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All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

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New Drug Carfentanil More Dangerous Than Heroin and Fentanyl

New Drug Carfentanil More Dangerous Than Heroin and Fentanyl

Author: Justin Mckibben

In case you have never read one of my stories on Ohio, I am a born and raised Buckeye. While living away from home for a few years I have taken every opportunity to read about progress in my birth state and spread the word. I have also had to write some disheartening stories that make me afraid for the people I grew up with and the neighborhoods I knew my whole life. However, when a new drug hits Ohio and causes shattering damage I have to step up and say something.

Right now the entire country is fighting a hard fight against opiate and heroin addiction. Overdose deaths tear families and communities apart. Law makers and law enforcement reel trying to keep up. Meanwhile every day a new drug seems to crop up and reap more havoc in cities on all sides of the nation. This time we see a surge of overdoses in the Tri-state area that are truly terrifying, especially considering a new even more powerful substance is suspected.

New Drug Named Carfentanil

This new drug is suggested to be incredibly more potent than any other forms of opiate substances on the street. Carfentanil is said to be:

  • 10,000 times stronger than morphine
  • 100 times stronger than Fentanyl
  • Used as an animal tranquilizer

Officials are saying this is the MOST potent opiate out there. In that case, this is beyond horrifying! Data has already concluded that Fentanyl alone is 40-100 times stronger than heroin. Now they are suggesting that Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than Fentanyl?! It is almost difficult to even comprehend a new drug could possibly be 10,000 times more powerful than pure heroin!

And that last note- this new drug is a sedative used on large animals. Not just any animals, we’re talking bears and elephants!

New Drugs Deadly Dose

Deaths across Hamilton County are rising at an alarming rate and many suspect Carfentanil as the common factor. This drug is actually being used in combination with heroin and amplifying the impact. So far cases have already been reported in:

  • Cleveland
  • Cincinnati
  • Columbus

In just 9 hours in Columbus authorities counted at least 10 overdoses possibly connected to Carfentanil. 2 were fatal.

  • Akron

During just 3 days in Akron authorities suspect Carfentanil could be linked to 25 overdoses. 4 were fatal.

Health officials and county leaders spoke out at the Hamilton County Health Department urgently issuing a public health warning created by this new drug mixture. Officials state that in just a few days there was a massive increase in drug-related emergency room visits.

Greater Risks

In case you weren’t already freaked out- it is not just injecting this drug or ingesting it intentionally that puts people are a critical risk. The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition is also urging area police not to conduct field tests on heroin because Carfentanil can be absorbed through the skin or even inhaled.

As if that wasn’t enough, Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, Hamilton County Coroner, warns-

“Narcan may not save you from this one,”

Narcan (or generic Naloxone) is the opiate overdose antidote. To say even this valuable resource may not actually be able to save you from an overdose with Carfentanil is a frightening concept. Tim Ingram, Hamiton County Health Commissioner, said with a troubling hint of realism-

“This is clearly going to… kill a lot of people.”

People often say the truth hurts. This is one truth that is devastating to consider. Knowing that there are so many struggling addicts in these areas is terrifying and tragic, because one can only imagine how many will unknowingly fall victim to this vicious new element in the already treacherous world of drug addiction.

The next question is- where else is this stuff being slipped into street drugs and poisoning people?

This does not have to be the end. Drugs are only getting more dangerous, but effective treatment is also becoming more holistic. For the addict or alcoholic who still suffers there are thousands of people just like you who have recovered and who want to help you. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

New Drug W-18 Stronger than Heroin and Fentanyl

New Drug W-18 Stronger than Heroin and Fentanyl

Author: Justin Mckibben

First there was the opiate epidemic, with prescription opiate painkillers adding to an ever-increasing rate of heroin addiction. Then came the stories of fentanyl being laced into heroin in various states and soon all across the country, only magnifying the rates of overdoses and opiate-related deaths everywhere. As law enforcement, politicians and other public officials scattered in all directions with different propositions and opinions on how to solve the dilemma, things seemed to be taking a turn toward a new progressive direction for drug treatment. Now, a new synthetic opiate called W-18 is stirring the pot again, and this time the disastrous defects of this potent drug threaten to take an already desperate situation to a new level of lethal.

What is W-18?

W-18 is a synthetic opiate and psychoactive substance similar to heroin, but is said to be much more deadly. W-18 is stated to be the most powerful opioid of a series of about 30 compounds. Experts go as far as to describe W-18 as being:

  • 100 times more potent than fentanyl
  • 10,000 times stronger than morphine

Now this incredibly horrific opiate is making its way to America after first being discovered in Canada. Now even scarier is that while fentanyl is now classified as a controlled substance, W-18 has not yet been prohibited in Canada or in the United States. Back on January 26, 2016 W-18 was actually made illegal in Sweden, but Canada and America have yet to catch up with banning this appallingly toxic synthetic.

Where Did It Come From?

The drug W-18 was originally developed as a painkiller by scientists in Canada at the University of Alberta in 1981. Part of the reason W-18 and the effects if has on human beings is largely unknown is because the drug was deemed too strong after only ever being tested on lab mice. Because of the excessive strength, it was never picked up by pharmaceutical companies and eventually W-18 was simply forgotten… until now.

Currently many believe that this drug, much like the synthetic chemicals that came to produce the synthetic drug Flakka, are created in labs in China and sold over the internet. Because of the limited testing and information on this new threat, there is nearly no clear answer as to how addictive W-18 may be or what side-effects may result from long-term use.

The Damage Done

Now even though this may be the first time a lot of people have heard anything about this drug, W-18 has been causing some damage already, and in no small way.

  • Canada

In August of 2015 police in Canada first seized W-18 in Calgary when authorities confiscated 110 pills initially suspected to be made with fentanyl. Some of those pills were later discovered to contain traces of W-18. Then in mid-April, authorities announced that last December they had seized four kilograms of pure W-18 in Edmonton.

  • Florida

Recently in March more than 2.5 pounds of W-18 was found in the home of a Miramar, Florida man who was being arrested for selling fentanyl pills. This man was later sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

  • New Hampshire

Police in New Hampshire are now warning about the drug making it into the area, with Plaistow and Bristol Police Departments posting on their Facebook pages to warn their communities about the drug.

  • Maine

The Sanford Maine Police Department and the Wells Maine Police Department both also have issued warnings on their Facebook pages about W-18 over the weekend.

The drug so far has been found to be pressed into pills mislabeled as OxyContin and other opiates being sold on the streets, or mixed into powdered heroin. Health officials are growing more and more concerned because not only do we not have enough data to truly tell us how lethal this experimental substance is, but the current drug tests cannot detect W-18 in a person’s blood or urine- making it especially difficult for doctors to help someone who may be overdosing.

Opiates have become one of the greatest threats against human lives today. More and more people are losing their lives in a tragic battle against opiate abuse, be it prescription painkillers or illicit and experimental synthetics. The last thing the world needs is another ingredient to this terrifying blend of man-made elements proving fatal.

Pills and powdered opiates are killing people every day all over the nation, and the heartbreak is only amplified when thinking of how the resources to help save those lives are there but people don’t take the first step towards changing. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, don’t wait. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135   

Dangerous New Drug: Moxduo

Dangerous New Drug: Moxduo

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

In the news is a powerful new prescription painkiller that The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether it should be approved. This new drug is called Moxduo and it’s not exactly new; it’s a combination of two already-established drugs: morphine and oxycodone in one capsule. It was designed to relieve severe pain quickly, however with fewer side effects than other opiate painkillers.

Moxduo is the result of the first time these 2 drugs have been combined, as far as in a legitimate, medical way. “It’s designed to provide quick relief to patients suffering severe pain from accidents or surgeries,” says Ed Rudnic, COO of QRxPharma, the company that makes Moxduo.

Rudnic asserts that the benefits of Moxduo are that it allows the patient to take lower doses of the two narcotics – morphine and oxycodone, it’s two ingredients – than they’d need if they took either of the medicines alone as well as with fewer side effects.

“We believe that we’ve achieved some benefit in reducing the risk of some of the respiratory complications of these strong opioids,” he says.

But just like with any other opiate painkiller and illicit opiates such as heroin, the most serious risks associated with Moxduo are suppressed breathing and other respiratory complications, which is what leads to fatal overdoses.

Dr. Joseph Audette of Harvard Medical School is not convinced the company has yet proved that Moxduo has fewer side effects.

“They haven’t really done the hard work of absolutely showing … in humans with real pain problems that synergy is making a big difference,” Audette says, “compared to just using the agents that we [already] have available.”

Andrew Kolodny, an addiction specialist at Phoenix House as well as leading member of the Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, which is fighting for tighter control of prescription painkillers, has his misgivings, too. “I have serious concerns about this product.”

Millions of people are addicted to these legal narcotics already, Kolodny says, with thousands dying from overdoses each year. Drugs like Moxduo will only make that worse.

“This is pure morphine and pure oxycodone,” he says. “This is a product that is very easy to misuse, very easy to crush and snort or crush and inject. So it’s significantly more dangerous than the products that it would be competing with.” Kolodny gives examples of other narcotic painkillers that already exist and that contain multiple other ingredients that make them difficult to abuse in those ways. Drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet are prescription painkillers already in use that are made in such a way as to deter abuse and would be Moxduo’s competitors. Kolodny added that patients requiring treatment for pain issues already have plenty of options and said that a marketing push to prescribe Moxduo could spell trouble.

“If they get this product put on the market and are able to have a sales force going in and out of doctors’ offices encouraging prescribing with the marketing claim that this is somehow a safer product … I believe that’s likely to exacerbate an already severe public health crisis,” Kolodny added.

Rudnic, on the other hand, argues that QRxPharma already has good evidence that Moxduo is a safer painkiller with fewer side effects. And he denies that Moxduo is easier to abuse.

Rudnic said that his company will set up a system to quickly spot any signs that Moxduo is being misused and further said that the manufacturer is already developing a version of the drug that would make it harder to abuse.

FDA Committee on Moxduo

An FDA advisory committee held a day-long hearing Tuesday to decide whether to recommend FDA approval of the drug. The outcome: all 14 members of the FDA’s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee voted unanimously against recommending approval of Moxduo.

This is the second time the agency has shot down Moxduo, the first time being in August.

The committee members said they failed to see enough evidence that Moxduo is safer than either morphine or oxycodone alone for the treatment of moderate to severe acute pain. “It is the sense of this committee that the applicant has not provided sufficient evidence to support a claim that Moxduo is safer than morphine or oxycodone,” Chairperson Randall Flick, MD, MPH, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN stated. “The primary failing was in study design and the inability of the committee to be able to rely with confidence on multiple post-hoc analyses.”

The FDA has until May 25th to decide whether to approve Moxduo.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.




Dangerous New Drug: Dabs

Dangerous New Drug: Dabs

Dabs – the crack and crystal meth version of weed?

Using high purity pot, butane, and blowtorches that produce a waxy concentrate has some middle-class observers questioning the image of this new weed product. Yet others speculate that dabs are the future of cannabis, both for recreational and medicinal purposes.

Okay, so this one isn’t all that dangerous to users however, it can be quite dangerous to manufacture. ‘Dabs’ is a new-ish type of weed product: a “dab” of butane hash oil (BHO)—a concentrated form of cannabis. Also known as “wax” or “shatter,” this solidified hash oil also known as “concentrates,” BHO first started to appear out west about five years ago, but has recently gained popularity. Traditional hash oil has been around since at least the early 1970s.

How It’s Made

In a nutshell, high quality pot is blasted with butane producing concentrates that approach 70%-to-90% THC, as opposed to the “killer” strains of bud that hover around 25%.

The most widely used solvent is butane, which you and I know as lighter fluid. You should know that butane extraction is against the law. There are actually people serving prison time for using butane as an organic solvent.

Besides that, butane is highly flammable meaning that it is a fire and explosion risk. Many people have been severely injured using butane to make dabs. And “butane” isn’t pure butane; it contains contaminants.

Dangerous New Drug: Dabs

For Users

Marijuana is relatively safe in that no one has ever overdosed and died while smoking or eating it. However, dabbing isn’t not for you if smoking weed tends to cause you to be anxious and paranoid. If regular pot has that effect on you, then you most certainly don’t want anything to do with the highly-concentrated BHO; ‘overdoses’ of THC are not fatal but cause extreme discomfort to the point of freaking out for long periods of time.

There have been some reports of people getting sick and passing out from the sudden exposure to such a massive amount of THC.

And then there’s the case of a young woman who suffered a near-fatal allergic reaction and was hospitalized as a result – her throat closed up after smoking dabs.

And there are other health risks to consider.

About 20% of the explosive fuel that’s known as butane lighter fluid is actually a combination of other chemical compounds, including benzene, ethyl mercaptan, heptane, hexane, and others, which are all considered to be toxic. Imagine lighting and inhaling a product that has been saturated in these impurities.

Another problem is the nail that is used in the process of making dabs. When heated with a torch to burn or vaporize the dab, the nail gradually disintegrates and flakes off. This further pollutes the product.

Dangerous New Drug: Dabs

For Manufacturers

There have been incidents related to dab-making in which untrained “cooks” have blown themselves up (not literally) when using butane in their improvised (read: unsafe) home labs.

Consider the case of Anthony Gambale, 19, and his girlfriend, Gabriella Katanov, 17, who are facing counts of reckless endangerment, criminal possession of marijuana and criminal use of drug paraphernalia after they attempted to manufacture dabs, which resulted in an explosion in which they nearly killed themselves. They had set up their own makeshift lab in Gambale’s garage and filled a bathtub with weed and butane.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.





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