it to 80 per cent of the world’s drug market including Australia.
It took 4000 soldiers including 250 elite multinational forces, to corner him and end his cartel; he was either killed in the shootout by police or took his own life in the melee, depending on whose version of events you believe.
Originally published as Escobar hunters warn of deadly ‘kill pill’

The DEA special agents credited with bringing down Pablo Escobar warn of a new more deadly drug Charles Miranda, News Corp Australia Network December 3, 2016  

Fentanyl brings a ‘ruff’ time for police officer NOVEMBER 25, 2016 

DEA raids colossal fentanyl operation. Could produce thousands of pills per hour Ben Guarino 

Delivered ‘Like A Pizza’: Why Killer Drug Fentanyl Is So Hard To Stop Martha Bebinger, WBUR 

Why killer drug fentanyl is so hard to stop MARTHA BEBINGER 06 12 16.

Deadly Counterfeit Opioid Pills Fooling Experts, Killing Californians November 12, 2016

The fentanyl drug trade is a billion dollar industry that feeds the addiction of hundreds of addicts and has cost more than 2,000 people their lives in the past five years.
A new documentary to air on CBC Thursday will examine this illicit trade, including a Grande Prairie connection.
CBC’s Firsthand docuseries will broadcast Unstoppable: The Fentanyl Epidemic on Dec. 1 at 9 p.m. sharing stories from users, producers, family members, medical staff, and the RCMP.
“I started hearing about fentanyl in the fall of 2014,” said filmmaker Robert Osborne. “I’d never heard of it two years ago and not many people had. I started to look into that and began to realize that this was a serious drug because it was a perfect drug. It was the perfect storm of drugs: It is so portable and so powerful and it’s worth so much money because of that.
“A criminal organization can mail a package that’s the size of a smart phone and they can cut that at a 100:1 ratio and they’ve got $2 million worth of fake heroine or they can press that into fake Oxy-80s (fentanyl).”
Osborne claims Grande Prairie had the highest number of deaths per capita related to fentanyl than any other city in Alberta. A 2016 Alberta Health Services report shows there were 37 fentanyl overdoses this year in the Swan City, while in Edmonton there were 168 and in Calgary 185.
In total, 338 Albertans died from drug overdoses last year of which 193 were related to fentanyl. The majority of those who die from fentanyl overdoses are men aged between 34 and 44. One fentanyl pill costs $40 on the street.
While Grande Prairie is not a hub for the production of fentanyl, there is high demand for the drug in the area, according to ALERT. Since September 2013 to September 2016, ALERT officers seized 3,517 pills, the third highest in the province after Calgary (13,818) and Edmonton (11,255).
“Grande Prairie would likely serve as a distribution point for the Peace Country region. Grande Prairie organized crime does have strong ties to the B.C. Lower Mainland, but our info suggests a lot of the drugs are still coming through Edmonton – as would be supported in the stats,” said ALERT spokesperson Mike Tucker.
A grieving Pat O’Connell, whose son Byron died in Grande Prairie last year from a fentanyl overdose and is featured in the documentary, likens the drug’s dealers to murders.
“If you just sold me a hit of fentanyl then you’re an accessory to murder, as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
Byron was a recovering cocaine addict when he took what he thought was Oxycontin at a house party, not realizing it was fentanyl.
One of the reasons why fentanyl users are dying has to do with the way the drug is produced.
Cpl. Eric Boechler, the RCMP’s leading fentanyl expert, demonstrates in the documentary how hot spots within a mix are created by using sprinkles and sugar. Some pills have high concentrations of fentanyl (sprinkles) while others have almost nothing.
The officer claims 2 mg of pure fentanyl (a few grains) can kill a person. He said the drug is on the way to killing 400 people in B.C. and more than 1,000 people in Canada this year alone.
“There have always been other drugs that have resulted in overdoses, but the spike that we’re seeing attributed to fentanyl is drastic. It’s going up and up all the time,” he said. 

ALERT seizes almost 4,000 fentanyl pills in Calgary 


Street drug fentanyl killing more Albertans Kent Morrison Global News March 18, 2015

More overdoses as fentanyl epidemic grows in Penticton Mark Brett Nov 22, 2016 

Fentanyl epidemic in Nanaimo Skye Ryan 

Fentanyl-related overdose deaths rising at an alarming rate

Fentanyl & Heroin Changing U.S. Opioid Epidemic November 19, 2016 Pat Anson

The Kill Pill: Prescribing a solution to the American drug crisis  NOVEMBER 6, 2016

Opioid Overdose Epidemic Is 'Like A Carnage Of Humanity' 12 DICEMBRE 2016 



Big Pharma's opioid epidemic September 21, 2016

"ADHD Nation" Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic AUGUST 23, 2016

The FDA Is Hiding Reports Linking Psych Drugs to Homicides MAY 8, 2016

Big Pharma is killing Americans August 30, 2015


Antidepressant Paxil Is Unsafe September 18, 2015 

Antidepressants Scientifically Linked to Violent Behavior September 29, 2015

DEADLY PSYCHIATRY September 15, 2015


Antidepressants doubles the risk of suicide January 29, 2016

Psychiatric Drugs And Mass Murder: The Connection AUGUST 28, 2015

Drugged to Kill August 25, 2015

Probe link between mass shootings and psych drugs October 6, 2015

DEADLY PSYCHIATRY September 15, 2015

Impact of advertising psychiatric drugs September 15, 2016

Past and Present Psychiatric Human Rights Abuses September 15, 2016

Letters from Generation Rx May 4, 2016

Le stragi e le cure farmaco psichiatriche July 25, 2016

Why Kids Kill Inside the Minds of School Shooters July 24, 2016

Violence Caused by Antidepressants: An Update July 27, 2016

The Start of America’s Mass School Shooting Epidemic August 11, 2016

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