HORRIFYING: Indivior Solutions Gave ADDICTIVE Opioid Drug As “Treatment” For Opioid Abuse Under FALSE CLAIM Of Drug Being A Non-Opioid Treatment For Addiction

Indivior Solutions today pleaded guilty to a one-count felony information and, together with its parent companies Indivior Inc. and Indivior plc, agreed to pay a total of $600 million to resolve criminal and civil liability associated with the marketing of the opioid-addiction-treatment drug Suboxone.  Together with a $1.4 billion resolution with Indivior’s former parent, Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (RB Group), announced in 2019, and a plea agreement with Indivior plc’s former CEO, Shaun Thaxter, announced last month, the total resolution relating to the marketing of Suboxone is more than $2 billion — the largest-ever resolution in a case brought by the Department of Justice involving an opioid drug.

Suboxone is a drug product approved for use by recovering opioid addicts to avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms while they undergo treatment for opioid-use disorder.  Suboxone contains buprenorphine, a powerful opioid.

“Combatting the opioid crisis is a Department of Justice priority,” said Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Claire M. Murray.  “Today’s announced resolution and related actions hold accountable entities and individuals that unlawfully marketed opioid-addiction products.”

“The opioid crisis is a public health emergency.  Prevention and access to effective treatments for opioid addiction are critical to fighting this epidemic,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael D. Granston for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “When a drug manufacturer claims to be part of a solution for opioid addicts, we expect honesty and candor to government officials, as well as to the physicians and patients making important treatment decisions based on those representations.”

Resolution of the Criminal Investigation

Indivior Solutions pleaded guilty today to a one-count felony criminal information charging false statements relating to health care matters.  In connection with its guilty plea, Indivior Solutions admitted to making false statements to promote the film version of Suboxone (Suboxone Film) to the Massachusetts Medicaid program (MassHealth) relating to the safety of Suboxone Film around children.  The resolution includes a criminal fine, forfeiture, and restitution totaling $289 million.  On June 30, 2020, Indivior plc’s former CEO Shaun Thaxter pleaded guilty to a one-count misdemeanor information related to Indivior’s false and misleading representations to MassHealth.

In 2002, Indivior Inc. received approval to market Suboxone tablets for use in the treatment of opioid addiction and dependence.  At that time, Indivior Inc. was an RB Group subsidiary known as Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.  In December 2014, RB Group spun off Indivior Inc., and the two companies are no longer affiliated.  Thereafter, Indivior Inc. became a subsidiary of Indivior plc.  On April 9, 2019, a federal grand jury sitting in Abingdon, Virginia, indicted Indivior Inc. and Indivior plc for allegedly engaging in an illicit nationwide scheme to increase prescriptions of Suboxone.

In its guilty plea today, Indivior Solutions, which employed marketing and sales personnel for the Indivior group of companies, admitted to an aspect of the scheme alleged in the indictment.  Specifically, Indivior Solutions admitted that, in October 2012, it sought to convince MassHealth to expand Medicaid coverage of Suboxone Film in Massachusetts and sent MassHealth false data indicating that Suboxone Film had the lowest rate of accidental pediatric exposure (i.e., children taking medication by accident) of all buprenorphine drugs in Massachusetts, when in fact, it did not.  Indivior Solutions further admitted that sending the false and misleading information occurred in the context of marketing and promotional efforts directed at MassHealth, which were overseen by top executives.  MassHealth announced it would provide access to Suboxone Film for patients with children under the age of six shortly after Indivior provided the false and misleading information to agency officials.

“During the nationwide opioid epidemic, Indivior Solutions made false statements about Suboxone’s safety to increase its sales.  In doing so, Indivior Solutions misled government health care officials and is being held accountable today for its felonious conduct,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel P. Bubar of the Western District of Virginia.  “This resolution is the culmination of years of work by prosecutors and agents and demonstrates that we will continue to work tirelessly to hold pharmaceutical manufacturers responsible for illegal conduct.”

In addition to its financial aspects, the agreement with Indivior Inc. includes novel provisions that:

  • Require Indivior Inc. to disband its Suboxone sales force and not reinstate it;
  • Require Indivior Inc.’s CEO to personally certify, under penalty of perjury, on an annual basis that during the prior year (a) Indivior was in compliance with the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act and did not commit health care fraud or (b) list all non-compliant activity and the steps taken by Indivior to remedy these acts;
  • Prohibit Indivior Inc. from using data obtained from surveys of health care providers for marketing, sales, and promotional purposes;
  • Require Indivior Inc. to remove health care providers from their promotional programs who are at a high risk of inappropriate prescribing; and
  • Make Indivior subject to contempt sanctions by the court and reinstatement of the dismissed charges if it violates the agreement.

“The opioid crisis has devastated families and communities across the Commonwealth and drug manufacturers must be held accountable for their role in creating and prolonging this crisis,” said Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring.  “I want to thank my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for their work on this important case, as well as our local, state and federal partners for their continued collaboration.  My team and I will continue to do everything in our power to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis and help to ensure justice for those families who have been effected by the opioid crisis.”

“Parties that contract with the government will be held to the letter of the contract,” said Kenneth Cleevely, Special Agent in Charge of the Eastern Field Office for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.  “The U.S. Postal Service spends billions of dollars per year in workers compensation-related costs, most of which are legitimate.  However, when medical providers or companies choose to flout the rules and profit illegally, special agents with the USPS OIG will work with our law enforcement partners to hold them responsible.  To report fraud or other criminal activity involving the Postal Service, contact USPS OIG special agents at www.uspsoig.gov or 888-USPS-OIG.”

U.S. District Judge James P. Jones accepted the guilty plea but deferred acceptance of the plea agreement until after the preparation of a presentence report.  He scheduled sentencing for Oct. 20, 2020 at the U.S. Courthouse in Abingdon, Virginia.

The Civil Settlement

Under the civil settlement, Indivior Inc. and Indivior plc have agreed to pay a total of $300 million to resolve claims that the marketing of Suboxone caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs.  The $300 million settlement amount includes approximately $209.3 million to the federal government and $90.7 million to states that opt to participate in the agreement.

The civil settlement resolves allegations by the United States that, from 2010 through 2015, Indivior companies knowingly (a) promoted the sale and use of Suboxone to physicians who were writing prescriptions that were not for a medically accepted indication and that lacked a legitimate medical purpose, were issued without any counseling or psychosocial support, were for uses that were unsafe, ineffective, and medically unnecessary, and were often diverted; (b) promoted the sale or use of Suboxone Film to physicians and state Medicaid agencies using false and misleading claims that Suboxone Film was less susceptible to diversion and abuse than other buprenorphine products and that Suboxone Film was less susceptible to accidental pediatric exposure than tablets; and (c) submitted a petition to the Food and Drug Administration on Sept. 25, 2012, claiming that Suboxone Tablet had been discontinued “due to safety concerns” about the tablet formulation of the drug and took other steps to delay the entry of generic competition for Suboxone to improperly control pricing of Suboxone, including pricing to federal healthcare programs.

“Prescription opioids are both addictive and dangerous when diverted for improper use or prescribed without accurate information about the risks that they pose,” said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for the District of New Jersey.  “This resolution holds Indivior to account for placing profit above patient and community safety.”

The civil settlement resolves claims against Indivior in six lawsuits pending in federal court in the Western District of Virginia and the District of New Jersey under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private citizens to bring civil actions on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery.  The False Claims Act also permits the government to intervene in such actions, as the government previously did in the three lawsuits pending in the Western District of Virginia.  The whistleblower share to be awarded in this case has not yet been determined.

“Opioid addiction and abuse is an immense public health crisis and taking steps to address it is one of the FDA’s highest priorities,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D.  “Medication-assisted treatments incorporating drugs like Indivior’s Suboxone, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapy, are an important tool in combating opioid use disorder but can quickly become part of the problem if not used responsibly.  When companies encourage the use of powerful drugs where not medically necessary and provide misleading information about relative product benefits, they can ultimately risk more misuse, abuse, diversion, and accidental exposure to opioid drugs as well as make treatment more difficult to obtain for those suffering from this crisis.  We will continue to work with the Department of Justice to investigate and hold accountable those who devise and participate in schemes to the detriment of the public health.”

Non-monetary Provisions of the Corporate Integrity Agreement

In addition to the criminal and civil resolutions, Indivior executed a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG).  The CIA requires that Indivior implement numerous accountability and auditing provisions.  On an annual basis, top executives and the Board of Directors must certify about compliance, Indivior must conduct annual risk assessments and other monitoring, and an independent review organization will conduct multi-faceted audits.

“Addressing the opioid crisis is a top priority for OIG, and we will continue to work closely with the Department of Justice to hold corporations and individuals accountable when they use illegal tactics to promote and sell opioids,” said Gregory E. Demske, Chief Counsel to the Inspector General, HHS-OIG.  “Among other things, our CIA with Indivior imposes accountability on the Board and top executives, subjects the company to internal and external auditing, and ensures that the company will separate itself from its prior top leadership.”

“The opioid epidemic has ravaged this nation,” said Elton Malone, Assistant Inspector General for Investigations with the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  “This resolution, along with our law enforcement partners’ work, should serve as a warning that large companies will face prosecution if they break the law.”

FTC Resolution

Under a separate agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Indivior has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve claims that it engaged in unfair methods of competition in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b).  The FTC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia alleging anticompetitive activities by Indivior designed to impede competition from generic equivalents of Suboxone.  As part of a consent decree, Indivior agreed that it would notify the FTC if it filed a Citizen Petition with the FDA in connection with a drug product, it would simultaneously disclose to both the FDA and the FTC all studies and data relevant to that Citizen Petition.  Indivior further agreed not to withdraw a drug from the market or otherwise disadvantage a drug after obtaining approval to market another drug containing the same active ingredient.

“As alleged in the FTC’s complaint, in the midst of the nation’s opioid crisis, a critical opioid-addiction treatment was about to become more affordable,” said Gail Levine, a Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.  “But Indivior prevented that.  It kept its drug prices high by unlawfully impeding generic manufacturers from competing effectively.”

A Multilateral Effort

The criminal case against Indivior was prosecuted by Randy Ramseyer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, Albert P. Mayer and Carol Wallack of the Department of Justice Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Charles J. Biro and Matthew J. Lash of the Department of Justice Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch, Kristin L. Gray, Joseph S. Hall and Janine M. Myatt of the Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Office of the Virginia Attorney General, and Garth W. Huston of the Federal Trade Commission.  This matter was investigated by the Virginia Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit; FDA – Office of Criminal Investigation; United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General; and Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General.

The civil settlement was handled by Edward Crooke of the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Sara Bugbee Winn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, and Andrew A. Caffrey III of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.  Assistance was provided by representatives of the HHS Office of Counsel to the Inspector General; the HHS Office of the General Counsel, CMS Division; FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia; the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the General Counsel; the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Office of Personnel Management – Office of Inspector General; the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Office of Inspector General; the Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General; and TRICARE Program Integrity.

The joint effort advances the goals of the Department’s Prescription Interdiction & Litigation (PIL) Task Force to deploy all available criminal, civil, and regulatory tools to hold opioid manufacturers accountable for unlawful practices and to ensure that prescription opioid products are marketed truthfully.

Except to the extent admitted as part of the criminal resolution, the claims resolved by the civil settlement are allegations only.  There has been no determination of liability in the civil case. (Click to Source)

For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdva.  Additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and the Civil Fraud Section and their enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch and http://www. justice.gov/civil/fraud-section.  Tips and complaints from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, can be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).

 

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Chemicals supplied by China play a big role in America’s illegal drug trade

Thursday, June 11, 2020 by: Isabelle Z.

(Natural News) Coronavirus isn’t the only deadly epidemic that can be traced to China; factories in the country have also been involved in supplying huge amounts of precursor chemicals to Mexican super labs to produce methamphetamines and other drugs that end up on American streets.

Precursor chemicals are used for the illegal manufacture of narcotics and psychoactive substances. However, they also have legitimate commercial applications and are used legally in consumer products such as medicines and fragrances, as well as for industrial processes. One example of this is phenylacetic acid, which is legally used to produce penicillin and cleaning solutions but can also be used to illegally manufacture methamphetamines.

A former special agent for the DEA, Derek Maltz, told One News Now that China’s participation in the drug crisis that is killing people around world, particularly in America, is an “underreported story” that has been going on for many years.

He said that while the DEA did a great job of stunting the ability of what he termed “mom and pop” labs in the U.S. to make meth, drug kingpins in Mexico spotted an opportunity to make a lot of money, so they began bringing significant quantities of precursor chemicals from China and other Asian countries into Mexican ports, from which point they went on to be used to make street drugs in labs around the country.

“Cartels started dominating the methamphetamine production business inside of Mexico,” he said. “Cartels like the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco Cartel built super-labs in Mexico to produce massive amounts of methamphetamines, up to seven tons of meth every three days.”

The synthetic drug market is highly profitable for them, he says, pointing out that China is home to more than 150,000 chemical companies and that the country is earning millions of dollars by selling “these poisons.”

They are also making a lot of money by selling massive amounts of fentanyl to Mexican cartels, and some Americans are even managing to buy some of these chemicals from websites in China and having them shipped directly to their homes.

In addition, the Chinese are helping the money laundering for these cartels in the U.S. as law enforcement has a far more difficult time penetrating ethnic Chinese groups than the Mexican ones, given the high number of Spanish-speaking informants used by law enforcement.

Maltz believes that money may not be the only motivation behind China’s actions, saying: “America is a big adversary to China, so it’s not far-fetched to think the Chinese are purposely killing Americans and making millions of dollars while doing it.”

Coronavirus crisis in Wuhan disrupted the drug trade

Wuhan will forever be associated with coronavirus, but prior to the pandemic, it was known for producing the chemicals that are needed for fentanyl and other opioids. According to the L.A. Times, Mexican drug cartels were their biggest customers.

After the virus emerged and disrupted the fentanyl supply chain, however, Mexican drug traffickers saw their profits take a huge hit, and street drug prices across America started climbing. Lockdowns, travel bans, and other types of virus containment efforts have crippled the narcotics trade, and the Mexican production of meth and fentanyl was particularly hard hit as they were unable to get the precursor chemicals that usually arrive via plane or cargo ship from China.

In addition, new restrictions on entering the U.S. have been another big roadblock for the Mexican drug cartels, and the resulting loss of income is said to be contributing to escalating violence in Mexico, where the monthly homicide figures reached a two-year high in March. As pandemic-related lockdowns start being lifted, however, the illegal drug trade will soon be in full swing once again. (Click to Source)

Sources for this article include:

BigLeaguePolitics.com

OneNewsNow.com

LATimes.com

 

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High-dose opioids – five factors that increase the risk of harm

March 30, 2020 11.44am EDT

Sean Jennings started taking opioids in 1993 following a complication from a hernia operation that left him in debilitating pain. His GP initially prescribed codeine combined with paracetamol, but the pain persisted. Every day Sean took more and more pills. His GP eventually prescribed stronger opioids than codeine – tramadol, at first, and then morphine. Twenty-five years on, Sean was taking 160mg of morphine every day – a very high dose – but he was still in pain. He was also at high risk of overdosing.

To find out how many people there are like Sean, we conducted a study, synthesising all the published research on high-dose opioids. We found that of 4.2 million people taking prescription opioids in Australia, the UK and the US, over 154,000 were taking high doses. We also found five factors linked to the use of high-dose opioids: being prescribed benzodiazepines (such as Valium), increased visits to emergency departments, depression, unemployment and being male.

Of these factors, the combined use of high-dose opioids with benzodiazepines is the most worrying. Benzodiazepines, also called “benzos”, are sedative drugs that are prescribed for anxiety and poor sleep – common in people with chronic pain. But people taking high-dose opioids plus a benzodiazepine have a tenfold greater risk of unintended overdose than people taking opioids alone.

Sean Jennings’ story.

Gradual process

High doses of opioids aren’t used at the start of treatment. The escalation in dose is usually a gradual process, occurring over many years. While high doses are necessary for people receiving palliative care and cancer treatment, no clinical trials of the benefits and harms of using opioids in high doses for chronic pain have been conducted. Despite this, prescriptions of high-dose opioids have increased in AustraliaCanadaEngland and the US.

Reducing the amount of high-dose opioid prescriptions can benefit stretched healthcare budgets and systems. In England, if GPs reduced the number of high-dose opioid prescriptions, £24.8 million could be saved in six months. And visits to the emergency department would be reduced too.

But there is a critical gap in our understanding of this problem as most studies were from the US, with one from Australia and one from the UK. This is because access to electronic patient records is very limited globally, and not much research has evaluated the prescribing of high-dose opioids. Data on the number of prescriptions is more readily available, but to understand what dose people are prescribed, we need patient-level data.

Through self-management with exercise, mindfulness and group therapy, Sean has been opioid-free for two years and is “thriving”, although he is still in pain. He is living proof that life without high-dose opioids is possible. Sean says that social prescribing, where GPs refer patients to a local community group or social activity, such as art classes, in addition to standard clinical care, is the way forward.

We must rethink the prescribing of high-dose opioids for people with chronic pain. There are many unanswered questions, but turning to the prescription pad will not solve the problem. Lower doses of opioids are safer, will benefit strained healthcare budgets and reduce the burden on healthcare systems globally. Sean is proof that there is another way. (Click to Source)

 

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Meth is back and flooding the streets of Ohio and Kentucky, and it’s uglier than ever

Terry DeMio, Cincinnati EnquirerPublished 8:14 a.m. ET Feb. 13, 2020

The floor seemed filthy and she could not get rid of the grime. Amie Detzel frantically scrubbed that nursing home floor with cleaning supplies she’d found when no one was looking. On hands and knees, dragging her IV pole with her, the gravely sick woman incessantly scrubbed.

Meth had found its way into the nursing home. She was suffering from addiction. So she used it.

The psychotic episode happened after Detzel had spent days (and nights) of pushing the drug into the intravenous catheter that her caregivers were using to infuse antibiotics into her infected heart. The infection had come from a contaminated needle.

That catheter, the pathway for lifesaving antibiotics, became just another way to get a drug into Detzel’s body to alter her brain.

This was not heroin, which she’d been through. This was not fentanyl, the deadly synthetic opiate that had rushed into Cincinnati several years ago. This was methamphetamine, the primary drug now flooding the streets of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and other communities across the country. It’s a psychostimulant. It can induce psychosis.

That explains the scrubbing.

This new wave of meth is causing police and parents of users and even government officials to shift their focus from opioids to this stimulant – a drug that used to be common, then faded, but is resurging. This time, with much more purity, coming directly from Mexico, not backyard cookeries or houses or sheds.

The fresh attention to meth matters. After all, the rise in meth tested at law enforcement crime laboratories across Ohio and Kentucky is staggering.

Just one example of that rise: The 23 drug task forces (including Northern Kentucky’s) that are funded through the Ohio High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area agency saw a 1,600% jump in meth seized from 2015 to 2019 (and the 2019 numbers are incomplete).

Read that again: 1,600%.

But as shocking as that number is, some addiction experts say that we are missing the point behind the new meth wave.

The point: Addiction. The United States has an addiction crisis.

“We just simply move like a herd of locusts from one drug to another,” said Dr. Mina “Mike” Kalfas, a certified addiction expert in Northern Kentucky. “Meth is the replacement for the crack of old. We go from opioid (pain pills) to opioid (heroin) to opioid (fentanyl) to stimulant (meth).

“We try to get them off of the drug they’re on,” Kalfas said. “What we need to do is, treat the addiction. They’re using (a) drug as a coping mechanism.”

Addiction, which has been with us forever, is what needs to be fixed. With evidence-based treatment. The American Society of Addiction Medicine is still clamoring for more doctors to learn about such treatment and to attend to the problem as a disease.

Historically, the medical system largely ignored addiction, allowing the criminal justice system and treatment programs outside of the health-care system to deal with it, said Lindsey Vuolo, director of Health Law and Policy for and public affairs for the science-based nonprofit Center on Addiction in New York City.

The grudging change started with the opioid epidemic. As overdose death tolls soared, the mantra became: Treat addiction. Save lives. Keep people safe if they use drugs. Carry the opioid-overdose antidote naloxone. Provide more needle exchanges to prevent the spread of diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. Continue treatment for this chronic disease.

Those who ignore the advice put us at our own peril, experts say.

“If we don’t start to effectively and efficiently address addiction like the public health issue that it is, we will continue to see drug epidemic after drug epidemic,” said Courtney Hunter, director of advocacy at the Center on Addiction.

So why meth? Why now?

For starters, those who are addicted to opiates are hearing others talk about a new high, cheap and easy to get, and safer than fentanyl.

They are people with addiction, after all, and most people who suffer from addiction will reach for drugs other than the one they primarily use.

Meth is an alternative. But it’s sneaky.

Kalfas calls the current meth problem a new tentacle of the opioid epidemic, noting that most patients he’s seeing who switch from heroin to meth don’t give up opioids for long.

“They perceive (meth) as different, sometimes even lesser somehow, which is how they underestimate it. But when their batteries are dry, they need to ‘come down,’ what will they turn to? The opiate-addicted turns to opiates.”

Brittany Christian, 32, of Walnut Hills, who’s in recovery, said she learned about meth while she was in treatment for heroin addiction in Louisville.

“Everybody had done it and I hadn’t done it, and I really wanted to try it,” she said. She added: “I did not want to go through the heroin withdrawal again.”

Six months after she left that rehab, in May 2017, she decided to find meth.

“It’s just as easy as getting cigarettes at the gas station,” Christian said.

And cheap. In southwest Ohio, a gram of meth can go for as little as $4.50 per gram (and up to $25 a gram), said Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Assistant Superintendent Heinz Von Eckartsberg.

For Detzel, the woman who fell into obsessive floor-scrubbing, drugs were a way to cope with living, she says. Now 35 and in recovery for a year, Detzel was 13 when she was led into a sex-for-drugs trafficking situation orchestrated by someone close to her family.

She did drugs, she said, because it seemed normal.

“I never knew the proper way, you know, to get help,” she said. “All I knew was to use because that’s what I’d seen … at a young age.”

She was vulnerable to anything that took her away from her real life.

“I just wanted to try anything. Anything that I thought would take me to another level.”

And by the time she was 30, meth was simply there for her to try, she said. “Somebody was selling it.”

Like they had sold her.

But Detzel rallied. She was able to maintain sobriety after her stint in the nursing home. She had been prescribed Suboxone for her opioid addiction and had to steer clear of drug use for six months before she could have heart surgery. She learned coping mechanisms, learned she’d been trafficked through no fault of her own and turned to God for help. She celebrated one year in recovery in January.

No such help with meth

Both Detzel and Christian had been introduced to medical help for their initial addictions.

There is no medication-assisted treatment available for meth addiction, as there is for opioid addiction.

That lack will become more obvious every day.

“It looks to me that a supply of stimulants will gradually increase in the U.S., as it has been seen in other parts of the world,” said Dr. Adam Bisaga, an addiction research scientist who is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. While he doesn’t believe people using opioids will easily switch to stimulants, he’s certain there will be more who use both types of drugs.

Bisaga said it appears the best treatment will be an extension of what’s beginning to happen in the United States with opioid use disorder: Medical intervention treating addiction as a chronic disease, treating both addictions “under one roof.”

The best treatment right now for meth addiction is psycho-social therapy, addiction experts say. The method can include talk therapy, learning about the illness and a rehabilitation regimen that helps people develop social and emotional skills they can employ to live a healthy life. Some sufferers are prescribed anti-anxiety or sleep-help drugs or other medications while they detox from meth.

Like with other addictions, “You have to look at the underlying issues and really make a treatment plan that’s individualized for the person,” said Kat Engel, vice president of nursing services for the Center of Addiction Treatment in the West End. “Are they self-medicating?”

As is usual with treatment, not enough are getting it. Meth-related deaths are rising. The latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that, from 2012 to 2018, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving methamphetamine and other “psychostimulants with abuse potential” was up almost fivefold.

Christian, who has been in recovery for a year-and-a-half, said that, “absolutely,” treating drug use has to include treating the individual’s trauma.

“What’s causing someone to use? What issues are they going through? You know, I think a lot of it is underneath that needs to be brought up.”

In her case, it was sexual abuse she’d endured as a child.

With meth, says, she was paralyzed, hyper-focused on a single task. Sometimes, she felt empty. She scratched and picked sores onto her body and face. Once, she piloted her car to a hospital, expecting to be locked in a psych ward. But she was discharged.

For her, the confines and rules of the Center for Addiction Treatment saved her, she said. She found sobriety by following the rules, then looking into her own traumatic past.

“If they told me I could not have a pair of leggings, oh well, I can’t have a pair of leggings. If they told me to go to group therapy three times a day, I did that. My counselor, when she told me to journal, I journaled.”

Both she and Detzel believe their continued success has at least something to do with their work.

Christian is an admissions specialist for the Center for Addiction Treatment. She loves her job, saying, “Somebody did it for me.”

Detzel, now living in Cheviot, works at the YWCA downtown in Cincinnati helping domestic violence and rape victims as well as people with developmental disabilities who struggle with addiction. She’s been in recovery for just more than a year.

The lessons they learned about their own addictions and how to treat them are holding. But they see the avalanche of meth on the streets now. They know the attraction among opioid users to this drug is real.

In Hamilton County, Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, the county coroner, said the crime lab’s meth caseload leaped from a little more than 600 in 2016 to 3,600-plus cases in 2019 – “a sixfold increase.”

In Kentucky, the amount of meth seized and tested at the Kentucky State Police Crime Laboratories rose by 77% in just two years, from 2016 to 2018.

The outcomes of all this meth is yet to be seen.

Bisaga has this prediction for those who use such stimulants along with opioids:

“The mixed stimulant-opioid addiction is a different one,” Bisaga said. “We do not have a strategy to treat it, and many programs will be taken by surprise.

“The number of overdoses and adverse medical outcomes in people using both will increase, and this will be a fourth wave of the opioid epidemic.” (Click to Source)

 

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This Ohio county may need a second morgue to handle the number of fentanyl overdoses

(CNN) If overdose deaths don’t slow down in Franklin County, Ohio, a temporary morgue may be needed to store the bodies.
The county has seen 23 overdose deaths from January 31 to February 7, Dr. Anahi Ortiz, the county’s coroner, said in a statement on her Facebook page. The next day, the county had five more.
Most of the deaths were likely due to fentanyl, Ortiz said.
Morgue techs are “constantly working [and] don’t take lunch” to keep up with the overdose deaths, the county coroner told CNN affiliate WSYX. If the overdose rate stays at the same pace or worsens, the county may have to bring in a temporary morgue for storage of bodies, Ortiz said.
Ortiz urged those in need of treatment to visit the city of Columbus’ opiate crisis information website.
The synthetic opioid, originally developed as an anesthetic for surgery, is the deadliest drug in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, and just .025 milligrams can be deadly.
While Franklin County usually has one or two overdose deaths in a day, Ortiz said on Facebook, one 26-hour period in September 2019 saw 10 people dying of overdoses.
That year, overdose deaths in the county were up 15% from the year before, and 90% were opiate related.
The rise comes in the midst of a joint Columbus-Franklin County plan, begun in 2017, to combat the opiate epidemic in the state that brought together first responders, law enforcement, mental health clinicians, consumers, family members and members of faith communities.
Among the plan’s 2019 goals were hospitals collaborating to provide other pain management options and providing resources to people with opiate use disorders as they are released from jail.
The opioid epidemic is a national problem. It is estimated that more than 130 people die every day in the US after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Drug makers and distributors have faced criticism for ignoring the science on opioid addiction risk and aggressively marketing prescription opioids. (Click to Source)

 

 

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New, deadly drug called ‘gray death’ found in Louisiana; officials say just touching it could kill you

by: Britt Lofaso – Posted:  Updated: 

FRANKLIN, La. (KLFY)- A new, deadly drug is being found in Louisiana for the first time.

Officials say the drug is so powerful, just touching it could kill you.

They’re calling this super drug “gray death.”

“The public recognizes a lot of the drugs that we deal with. This is a new one,” David Spencer, spokesperson for the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

“Gray death” is heroin that has been cut with Fentanyl, according to Spencer, and it is deadly.

“Be aware of the color. It looks like chunks of concrete,” Spencer warned.

“Gray death” first started appearing in Alabama and Georgia in 2017. It then moved to Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Now, deputies say it’s here in Louisiana.

“You don’t want to touch this. If it all possible, you don’t even want to put it on your hands,” Spencer said.

The drug is reportedly 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Just touching the drug could kill you.

“You would really hate to see somebody innocent touch this not knowing what it is or a child touch that now knowing what it is,” Spencer added. “We just definitely just want to educate the public so they know, hey, this is a new thing.”

Officials say if you come across this drug, you should not pick it up or even touch it. Instead, you should report it to authorities.

The first sample of “gray death” in Louisiana was recently recovered from suspects from the Lake Charles area who were traveling through St. Mary Parish. (Click to Source)

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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VIDEO: America collapses into a pharma state; just like a “narco state” but run by prescription drug cartels

12/02/2019 / By Mike Adams

A “narco state” is a nation where nearly every aspect of society — politics, law enforcement, media, etc. — is controlled by narcotics traffickers. Mexico is a modern-day narco state.

America has collapsed into a pharma state, where all the most powerful corporations, regulators and government entities are beholden to pharmaceutical interests.

  • The establishment media is largely funded by Big Pharma and uses its influence to promote pharmaceuticals while attacking nutrition and natural supplements.
  • Federal regulators like the FDA and CDC function as little more than pharmaceutical cheerleading squads that hype the benefits of prescription medications (and vaccines) and protect Big Pharma’s profits through regulatory monopoly enforcement.
  • The techno fascists like Google, Facebook and Amazon are all-in for Big Pharma, promoting prescription drugs by censoring natural health information while pursuing their own for-profit medication and vaccine retailing operations.
  • Law enforcement is entirely controlled by Big Pharma, which is why the CEOs of powerful drug companies like GlaxoSmithKline are never indicted, even when that company admitted to running a nationwide bribery campaign involving 44,000 doctors. Instead of going to jail, they paid a fine to the DOJ and continue to conduct business as usual in the United States.
  • The judicial system is overtly rigged in favor of Big Pharma, too. The vaccine has absolute legal immunity against lawsuits stemming from the millions of children who are harmed (and in some cases killed) each year by faulty vaccines made with toxic, dangerous ingredients. In America, no parent can due a vaccine manufacturer for the damage caused to their child by childhood immunization vaccines.
  • The institution of “science” is totally corrupted by Big Pharma, and medical journals are almost entirely funded by pharmaceutical interests. Med schools teach doctors how to be little more than pharmaceutical vending machines, and even the “science” entries in Wikipedia are almost entirely engineered by Big Pharma sock puppets that pretend to be unbiased “editors.”
  • Lawmakers in Washington D.C. are bought and “owned” by Big Pharma campaign donations and well-funded lobbyists. The pharmaceutical industry has more paid lobbyists in D.C. than even the weapons manufacturing industry or the oil industry.
  • Even veterinary medicine is now totally corrupted by Big Pharma, to the point where vets largely just push vaccines and medications onto dogs, cats and even horses.
  • These same pharmaceutical giants are pushing the FDA to outlaw CBD products and criminalize even non-THC cannabis as a form of natural medicine. This is being done, of course, to protect the monopoly profits of the opioid manufacturers that are killing tens of thousands of Americans each year while raking in billions in profits.

Watch this powerful mini-documentary, below, to learn more about how America has collapsed into a “pharma state.” Share the video everywhere to help spread the word. Big Pharma is as grave a danger to the United States as the narcotics cartels are to Mexico. If we don’t end this pharmaceutical tyranny over America, this nation will collapse from runaway “health care” spending and pension payouts to the pharmaceutical giants.

Oh yeah, and Elizabeth Warren wants to pump another $51 trillion in Big Pharma’s pockets by unleashing “Medicare for All” which is nothing more than a massive taxpayer-funded windfall of profits for the drug companies and cancer centers that keep people sick and medicated.

https://www.brighteon.com/a0006c0a-e398-40dd-bad2-f9569916c690


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Opioid Makers/Distributors Dumped On Reports Of Federal Criminal Probe

By Tyler Durden

Federal prosecutors have reportedly opened a criminal investigation into whether pharmaceutical companies intentionally allowed opioid painkillers to flood communities.

As The Wall Street Journal notes, the feds are employing laws normally used to go after drug dealers, according to people familiar with the matter.

At least six companies have said in regulatory filings that they received grand-jury subpoenas from the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York:

  • drugmakers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Mallinckrodt PLC, Johnson & Johnson and Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc.

  • and distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp. and McKesson Corp.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the probe is in its early stages and prosecutors are expected to subpoena additional companies in the coming months, one of the people said. It wasn’t clear if other companies had received subpoenas.

Virtually every state and more than 2,500 city and county governments have filed lawsuits against players up and down the opioid supply chain, accusing them of marketing opioid painkillers too aggressively and failing to stop excessive amounts of pills from flooding into communities. Some of the companies are working with attorneys general on a multibillion-dollar settlement to resolve the entirety of the litigation.

This article was sourced from ZeroHedge.com


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New beginning for Lake County Drug Court graduates

These young men need the Gospel of Jesus to be free from Addiction

Lake County Judicial Court Drug Court Judge James Manley shares a laugh with Drug Court graduates and CSKT members, Bradley Cannon, 22, and Dale Joseph of Elmo. Graduates completed the yearlong day-to-day program. “It was hard in the beginning,” said Joseph. He added that the past four months got easier. “I’m so happy now. I didn’t really think I’d do this.” Joseph was proud to announce he received his driver’s license a week before graduation. His plan is to complete his HiSet test and work for the Tribes. Cannon said he kept his mind set on “not giving up” and praises the support he got from the program team and his family. “The counselors really cared,” said Cannon. The next step for him is to get a job wild land firefighting. (Click to Source)

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

 

FDA: Big Pharma Drugs Are Making People Kill Themselves While They Sleep

By Mac Slavo

Sleeping drugs such as Ambien have been making people kill themselves in their sleep, says the Food and Drug Administration.  Drugs that supposedly help people sleep are linked to falls, burns, poisoning, limb loss, drowning, and even suicide.

According to The New York Times, this could all be solved by adding warning labels to the bottles of the pills instead of people trying to get off Big Pharma’s drugs.

Incidents related to sleeping pills have included “accidental overdoses, falls, burns, near drowning, exposure to extreme cold temperatures leading to loss of limb, carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning, hypothermia, motor vehicle collisions with the patient driving, and self-injuries such as gunshot wounds and apparent suicide attempts,” according to the FDA’s own research. But rather than tell people not to use such drugs, the FDA simply wants people to know they could kill themselves after taking the pills.

The FDA announced Tuesday that a prominent warning would be required on all medication guides for Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, and the generic version of Ambien, which is called zolpidem. The FDA also mandates a separate warning against prescribing the drugs to anyone with a history of sleepwalking. –Futurism.

That’s a lovely side effect…

“Patients usually did not remember these events,” the agency wrote, according to Futurism. Bizarre actions have been widely reported after using sleeping pills, and the FDA has warned about this in the past – 12 years ago, in fact. That means this isn’t exactly new information.  Big Pharma’s drugs have been problematic for quite some time now, but it is comforting to see others take note of just how disastrous some of these medications can be to humanity.

Some have expressed their surprise at the FDA’s admission that these pills may not be all that safe for people to use. “I am surprised to see this warning come out now,” University of Pennsylvania physician Ilene Rosen told The NYT.

This is something I’ve been telling my patients for the last 15 years, and in the sleep community, this is well known. And I’d like to think we’ve done a good job putting the news out there, that these drugs have some risks.

But all drugs have risks; hopefully, people will begin to realize that medications simply treat the symptom not the underlying problem that caused the issue to begin with.  Western medicine is about management, not treatment. And it isn’t just Ambien and sleeping drugs humanity should be worried about; it’s all the drugs pushed on the public every single day.

Ben Goldacre’s book Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients is great at explaining the dilemma we as a society have found ourselves in. We like to imagine that regulators have some code of ethics and let only effective drugs onto the market, when in reality they approve useless drugs, with data on side effects casually withheld from doctors and patients. This book shows the true scale of this murderous disaster. Goldacre believes we should all be able to understand precisely how data manipulation works and how research misconduct in the medical industry affects us on a global scale. (Click to Source)

 

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