Seattle homeless crisis: Historic cemetery overrun with drugs and prostitution amid worsening problem

By Liam Quinn | Fox News

Seattle’s homeless crisis has reached such catastrophic levels that a north-side cemetery has become home to drug abuse, drug dealing and prostitution.

Bikur Cholim Cemetery board member and city council candidate Ari Hoffman detailed the desperate effort to fight the epidemic and placed blame for how bad it has gotten squarely on the local government.

“The city council, city elected officials failed our city. They created a haven where it is OK for people to die on the streets through drug use, and to live on the streets people who have a mental illness,” Hoffman told “Fox & Friends.” “They are not offering treatment solutions, and they are failing us.

Hoffman added: “Through 2013, the homeless population was relatively stable. And then what happened after that is it grew… because the policies they had enabled drug use behavior. It’s just absolutely tragic that we have people who are living inside of a cemetery, that are dealing drugs outside of a cemetery, and are running prostitution in a cemetery, but you see it on the streets all over Seattle.”

Hoffman, who is running for city council, then took aim at “non-performing non-profits” for not doing enough to combat the crisis and revealed what he believes is the first step to turn back the tide.

“You have to wonder where the money goes, the first thing we need to do is audit where all that money is going. There’s plenty of money, the city’s coffers are full, the money is just not being spent appropriately,” he told “Fox & Friends.” “According to Seattle’s own numbers, 78 percent of people want to be off heroin. They don’t want to have addiction problems, they want treatment. Unfortunately there just aren’t enough services – there aren’t enough mental health options for them… we need to make sure those services are available for people on the streets.”

Groundskeepers frequently find trash and other debris at the cemetery. 

Groundskeepers frequently find trash and other debris at the cemetery.  (Ari Hoffman)

Cemetery groundskeepers have had to deal with cleaning up everything from used needles to human feces, according to a representative.

Cemetery groundskeepers have had to deal with cleaning up everything from used needles to human feces, according to a representative. (Ari Hoffman)

Hoffman went on to paint a dire picture of the scene at the historic Bikur Cholim Cemetery.

“They find needles, they find drugs, they find human feces all over the place and they have to clean it all up,” he said. “Our grounds-crew has been pricked by needles before, they’ve been assaulted by people they found living there, they’ve found people on the ground overdosed thinking they were dead.”

Federal data released in 2018 found Washington state’s homeless population had risen more than any other state in the country.

Seattle, King County, had a homeless population of 12,112 — the third highest in the country behind Los Angeles and New York City. (Click to Source)

 
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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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Where you live may influence how much opioid you use

March 11, 2019

In a recent study, researchers found where people live may determine how many opioids they can get.

For example, people who sought care for a sprained ankle in states that are “high prescribers” of opioids were three times more likely to get a prescription for opioids than people in “low-prescribing” states.

The research was conducted by a team from Penn Medicine.

Previous studies have shown that opioid abuse and addiction has become a serious public health issue.

In the current study, the team examined private insurance claims data from more than 30,800 people who visited U.S. emergency departments for an ankle sprain from 2011-2015.

They found that overall, about 25% of patients received a prescription for an opioid painkiller, even though opioids are not the first-line treatment for the health condition.

In total, more than 143,000 opioid tablets were prescribed for patients.

Moreover, there was wide variation across states in opioid prescription. The high prescribing states offer opioids much more easily to patients than the low prescribing states.

For instance, only 3% of patients received an opioid prescription in North Dakota, compared to 40% in Arkansas.

In addition, the team found when patients received opioid prescriptions for long courses (e.g. more than 30 tablets of oxycodone 5 mg), they were five times more likely to fill additional opioid prescriptions over the next 6 months than those who received just a few days’ supplies.

The findings suggest wide geographic variability in prescribing patterns for minor injuries.

The team suggests it is important to reduce the size of new, initial opioid prescriptions, which can increase the risk of prolonged opioid use.

If opioids are absolutely necessary, doctors should prescribe the lowest initial dose possible, which should be no more than 10-12 tablets.

In addition, there should be more specific opioid and non-opioid prescription guidelines.

It is also important to find better non-opioid alternatives for pain management of minor injuries.

The lead author of the study is M. Kit Delgado, MD, MS, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology at Penn.

The study is published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. (Click to Source)

Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.

 

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.

Poisoned pills: Phoenix firefighter, war hero dies after taking fentanyl-laced pill

  • Updated 

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – It can be called a silent killer, and to say it’s scary understates what is happening in neighborhoods across the Valley.

One Phoenix family knows all too well the power of this. He was a firefighter, a war hero and a father who was taken down by something so small but so deadly.

It only takes something as small as two grains of sand to take a life and most people have no idea what they’re taking.

“This was a guy who protected me. I didn’t know how to feel safe in the world,” says Nicole Elinski, as she tearfully remembers her brother, Juston Doherty.

He was a highly decorated Army Ranger and military veteran. He continued to serve his country as a training instructor for the Army National Guard and as a Phoenix Fire captain.

“He dedicated his life to saving people,” said Elinski.

At 45 years old, Doherty was at the peak of his life, when it suddenly came to an end.

“I fell to the ground and I was like there’s just no way,” said Elinski.

Last July, while on duty at the National Guard base in Phoenix, Doherty was found dead.

“When the (Medical Examiner’s) report came out, we were completely blindsided,” said Elinski.

That report stated Doherty died of an accidental mixed drug overdose.

“On the day that he passed, he was at drill working with a broken hand, awaiting surgery. He was under a doctor’s care,” said Elinski.

Doherty’s sister says the “substances” in his system were prescribed medications taken as directed, except for one, fentanyl.

 

“He knew more than the average person what that drug could do so there’s just no way that my brother would willingly take something knowing that it had fentanyl in it,” said Elinski.

She says authorities told them the fentanyl in his system came from a pressed pill.

“What they’re doing is they’re putting together pills that look, this was confirmed by an undercover cop, that they look identical to regular Percocet,” said Elinski.

“Four years ago, we seized zero fentanyl in Arizona. Last year, we seized enough Fentanyl to kill 75 to 80 million people” said Arizona Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman.

 

He says this is the worst and most potent drug crisis he’s ever seen.

“So the cartels realized that they could manufacture these pressed pills that look like oxycodone pills here in the United States. They’re fentanyl-laced pills,” said Coleman.

He says Arizona is being hit especially hard because it’s a main smuggling hub.

“We still see some smaller quantities coming in from China but the major production, the mass quantities, those are coming in along southern borders specifically mainly through Arizona,” Coleman said.

 

And he says it only takes the smallest amount to be lethal.

“Two milligrams is like, it’s literally like a grain of sand,” said Coleman.

Elinski believes her brother was in so much pain and trying to work through it that he took what he thought was just a pain pill.

“I think somebody said, ‘I see you struggling,’ and I don’t believe they even knew that there was fentanyl or that there was the amount of fentanyl in the pill. I don’t think anybody did something to him on purpose. I believe that they gave it to him thinking they were helping him,” Elinski said.

 

It turned out to be one laced pill that ended it all.

”I miss my brother every day and if it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone,” said Elinski.

One law enforcement official said that pretty much any pain pill bought off the street or purchased without a prescription will likely have fentanyl. These pills are coming from Mexico, and the reason for the fentanyl comes down to money.

 

“One hundred ninety people are dying every day,” Coleman said.

The body count behind the fentanyl crisis is devastating.

“We’re losing entire pieces of a generation of young America to this epidemic,” says Coleman.

A death sweep is continuing to spread across the U.S.

“We’re seizing heroin or fentanyl powder or fentanyl pills just about every single day,” said Coleman.

So, what brought on this drug’s infectious killing spree? Demand and greed, according to Coleman.

“Initially, it came in from foreign sources, mainly the Chinese. The Mexican cartel realized that someone was cutting in on their business and so they started ordering the precursor chemicals, the chemicals you need to actually make fentanyl and they started manufacturing it themselves,” said Coleman.

He says it comes down to basic economics.

“If you make a kilogram of fentanyl well, that’s a million milligrams. So if you split that all the way up to 2 milligrams per pill, you’ve just made 500,000 pills from that 1 kilogram of pure fentanyl,” said Coleman.

And he says the return on investment is huge.

“Well, you can spend $2,500 and because you can sell it in such small quantities, you can make millions of dollars off of that $2,500 investment,” said Coleman.

It’s a money machine that’s turned into a death trap.

“This is not [done] in a chemical laboratory. This is in somebody’s garage, so when they mix everything up to start your pill press, you don’t know if that pill has 2 milligrams of fentanyl, which you might be able to survive, or 8 milligrams of fentanyl and that’s the end of their life,” said Coleman.

The average pill in the Valley costs about $10 to $15 per pill. But to manufacture that one pill in Mexico, it costs mere pennies. (Click to Source)


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 
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.

Prescription painkillers do more harm than good for back pain

Thursday, February 28, 2019 by: Amy Goodrich

(Natural News) From over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin to prescription drugs like tramadol, morphine, and hydrocodone, these meds are omnipresent in modern American life. They have become more widely used than tobacco, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report.

In 2015, more than 36 percent of Americans, aged 12 years or older, were given painkiller prescriptions by their doctor. Prescription drugs can knock out chronic aches and pains to some extent, but they come with serious side effects. One of the biggest risks is that they are highly addictive, adding to America’s opioid addiction epidemic.

Even when used short-term and as prescribed, these painkillers can cause severe side effects including kidney issues, stomach or intestinal bleeding, heart attacks, and strokes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioid painkillers killed more than 15,000 Americans in 2015.

Pain medications are ineffective in the treatment of lower back pain

Due to America’s growing hunger for opiates, more and more mainstream news sources, such as the New York Times and NBC, are exposing the pharmaceutical world. Recently, they confirmed that painkillers do little to help back pain, particularly lower back pain, as reported by The Hearty Soul.

“While the drug industry may not appreciate the negative press, this is an issue that the public needs to know about,” they wrote.

Lower back pain is the second greatest cause of disability in the United States. In many cases, ineffective fixes such as over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and anti-inflammatories lead to addiction issues. According to the American College of Physicians(ACP), people with acute or subacute lower back pain don’t need medication. Nonetheless, many doctors are prescribing these harmful drugs to treat even the most temporary pains, bringing about a greater risk for opioid addictions. Once addicted to these legally prescribed drugs, the step to heroin is easily made to feed the user’s growing need.

Therefore, the ACP has revised its clinical guidelines, encouraging doctors to step away from these meds as the go-to therapy for lower back pain and look at nonpharmacological treatments first. After analyzing the effects of commonly used medicines and non-invasive methods for treating lower back pain, the ACP concluded that many non-medicine and non-surgical treatments may improve the condition, without adding any side effects.

The ACP’s guidelines recommend following alternative treatments such as: heat therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, spinal manipulation, exercise, rehabilitation, yoga, mindfulness meditation, tai chi, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low-level laser therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Natural therapies found to be as effective as painkillers without harmful side effects

While members of the ACP don’t claim that painkillers are completely ineffective and useless, they just don’t want doctors prescribing them unless nothing else works. Furthermore, they urge people to take note of the signals their bodies are sending. Pain is the body’s way of showing that something is not right. Painkillers like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can mask the underlying issues, which may cause more harm to your body over time.

Furthermore, multiple studies have shown that some of these meds are ineffective. The Hearty Soul reported on a few scientific studies that found that many painkillers have no significant effect on pain reduction. These studies found that opioids are useless in the treatment of sciatica and back pain. And acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol) showed no effect in the treatment of spinal pain and osteoarthritis.

As more of these studies emerge, it becomes evident that these addictive painkillers are not the answer. If you, or one of your loved ones, is struggling with chronic pain, don’t let these health damaging chemicals make it worse; try the natural route first. These non-invasive methods are free of side effects and often more effective in reducing pain long-term. (Click to Source)

Sources include:

TheHeartySoul.com

Samhsa.gov

CDC.gov

NYTimes.com

Annals.org

 
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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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Glyphosate Found in 19 of 20 Beers and Wines Tested

Glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller that some studies have linked to Monsanto—is also a secret ingredient in nearly 20 popular beers and wines.

That’s the finding of a new study from the education group U.S. PIRG, which found glyphosate in 19 of 20 wine and beer brands tested, including organic labels and brews.

The release of the study coincides with the beginning of the first federal trial against Monsanto and its new parent company Bayer over whether Roundup use caused a plaintiff’s cancer, USA Today reported Monday.

“With a federal court looking at the connection between Roundup and cancer today, we believe this is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on glyphosate,” study author and U.S. PIRG Toxic’s Director Kara Cook-Schultz told USA Today. “This chemical could prove a true risk to so many Americans’ health, and they should know that it is everywhere – including in many of their favorite drinks.”

The drink with the highest glyphosate concentration was Sutter Home Merlot, at 51.4 parts per billion (ppb). Popular beer brands like Coors Light, Miller Lite and Budweiser all had concentrations above 25 ppb. The full results of the study, from highest to lowest glyphosate concentration in ppb, are listed below.

Wines

  1. Sutter Home Merlot: 51.4 ppb
  2. Beringer Founders Estates Moscato: 42.6 ppb
  3. Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon: 36.3 ppb
  4. Inkarri Malbec, Certified Organic: 5.3 ppb
  5. Frey Organic Natural White: 4.8 ppb

Beers

  1. Tsingtao Beer: 49.7 ppb
  2. Coors Light: 31.1 ppb
  3. Miller Lite: 29.8 ppb
  4. Budweiser: 27.0 ppb
  5. Corona Extra: 25.1 ppb
  6. Heineken: 20.9 ppb
  7. Guinness Draught: 20.3 ppb
  8. Stella Artois: 18.7 ppb
  9. Ace Perry Hard Cider: 14.5 ppb
  10. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 11.8 ppb
  11. New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale: 11.2 ppb
  12. Sam Adams New England IPA: 11.0 ppb
  13. Stella Artois Cidre: 9.1 ppb
  14. Samuel Smith’s Organic Lager: 5.7 ppb

The only beverage tested that contained no glyphosate was Peak Beer Organic IPA.

The amounts found were far below the safety limits for glyphosate set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as Bayer toxicologist William Reeves told CBS News via a spokesperson.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets daily exposure limits at least 100 times below levels shown to have no negative effect in safety studies,” Reeves said. “Assuming the greatest value reported, 51.4 ppb, is correct, a 125-pound adult would have to consume 308 gallons of wine per day, every day for life to reach the US Environmental Protection Agency’s glyphosate exposure limit for humans. To put 308 gallons into context, that would be more than a bottle of wine every minute, for life, without sleeping.”

However, the study noted that chemicals aren’t necessarily safe just because regulatory bodies say they are.

“While these levels of glyphosate are below EPA risk tolerances for beverages, it is possible that even low levels of glyphosate can be problematic. For example, in one study, scientists found that 1 part per trillion of glyphosate has the potential to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells and disrupt the endocrine system,” the study said.

The EPA has found that glyphosate is not carcinogenic to humans, but the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer ruled it was a probable human carcinogen in 2015. More recently, a study released February found that those exposed to glyphosate were 41 percent more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

In the first case to go to trial against Monsanto over Roundup last year, a jury ruled that exposure to glyphosate had caused the non-Hodgkin lymphoma of California groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson. Plaintiff Edwin Hardeman is making a similar claim in the first federal glyphosate trial that started Monday.

“Due to glyphosate’s many health risks and its ubiquitous nature in our food, water and alcohol, the use of glyphosate in the U.S. should be banned unless and until it can be proven safe,” the U.S. PIRG study advised. (Click to Source)

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Kratom Overdoses Are on the Rise. Why They’re Hard to Spot

The FDA reported a spike in kratom overdoses. Here are the warning signs.

Written by Gigen Mammoser on February 22, 2019

Kratom use has ballooned in recent years. So have overdoses.

In the United States, calls to poison control centers about the drug have jumped dramatically. About 32 percent of those cases ended up being admitted to the hospital, with more than half resulting in serious medical outcomes, including 11 deaths.

According to new research published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, between 2011 and 2017, 1,807 kratom exposures were reported to poison control centers. Two-thirds occurred between 2016-2017 alone.

In 2011, only 13 exposures were reported, compared with 682 in 2017 — jumping from about one call per month to two calls per day.

All in all, a more than 50-fold increase.

“It has gotten more popular I guess you would say. When we started there were tens of cases and now there are hundreds of cases per year,” said Rick Spiller, MS, DABAT, FAACT, a co-author of the research, and director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

What is kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a Southeast Asian tree. Leaves of the plant, consumed raw, in capsules, or tea, are known to produce mild stimulant and opioid-like effects. The plant has been used traditionally for centuries as an analgesic and substance that can be misused in places like Thailand and Myanmar.

It has been described by experts as an “atypical opioid” because of the pathways through which it interacts with the brain.

“It’s a more complex substance. It’s not just a single mechanism,” said Spiller.

Its complexity means that overdose symptoms can be more difficult to diagnose — especially when compared with traditional opioids. Kratom affects the μ-receptor [mu-receptor], like other opiates, but also affects serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition.

“Kratom is a difficult toxin to manage for several reasons. First, the doses are not well defined because it is a plant product. Second, the toxicity can manifest in very different ways and time frames depending on the patient, what else they may be taking, or how much experience/tolerance they have to opioids. There are a lot of variables,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, the medical director of the Fresno/Madera Division of the California Poison Control System.

Why a kratom overdose is different

An opioid overdose typically involves shallow or depressed breathing, slow or weak pulse, and unconsciousness. While a kratom overdose can involve some of these symptoms, it is also frequently accompanied by others that are rarely associated with opioids.

“We clearly saw respiratory depression. We saw coma. That’s what you expect from that μ-receptor, that opioid receptor, but…[we saw] things like seizure, agitation, tachycardia, hypertension. None of this has anything to do with the μ-receptor, but it does with the norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibition.”

The study found that the most common effects of the drug also included nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and confusion.

Treating these widely varying symptoms can’t be done with any single kind of medication. Whereas an opioid overdose is commonly treated with a drug like naloxone (Narcan), often referred to as the “anti-overdose” drug, symptoms like seizures and agitation are treated with benzodiazepines, a sedative.

“We treat what is showing up. Again because there isn’t a lot of data before this, you’d go in and say, oh this is an opiate, and the person is seizing in front of you, and everybody who knows anything about opiates knows that they don’t seize. That’s not what opiates do,” said Spiller.

The reason for the increase in kratom use and overdose isn’t clear either. The drug’s increasing popularity is often seen has yet another facet of the United States’ ongoing opioid epidemic. Anecdotally, users report that the drug can be used as part of opioid withdrawal maintenance, trying to stop using drugs, or at least transitioning away from pharmaceutical pain relievers and other misused drugs.

However, Spiller and his colleagues are concerned that the drug’s reputation as a natural, plant-based remedy is misleading.

“This is not benign because it’s a plant and natural. There is a real concern there that there needs to be some caution,” said Spiller.

That point is reinforced in the study by the fact that kratom is starting to show up in infants.

The authors report seven incidences of newborns exposed to kratom, all of which occurred within the most recent time period, 2016-2017. Five of those cases also showed symptoms of withdrawal.

That means there is the potential for pregnant mothers to pass the drug through the placenta to their unborn babies.

“We don’t know why the mother was using it. We don’t know if it was for pain or to get high or for opiate withdrawal, we just have the neonates with neonatal withdrawal symptoms. That’s something we want to get out there,” said Spiller.

A ‘drug of concern’

Kratom is legal throughout the United States and can be bought over the internet. Both the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have mulled potential action on kratom, but neither has yet acted. Currently the DEA considers it a “drug of concern,” and it has no approved medical use by the FDA.

“This is definitely something to keep an eye on,” said Vohra.

Despite the increase in overdoses and calls to poison control centers, fatalities and hospitalizations associated with kratom use remain relatively low.

Spiller is most concerned with getting more information on kratom out to the public — from those who use the drug regularly to doctors and federal agencies.

“Right now we are seeing hundreds of people in the ER but that’s across the U.S. If that starts turning into thousands I think there is going to be some action,” he said. (Click to Source)