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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Bartell Drugs says it will not open any more stores in downtown Seattle after violent assaults on employees

POSTED 5:41 PM, MARCH 25, 2019, BY HANA KIM, UPDATED AT 08:26PM, MARCH 25, 2019

SEATTLE — The CEO of Bartell Drugs Kathi Lentzsch has been in her role for about year.

She moved from San Francisco to take the job in Seattle, and frankly she says she is surprised over the number of incidents and the violence she is seeing in Seattle.

Surveillance videos inside Bartell Drugs have captured countless shoplifting cases. In one incident, video shows a man in one aisle quickly running off with up to $700 worth of skincare products.

Lentzsch says many times the criminals are bold and many of them are repeat offenders.

“They will stand in front of our staff with a basket full of products and tell them we know you can’t come after us and walk out the door,” Lentzsch said.

It’s costing the company a lot, but the CEO didn’t sit down with Q13 News to talk about shoplifting.

“We’ve had too many cases of employees ending up in the hospital or with very serious issues,” Lentzsch said.

Multiple employees have been rushed to the hospital because of violent assaults.

Sometimes it’s shoplifting that escalates to assaults or just unprovoked attacks. The situation is concerning enough that the company is rethinking their future in the downtown core of Seattle.

In one case, cameras captured a pharmacist stumbling back with a broken nose. The company says he asked a shoplifter if he could help them pay for the items he had witnessed the suspect stealing.

“We have an individual who had two surgeries in December from being assaulted,” Lentzsch said.

Most of the times there is nothing employees can do but just pick up the pieces, like the time a man lashed out and trashed the store. He appeared to be going through a psychotic episode.

“My heart goes out to my store team, they are tough and yet compassionate and try to do the best they can,” Lentzsch said.

The company says they have off duty police officers at two of their downtown Seattle branches.

In one of those branches a woman tried to come after an employee despite a police officer  standing in front of the worker. It took multiple officers to subdue the woman.

“Where we would like help is the violent offenders, it was startling to me how different the city had become,” Lentzsch said.

The company would like to hire more off-duty officers, but it’s already costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to have officers in just two of the branches.

“Frankly we are losing money in some of those stores because of the cost of putting after hour policemen,” Lentzsch said.

She worries about the livelihood of the existing chains in Seattle, and for the time being the company has decided not to open any more stores in the downtown core.

Lentzsch says for things to get better, city leaders and community members have to work together.

She wants to be at the table to talk solutions and she hopes city leaders are actively working on new ways to tackle the problem right now.

She doesn’t blame any one entity for the complicated situation. She says mental illness, drug addiction and homelessness all play a role in the uptick in violence.

The CEO also says police officers are doing the best they can and that the problem is bigger than them. The company says they do not call 911 over shoplifting cases, only when there is a disruption or a dangerous situation. The company also says employees are told not to physically engage with shoplifters for their safety.

Lentzsch says this is not a Bartell Drug problem because her competitors are facing the same issue and so are many other businesses across Seattle. (Click to Source)

 
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Fentanyl bust in New York finds enough to kill nearly 2 million people, DEA says

Updated 6:49 PM ET, Sat March 2, 2019

(CNN)A home in a quiet Westchester County, New York, neighborhood was hiding enough fentanyl to kill 2 million people, the US Drug Enforcement Administration said.

Federal agents found five kilograms (just over 11 pounds) of fentanyl and six kilograms (13.2 pounds) of heroin Friday when they raided a fentanyl mill operating out of a home in Ardsley, the DEA said.
Five people who were arrested during the raid are facing several drug charges.
Braulio Mata, 31; Jose Garcia, 44; and 20-year-old Yarly Mendoza-Delorbe were charged with conspiracy and drug possession. Another suspect, Ramon Aracena Alfe, 47, is facing a possession charge. The fifth person, 32-year-old Dionell Duarte Hernandez, has been charged with possession and resisting arrest, officials said.
The group began renting the home a few months ago and neighbors had noticed several vehicles coming and going, CNN affiliate News 12 Westchester reported.
“The fentanyl alone has the potency to kill nearly over two million people,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan. “I commend the men and women in the Task Force and Tactical Diversion Squad for their quick and efficient investigation into this organization and their diligence to the safety of the residents living nearby.”
Ardsley is a wealthy community about 20 miles north of New York City.
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