July 16, 2012 at 5:58 am Comments (0)
An Associated Press-GfK poll recently released shows that 87 percent of Russians consider drug abuse as at least a “very serious” problem in Russia; 55 percent see the problem as “extremely serious.”
According to government statistics, there are about 2.5 million Russians addicted to drugs, and 90 percent of them use heroin. Russia is considered as the world’s largest consumer of heroin.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reveal that Russia has a population of 143 million and uses 70 tons of Afghan heroin every year. Heroin was also found to kill 80 Russians each day or 30,000 each year.
Russia’s anti-drug czar Viktor Ivanov said that heroin is “as easy to buy as a Snickers” chocolate bar. Valery, a former heroin addict, can only say: “The only thing the government can do is save the new generation, because we cannot be saved,” referring to the Russian generation lost to heroin abuse. Most of the nation’s drug addicts belong to the 18-39 age range.
The AP-GfK poll, by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, was based on interviews with 1,675 randomly selected adults nationwide from May 25 to June 10. Margin of error is at 2.9 percentage points.
April 15, 2010 at 4:03 am Comments (0)
A report on the New York Daily News, a third-grader was caught passing out what is believed to be heroin at school. Fifty to sixty bags of the substance were confiscated by the police; the eight-year-old boy was passing them out at Turner Elementary School.
Tests still need to be done on the substance, so it has not yet been confirmed whether the packets indeed contained heroin. If they did, then it would have a street value of about $1,000. The small bags had the words “Trust Me” stamped on them.
Officials of the Wilkinsburg School District sent a letter to parents informing them of the incident and about the fact that some students may have touched the substance.
New York Drug Screening
March 20, 2010 at 11:18 am Comments (0)
6 drug users in Scotland seem to have been killed by contaminated heroin which is thought to have infected at least 12 people overall in the area. All of those infected with the bacterial disease were thought to be heroin users, according to Scotland’s Health Protection Agency. Contaminated heroin or another powder-like substance was used to dilute the drug and is thought to be the source of the outbreak. More cases could be detected beyond Glasgow, where 4 other deaths have happened. 2 other people died near Dundee and Forth Valley.
Anthrax ( an animal disease that regularly infects people in Africa,Asia, and parts of southern Europe) can be treated with antibiotics if caught early enough, and doesn’t usually spread from person to person but if it’s left untreated anthrax can be fatal. Usually cases of human infection are linked to contaminated animal hides and other animal products.
“Heroin users all across Scotland need to be aware of the risks of a potentially contaminated supply,” said Colin Ramsay, a consultant epidemiologist at Health Protection Scotland in a statement.
“It is highly probable that the contamination of heroin by anthrax is accidental,” said Gordon Meldrum, director general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, in a statement. “Production processes (of heroin) can be basic and often be conducted in areas where there is contamination from animal carcasses or feces.”
Investigation into the contamination is still in progress. In the meantime heroin help organizations are watching the users that come to their centers for signs of infection and handing out pamphlets that talk about how to know if anthrax is present. In 2000 a similar incident occurred in Scotland and killed 60.
“Heroin users do need to be on their guard,” said Ramsay.”I would advise heroin users to stop using heroin and seek advice.”
Redness or swelling around a needle injection site or a fever warrants a trip to the doctor to determine if anthrax is present.
March 11, 2010 at 7:50 pm Comments (0)
An estimated 4,000-6,000 narcotics addicts who use syringes to inject themselves live in Zanzibar, a tropical archipelago inhabited by one million people and more well known for tourism and beach holidays than fir its current and terrible problem of drug abuse. To make matters worse many of these users are also infected with HIV heroin, a result of drug trafficking through east Africa making the narcotic more available.
“The problem is the increase in drug use. There is not any family that hasn’t been affected by someone taking heroin,” Mahmoud Mussa, coordinator of substance abuse and rehabilitation at the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs said.
Little reliable data on Zanzibar’s heroin usage exists but the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimates heroin use in east Africa at about 100,000 and 1.33 million people, twice the quantity of the inhabitants using the drug throughout Africa.
Zanzibar has been established as a major heroin-consuming island,” said Reychad Abdool, regional HIV advisor for UNODC.”We believe there is an increase in trafficking through east Africa regarding heroin and this is going to be a major threat to building development and security in the future.”
February 9, 2010 at 11:30 am Comments (0)
Normally a prisoner will make a plea that his sentence will be reduced but Damon Conrow made a plea that his sentence be stepped up to a higher charge and it’s a decision he wouldn’t take back. Conrow is a heroin user who has fought his addiction and failed to overcome it asking for a higher sentence is his way of trying to kick the habit for good. Conrow was being charged for a second degree felony (1-15 years jail time) related to sale of heroin and he was demanding a first degree charge (5-life).
The judge took up his plea and gave him the sentence he asked for. “My friends who are criminals say, ‘Dude, you want to plea bargain down,’ but I’ve thought about this a lot. Most people are like, ‘That’s stupid.’ But I don’t care what they think. … Obviously I keep messing up.”
Now at a point in his life where most of his family and all of his non-user friends have left him as a lost cause the man wants to get clean badly enough to think that prison and the treatment programs there are worth the prison term. Having started his drug addiction like many his age with OxyContin add the age of 17 and progressed down a hard road of addiction Conrow is done with heroin. He knows how addiction can lead to loneliness through other prisoners he met during a 3 year term he served previously. It was an awakening for the 25 year old.
Conrow’s goal is to try a tough, two-year drug rehab program at the prison called the Conquest program. If he does well there it could reduce his prison stay, but if he fails Conquest it could lead to serious time.
February 8, 2010 at 11:30 am Comments (0)
Heroin, once the drug of choice in the inner city has now become more prevalent in suburban and rural areas where OxyContin addiction often leads to use of the drug which is shockingly cheap compared to the cost of the painkiller. OxyContin is an expensive pill that is broken apart, cooked and injected with a syringe when it is abused. According to the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health heroin use is progressively increasing and was the3rd most common drug of choice for Utahns in 2008 after meth and marijuana.
With the use of anti-meth campaigns and advertising meth and marijuana use have fallen dramatically in the last 3 years by use of heroin is rising. Heroin, like Oxycontin is injected and when used provides the user with an opioid high. The major reason that Oxycontin users end up using heroin is the drastic price difference and then there’s also the withdrawal. OxyContin withdrawal is described as magnified flu-like symptoms, including chills and pulsating nerves. One OxyContin pill can sell for $50 to $60 while one balloon of heroin costs as little as $10. So they start addicted to OxyContin and find themselves addicted to heroin when they can’t afford the high cost of the painkiller.
So far this year strike force agents in Weber County, Utah have made 18 significant heroin arrests and confiscated 214 grams of the drug. Nearly a quarter of current heroin addicts come from middle- to upper-class backgrounds and are usually 35 or younger. Addicts slowly develop a tolerance to the drug and constantly have to increase the dose to experience the high they are used to, setting them up for a likely deadly overdose later on. Utah is just the latest in a series of states who are dealing with this form of drug addiction and fear the effects on the communities they affect. A solution needs to be found and it couldn’t come soon enough.
January 11, 2010 at 8:39 am Comments (0)
New York parents are more likely to test their teens thanks to the effort of two NY counties that are offering free drug testing kits through state funded programs. For many of these parents these free kits couldn’t have come at a better time, heroine use has become a major problem in Suffolk County (which includes Long Island) and most are lost on how to combat its use in their children.
November 19th Suffolk county made an announcement that they’d bought 16,000 drug testing kits and that these test would be offered free to parents who were concerned about drug use in their children. These litmus tests test urine for six different drugs including meth, marijuana, heroin, Vicadin and Xanax all of which are problem drugs in the area and has a thermometer to make sure the urine sample is the same temp as their child to deter cheating. Since the announcement at least 450 tests have already been collected by parents and the rate of use isn’t expected to lower anytime soon. In fact the program expects they will have a hard time keeping up with demand but intends to do everything they can to give the parents that need this program the help they need.
Many parents feel that the problem stems from the ease of use (rather than requiring a needle heroin can now be snorted and smoked) and the cheaper cost of it versus prescription drug costs on the street. Offering parents these kits offers their kids the ability to say no with a valid reason to back it up and helps parents to start the process of healing and treatment that come with drug use.
New York Drug Screening
November 8, 2009 at 9:46 pm Comments (2)
Few parents understand what a widespread problem drugs are among adolescents or just how deadly and dangerous the drugs they can get are. Living in the suburbs doesn’t exclude these teens from trying and becoming addicted to heavier drugs like heroin. In the fact the high stress, highly competitive environment may encourage substance abuse which can escalate into serious addiction very quickly. Among teenagers in the region of Nassau County in the state of New York 25 overdosed on heroine in the first 6 months of 2009, in 2008 46 overdosed on the same drug and 2007 27 perished from overdose. Where once drug raids netted hundreds of bags of heroine now they retrieve thousands.
These kids aren’t from impoverished homes or seemingly at risk for developing addiction, many are in their teens and twenties (often hone roll students) and the rate of those who abuse the drug are rising over time. The age of use is dripping as the rate of young users rises and the cost of buying heroine lowers. Currently a bag of the drug that provides a 6-8 hour high can be bought for roughly $5-$25 which is a vast difference for the same amount of cocaine which costs $40-$60 for just a 30 minute high. Even prescription medications like OxyContin are much more expensive and cost roughly $40 per pill on the street. It’s actually cheaper and easier to get than alcohol. The worry of this kind of use only grows worse when you consider the much stronger dose of today’s heroin over that of the 1970s and the fact that these kids see the thrill of barely escaping death part of the high.
Overdose numbers have already prompted education programs about the dangers of heroin for 8th graders but the level of abuse remains high. The only real way these numbers are going to drop is if parents stop looking away from their children’s problems and instead make steps to help resolve them.
New York Drug Screening
November 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm Comment (1)
Abuse of heroin and OxyContin has reached epidemic levels according to a state commission on the issue, and must get the same level of focus as H1N1 in order to be successfully resolved. The problem is severe enough that men and women are being lost to the street at a rate of 42 to 1. The addiction rate in the region is being called a healthcare crisis by the commission and with good reason. The number of service men and women killed in the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars between 2002 and 2007 is 78, a number hugely dwarfed by the overdose numbers in that same time.: 3,265 have died from drug related causes in that same span.
Addiction faces many of those in Massachutes where the recession has struck hard in many walks of life and stress is high. Many still see drug addiction as a problem of the morally and value bankrupt but the problem has spread across many liens affecting even the most unlikely. The commission is trying to make this issue clear in the region to help eliminate the problem through education and therapy.
Among the changes the commission would like to see made are:
- Strengthened prescription monitoring to prevent multiple prescriptions and doctors who write more than needed.
- Limitations on criminal sanctions for substance abuser looking for treatment and Good Samaritan laws to protect those who help drug users to seek medical help to save lives.
- Increased support for 3 recovery schools where teen abusers can recover in a supportive environment and get an education.
- Substance abuse programs which put users in recovery programs and dealers in prison.
October 6, 2009 at 7:58 pm Comments (0)
A new version of the common pain relief drug made by Purdue Pharma LP has been made and is being considered by the FDA. The newer Oxycotin is being touted as a much harder pill than in previous versions (it has a coating with a plastic quality) thereby making it much harder to crush for snorting or injecting with the purpose drug abuse .
Awaiting approval by the FDA (they want the company to prove the drugs ability to better withstand tampering) the drug has been in the testing phase since going before an advisory board to the FDA last year.
Oxycotin was made to offer pain relief over the course of a 12 hour period for those in severe pain. Not long after its release in 1996 however, it was being abused to achieve a high like that produced by the illegal drug heroin and the abuse of the drug has persisted ever since. Problems like these have prompted the FDA to try making programs that warn against the abuse to no effect. As a result they’ve begun to encourage drug makers to help remedy the problem by producing drugs that are harder to tamper with.