Author Topic: National crisis: fentanyl & other super-opiate overdoses  (Read 20837 times)

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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2016, 10:13:42 »
Plus we have had around 3 first responders have partial OD from coming into contact with it unknowingly.

OBGD, As you will note I said "death by rifle(all types including assault rifles" from either CDC or FBI as I recall.

Fair enough.

I looked them up: The last statistics from both the FBI and CDC are for 2014.

The CDC does not distinguish by type of firearms. It tabulates deaths by firearms from state data only. And in 2014, the total death by firearms was 33,390 (to get the national figure, click on any of the states and it will give total national figures for comparison):

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/firearm_mortality/firearm.htm

As for the FBI, it does distinguish by type, but only keep stats for murders, and in 2014, it tabulated 11,961 murders (so about a third of the death by firearms only), of which 8,124 were by firearms - including 248 by rifle and 1959 by undisclosed type of gun.
 
The FBI site does not permit copying of the URL, just input the following research terms in your browser: "FBI | US Murders by Weapon Type"

But it leads me to a last point: What is the point of selecting this specific figure for your post? What are you trying to prove? That the fentanyl crisis is that important, or that Americans prefer to use handguns to commit their murders or commit suicide?

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2016, 11:46:35 »
If the OP wanted to note any  sort of relevance for a military-related site, he could have mentioned that the Russians used aerosol opioids to take out the Chechen terrorists during the 2002 Moscow theater crisis.  Clutching at straws, but still better than tossing "3 Winnipeg druggies OD'd" out there.

Just a thought but perhaps the "pushers" need to be charged with murder - knowingly selling/giving someone a lethal substance....just a thought.
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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2016, 11:54:46 »
Do you think someone who has done no harm to any other human being should be imprisoned and have their life ruined? You mention drug traffickers, but we lock people up simply for *possessing* drugs. You can't call something a health problem and then claim to treat people for it by throwing them in jail and actually making the health problem worse. I also think its immoral to lock someone up for consenting adults participating in private exchange, but let's just talk about mere possession for now.

*A different point which I don't wish to explore tonight, but the idea that certain recreational drug use is okay but others deserve to thrown in jail for it is logically inconsistent and terrifying that you think its up to you to decide for others.

This is the only point of your rebuttal that I will concede. I think it is an incredible waste of manpower and money to incarcerate folks for possession. Lock up the dealers. Yes, it's more work, but it's a better use of tax dollars IMHO as it ultimately benefits a greater number of people. The knock on effect might be a rise in the price of drugs, but that is equally one of the problems. If one accepts that cheap drugs + accessibility = increased use, then the reverse must be true as well.

In closing, I'm prepared to consider that perhaps greater use might not be a result of legalization, however I still think that we would see more fatal overdoses among those that serially overdose on prescription meds.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 11:58:10 by ModlrMike »
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Offline Chispa

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2016, 12:30:57 »
Let us see; if you are high, angered, etc., while in possession of firearms on these drugs, considered somewhat problematic; you might intentionally go off the rails. 6 months ago nailed with Bell’s Palsy stg 5, still under its spell, although recovered ca 70%, the narcotics first prescribed were only for a short period, one for 15 days, other two for 30 days; and No refills. That stuff gives U uncontrollable highs, lows, easily irritated, angered, etc., not counting the hot sweats, and side affects.   

Heard without confirmation ca 2007 chatter, CF conducted incognito field studies on use of opioids by soldiers, concluding too many for an over extended period of time were prescribed. I’ve read recent US Army studies which are an eye opener.

Carfentanil is an S II Narcotic control substance, one of the top guns, while China considered one of the biggest exporters.

From the associated press on Carfentanil, published on: October 7, 2016: China's unregulated narcotic a chemical weapon.
By Erika Kinetz And Desmond Butler.


SHANGHAI — For a few thousand dollars, Chinese companies offer to export a powerful chemical that has been killing unsuspecting drug users and is so lethal that it presents a potential terrorism threat, an Associated Press investigation has found. The AP identified 12 Chinese businesses that said they would export the chemical — a synthetic opioid known as carfentanil — to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium and Australia for as little as $2,750 a kilogram, no questions asked. Carfentanil burst into view this summer, the latest scourge in an epidemic of opioid abuse that has killed tens of thousands of people in the United States alone. Dealers have been cutting carfentanil and its weaker cousin, fentanyl, into heroin and other illicit drugs to boost profit margins. http://calgaryherald.com/news/world/carfentanil-chinas-unregulated-narcotic-a-chemical-weapon

Chinese trade of deadly opioid carfentanil thrives at the cost of North American lives.
SHANGHAI –
Seizures of the deadly chemical carfentanil have exploded across the United States, with more than 400 cases documented in eight states since July alone, The Associated Press has found.

This fall, the drug also began to appear in Canada. It’s been seized in several provinces and last month health officials said the illicit opioid was linked to two deaths in Alberta.

What is carfentanil and why is it easy to obtain?
Fuelled by a thriving trade out of China, the weapons-grade chemical is suspected in hundreds of drug overdoses in the U.S. and Canada. An AP investigation last month showed how easily carfentanil can be purchased online from China.
http://globalnews.ca/news/3043678/chinese-trade-of-deadly-opioid-carfentanil-thrives-at-the-cost-of-north-american-lives/


Warning: Opioid for elephants hittings Ohio.

Beware of a new deadly drug, an analgesic used for elephants, which has been spotted in Greater Cincinnati: The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition warned Friday of the powerful opioid carfentanil, which has been identified in local supplies of heroin. The synthetic opioid is 100 times stronger than fentanyl, the analgesic blamed for increasing overdose deaths and 10,000 times stronger than morphine on the streets………..

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2016/07/15/warning-opioid-elephants-hitting-ohio-streets/87130300/


Military prevalence, Daesh, etc., uses opioids as energy boosters, etc.

Millions of opioid painkillers destined for ISIS intercepted at Piraeus port

An inspection at the Piraeus port's container terminal carried out by officers of the Greek Financial Crimes Squad’s narcotics unit and a team of US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents led to the discovery of a container carrying 26 million Tramadol prescription opioid painkillers.

Reports suggested the container arrived at Pireaus on May 10 from India, while its final destination was a Libyan company allegedly tied to ISIS jihadists.

The container's cargo had been declared as towels and tablecloths. A similar container carrying opioid painkillers and destined to the same company in Libya was confiscated by authorities in Dubai last February.

According to reports, pain relievers such as Tramadol and Captagon, are broadly used by members of ISIS as energy boosters.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/209293/article/ekathimerini/news/millions-of-opioid-painkillers-destined-for-isis-intercepted-at-piraeus-port


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« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 10:49:15 by Chispa »
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Offline Brihard

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2016, 12:56:45 »
Not a lot of people in Canada are getting jail time for simple possession, and when they do it's not very much. What I HAVE seen on a number of occcasions is where possession for the purpose of trafficking charges will get knocked down to simple possession on a plea deal. I caught one guy with a quarter ounce of crack in two big chunks, wrapped in a single baggie. He'd gotten it that way for the cook, and was dealing it. Known drug dealer. Crown made a plea deal and he ate the straight possession charge rather than push PPT to trial. This happens a lot due to an overburdened court system. But we are not like some places in the states where police are gung ho to lay charges in simple possession cases. It happens, yes, but usually when it's one more charge to lay on top of an overnight festival of stupidity that ends in the back of a cop car, or where a possession charge is a means to control a prolific offender for the next little while. Typically the courts are not very punitive on simple possession. If I arrest a guy for beating his wife, *and* he has cocaine in his pocket, yes I'll lay the bonus charge. But usually

There was mention earlier of Portugal by ballz. Portugal is a good example of how to do things. They have decriminalized possession, but not legalized it. A whole host of sanctions can be applied depending on what fits the circumstances. Professional licensed can be revoked, other court ordered conditions can be imposed, treatment cn be mandated... But it's not punitive in intent, it's intended to make recreational drug use suck, and to route addicts to appropriate care. Note that trafficking is still completely criminalized and is prosecuted.

At no point in this thread have I suggested that a punitive approach to addicts and to simple 'personal use' possession is the right way to do things. I have pointed out the harms that these substances inherently cause due to the stupid and dangerous things people will do while on them and to get them. Ballz- you neatly skipped entirely the relevant point I made that these are not substances that would be allowed for marketing and consumption outside of clinical settings anyway. We would no more allow these to be sold uncontrolled than we would allow the bulk import of melamine-laced milk from China. The concept of legalizaton of 'hard'/synthetic drugs is a paper fiction that fails any real analysis. Decriminalize personal use possession, absolutely. Take a public health approach to users. But don't let up on those who are trafficking this deadly, toxic, addictive stuff, and deliberately getting people hooked on it. We don't need to allow or tolerate the illicit market in hard drugs just because it's a constant uphill battle.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2016, 13:02:15 »
Fair enough.

I looked them up: The last statistics from both the FBI and CDC are for 2014.

The CDC does not distinguish by type of firearms. It tabulates deaths by firearms from state data only. And in 2014, the total death by firearms was 33,390 (to get the national figure, click on any of the states and it will give total national figures for comparison):

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/firearm_mortality/firearm.htm

As for the FBI, it does distinguish by type, but only keep stats for murders, and in 2014, it tabulated 11,961 murders (so about a third of the death by firearms only), of which 8,124 were by firearms - including 248 by rifle and 1959 by undisclosed type of gun.
 
The FBI site does not permit copying of the URL, just input the following research terms in your browser: "FBI | US Murders by Weapon Type"

But it leads me to a last point: What is the point of selecting this specific figure for your post? What are you trying to prove? That the fentanyl crisis is that important, or that Americans prefer to use handguns to commit their murders or commit suicide?

There was/is was much gnashing of teeth about the US having access to "assault rifles" in the US (and the same is currently being done here) and how bad that makes them. But clearly the threat of these drugs and other synthetics is far far more serious than perceived gun issue. I also don't see the same level of public shaming that goes on for smoking that should also be applied to recreational drugs. When was the last radio ad did you hear talking about the dangers or recreational drugs?   

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2016, 13:20:19 »
Just a thought but perhaps the "pushers" need to be charged with murder - knowingly selling/giving someone a lethal substance....just a thought.

Devil's advocate here.  So by that same token, if someone sells someone a gun and they commit suicide or murder, should the seller be charged as an accessory?  (Yeah, I know, probably apples and oranges, but therein lies the slippery slope).

Legal or not, an addict is going to take what they can to get high, regardless of the risk.
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Offline ballz

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2016, 14:07:05 »
Not a lot of people in Canada are getting jail time for simple possession, and when they do it's not very much. What I HAVE seen on a number of occcasions is where possession for the purpose of trafficking charges will get knocked down to simple possession on a plea deal. I caught one guy with a quarter ounce of crack in two big chunks, wrapped in a single baggie. He'd gotten it that way for the cook, and was dealing it. Known drug dealer. Crown made a plea deal and he ate the straight possession charge rather than push PPT to trial. This happens a lot due to an overburdened court system. But we are not like some places in the states where police are gung ho to lay charges in simple possession cases. It happens, yes, but usually when it's one more charge to lay on top of an overnight festival of stupidity that ends in the back of a cop car, or where a possession charge is a means to control a prolific offender for the next little while. Typically the courts are not very punitive on simple possession. If I arrest a guy for beating his wife, *and* he has cocaine in his pocket, yes I'll lay the bonus charge. But usually

I have never and never will concede that things that I don't believe should be illegal should remain illegal, just to make it easier for the police to put them away for the other things that they can't prove. I hear this argument from law enforcement a lot, and quite frankly, it is very face-palm worthy. "Well if possession wasn't a crime, we couldn't put the known traffickers away when we know they are trafficking but can't prove it!" Not that I think drug trafficking should be illegal either, but that argument for possession laws will never get support from me. We might as well make wearing shoes illegal, and then when the cops know someone is up to no good but can't prove it, they can just charge him for wearing shoes instead.

Ballz- you neatly skipped entirely the relevant point I made that these are not substances that would be allowed for marketing and consumption outside of clinical settings anyway. We would no more allow these to be sold uncontrolled than we would allow the bulk import of melamine-laced milk from China. The concept of legalizaton of 'hard'/synthetic drugs is a paper fiction that fails any real analysis. Decriminalize personal use possession, absolutely. Take a public health approach to users. But don't let up on those who are trafficking this deadly, toxic, addictive stuff, and deliberately getting people hooked on it. We don't need to allow or tolerate the illicit market in hard drugs just because it's a constant uphill battle.

I am not skipping that. That is the problem I am speaking of. That we cannot fathom a world without the government trying (and failing) to solve these problems despite the fact that the government caused them. The government is the *reason* that "those who are trafficking this deadly, toxic, addictive stuff, and deliberately getting people hooked on it" actually have a successful business model.... in a free market, they wouldn't stand a chance.

Legalize it and then see how long that business model holds up... "I can go to this store front and buy marijuana or cocaine from a reputable person whom has a track record of selling clean products that nobody OD's on... or I can go buy it around the corner from that guy with his hood up that people bought from last week and now they're dead and he is up on legit charges of fraud / negligence causing death as is now plastered all over the news."

We *created* the illicit market and as long as we think we're going to stop people from doing drugs through the use of violent coercion, we'll continue to have one.

Narcotics have been around since ancient times. Only in recent times has the government been so involved in stopping it, and more money and resources are now spent on fighting it than ever before.... However, more people die today from overdose than ever before.... Now I know correlation doesn't always mean causation, but come on.... there is a very clear logical path from narcotics being made illegal to what we have now where we have some of the most toxic substances to ever exist in the hands of some of the worst people finding victims around every corner.

There was mention earlier of Portugal by ballz. Portugal is a good example of how to do things. They have decriminalized possession, but not legalized it. A whole host of sanctions can be applied depending on what fits the circumstances. Professional licensed can be revoked, other court ordered conditions can be imposed, treatment cn be mandated... But it's not punitive in intent, it's intended to make recreational drug use suck, and to route addicts to appropriate care. Note that trafficking is still completely criminalized and is prosecuted.

Portugal is a good example of a step in the right direction, but a few more steps would help.

This is the only point of your rebuttal that I will concede. I think it is an incredible waste of manpower and money to incarcerate folks for possession. Lock up the dealers. Yes, it's more work, but it's a better use of tax dollars IMHO as it ultimately benefits a greater number of people. The knock on effect might be a rise in the price of drugs, but that is equally one of the problems. If one accepts that cheap drugs + accessibility = increased use, then the reverse must be true as well.

In closing, I'm prepared to consider that perhaps greater use might not be a result of legalization, however I still think that we would see more fatal overdoses among those that serially overdose on prescription meds.

I think we would see a lot less.... I think you'd see an end to drugs being laced with other drugs, which seems to be the fentanyl issue... and I think you'd see an end of taking something like cocaine and turning it into crack, which was always a huge issue... and I think you'd see the end of things like meth labs where people are trying to create methamphetamines from chemicals under the kitchen sink due to how expensive cocaine is (it's expensive because its a black market).

In other words, while increased price of cocaine may mean less cocaine use... for those addicted, it doesn't mean using methamphetamines less, it just means finding cheaper substitutes or committing crimes to get the money, or both....
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Offline ballz

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #33 on: November 17, 2016, 14:12:16 »
Devil's advocate here.  So by that same token, if someone sells someone a gun and they commit suicide or murder, should the seller be charged as an accessory?  (Yeah, I know, probably apples and oranges, but therein lies the slippery slope).

Legal or not, an addict is going to take what they can to get high, regardless of the risk.

I think the appropriate way to deal with someone that sells something but knows they are masking the truth about the item is to charge them with fraud and/or criminal negligence causing death if that's what is called for. If narcotics were legal you could probably have a legit crime to the effect of "causing death through fraudulent activity."

This would not be an issue with firearm dealers.
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Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2016, 15:38:49 »
Devil's advocate here.  So by that same token, if someone sells someone a gun and they commit suicide or murder, should the seller be charged as an accessory?  (Yeah, I know, probably apples and oranges, but therein lies the slippery slope).

Legal or not, an addict is going to take what they can to get high, regardless of the risk.

Not quite the same argument. If you wanted to argue it correctly, someone sells you a gun they know is broken and when you go to shoot it, the firearm blows up in your face due to the undisclosed defect.

The gun shooting and killing someone isn't actually the sellers fault, technically the firearm is functioning properly (it is then the operators fault), just the same as if you were buying cocaine and you snorted it up and didn't die, in that case the drug is functioning properly (as opposed to the fentanyl laced drugs).

Offline Colin P

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2016, 15:53:44 »
Devil's advocate here.  So by that same token, if someone sells someone a gun and they commit suicide or murder, should the seller be charged as an accessory?  (Yeah, I know, probably apples and oranges, but therein lies the slippery slope).

Legal or not, an addict is going to take what they can to get high, regardless of the risk.

Addicts I can understand taking the risk, the couple near us that OD and died leaving behind a toddler were recreational users. There is is no real targeting of these recreational users that I am seeing and I suspect they likely make up a the more significant slice of the market.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 16:43:59 by Colin P »

Offline Chispa

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2016, 13:03:59 »
Devil's advocate here.  So by that same token, if someone sells someone a gun and they commit suicide or murder, should the seller be charged as an accessory?

Legal or not, an addict is going to take what they can to get high, regardless of the risk.


Ancient cultures around the world used drugs in battle too motivate troops or in religious ceremonies. The opium wars’ with Britannia’s incursion into China, with 80% of the population hooked, the “British Shop Keepers” black market flourished, while artefacts were stolen and sold in trade for opium, that’s not counting the British looting. Prevalent use of alcohol, light, heavy drugs during the Nam war by the US, and VC/NVA, although even pre French some of the Vietnamese population were opium addicts. 

True an addict especially on jazz = heroin; the first priority for junkie’s, is getting a hit whatever the risk, even robbing their parents, etc., as previously stated on this thread.

In the USA it depends on state, considering U have the gun show loop-whole, even in Canada any gun-show, online, with my FAC I can buy or sell restricted or non privately. I sell my rifle, buyer shows his FAC both take info, few days latter goes all wacko, and I’m dragged through court for selling, highly likely, no law in Canada. However, criminal charges would apply if I sold a firearm, knowing a crime would be committed with it or individuals without a FAC.

In the US depending on state, you need a driver’s licence, background check when purchasing from registered gun dealers. Say seller receives a green light; buyer few days later kills many, why would it be the seller’s responsibility, in fact he did he’s due diligence as required by law? 


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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2016, 13:31:32 »
Addicts I can understand taking the risk, the couple near us that OD and died leaving behind a toddler were recreational users. There is is no real targeting of these recreational users that I am seeing and I suspect they likely make up a the more significant slice of the market.

"Recreational" users of opiates?  Sorry...they're still addicts, IMO.
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Offline MCG

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2016, 13:39:21 »
However, there is evidence that ...
So, you can cite a reputable source? 

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2016, 13:42:54 »
"Recreational" users of opiates?  Sorry...they're still addicts, IMO.

Once you've reached that point, recreational use is highly likely.......



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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2016, 14:07:04 »
The fentanyl is in all sorts of drugs, even on the pot. Look at "rave drugs" people take them without a clue what they are. I have known lots of people that used various drugs and don't fit the "addict type" They run businesses, work jobs and do it on the weekends.

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2016, 15:07:06 »
The fentanyl is in all sorts of drugs, even on the pot. Look at "rave drugs" people take them without a clue what they are. I have known lots of people that used various drugs and don't fit the "addict type" They run businesses, work jobs and do it on the weekends.

There are lots of people who drink alcohol. Just because they run businesses, work jobs and only drink on weekends, does not excuse some of them from being alcoholics.  There are many addicts out there who are quite functional in society.  Just because they don't look like homeless or commit crimes to get money for their fix, does not mean that they are not addicts.
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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2016, 16:34:43 »
If it isn't properly prescribed medication and used by the intended patient as per, then I have a hard time feeling sorry for them as they're the one's opening their mouths and throwing the nasty pills down range and misusing a drug.  They're authors of their own misfortune and fate.  Free will and all that.

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2016, 16:47:09 »
The problem is here in BC it's spreading to all the drugs, years ago I had to treat a guy having heart attack symptoms and coughing up blood, he admitted to smoking pot. Talking to our liaison with the BC Ambulance service, a lot of the pot available was being laced with rat poison. "Recreational use" here in BC is quite high and a number of the deaths are people who would not think are doing drugs and a lot of people see doing "recreational drugs" as acceptable and as a normal weekend activity. Not condoning it, but just identifying the areas we as a society can impact.   

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2016, 16:49:03 »
I have a hard time feeling sorry for them

Me too. OD's were our bread and butter calls, that's all.


Fentanyl antidote doesn't make people invincible, Winnipeg paramedics warn
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-paramedics-warn-fentanyl-antidote-not-invincible-1.3826684
Calls for overdoses continue to rise.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 17:08:16 by mariomike »
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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2016, 17:37:34 »
There are many addicts out there who are quite functional in society.  Just because they don't look like homeless or commit crimes to get money for their fix, does not mean that they are not addicts.

True, but it also true the other way around. Just because someone uses drugs recreationally, doesn't mean they are an addict... which is what his point was and what many people dispute. They can see how one can drink recreationally without being addicted but can't believe for a second that someone might be able to use cocaine recreationally without being an addict.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 17:54:35 by ballz »
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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2016, 17:51:34 »
So, you can cite a reputable source?

Ths is a seemingly objective, non-biased source discussing it (and the other variables involved).
http://www.tdpf.org.uk/blog/drug-decriminalisation-portugal-setting-record-straight

Quote
The reality is that Portugal’s drug situation has improved significantly in several key areas. Most notably, HIV infections and drug-related deaths have decreased, while the dramatic rise in use feared by some has failed to materialise. However, such improvements are not solely the result of the decriminalisation policy; Portugal’s shift towards a more health-centred approach to drugs, as well as wider health and social policy changes, are equally, if not more, responsible for the positive changes observed. Drawing on the most up-to-date evidence, this briefing clarifies the extent of Portugal’s achievement, and debunks some of the erroneous claims made about the country’s innovative approach to drugs.

<<<Cut>>>

But a more complete picture of the situation post-decriminalisation reveals:
 
Levels of drug use are below the European average

Drug use has declined among those aged 15-24,6 the population most at risk of initiating drug use

Lifetime drug use among the general population has increased slightly,8 in line with trends in comparable nearby countries. However, lifetime use is widely considered to be the least accurate measure of a country’s current drug use situation

Rates of past-year and past-month drug use among the general population – which are seen as the best indicators of evolving drug use trends – have decreased

Between 2000 and 2005 (the most recent years for which data are available) rates of problematic drug use and injecting drug use decreased

Drug use among adolescents decreased for several years following decriminalisation, but has since risen to around 2003 levels

Rates of continuation of drug use (i.e. the proportion of the population that have ever used an illicit drug and continue to do so) have decreased

I will point out here that many of the other variables in play that are discussed in the article would be equally recognized, perhaps even more so, if narcotics were legalized. Less stigma, easier to collect data, more resources available for treatment, etc.
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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #47 on: November 18, 2016, 17:53:02 »
It's always interesting to see people's disbelief in what happened in Portugal, it goes against everything we've had entrenched in our brains about drugs, laws, police, government, etc... However, if you put some thought into it, it really just flows very logically.
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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #48 on: November 18, 2016, 18:09:16 »
It's always interesting to see people's disbelief in what happened in Portugal, it goes against everything we've had entrenched in our brains about drugs, laws, police, government, etc... However, if you put some thought into it, it really just flows very logically.

Trust me I know.

Look at the angst I got for starting this thread;

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Re: 3 people dead from suspected fentanyl overdoses at Winnipeg home
« Reply #49 on: November 18, 2016, 19:53:33 »
Premier Clark's claim pot laced with fentanyl not true, say police

Clark's office says premier simply repeating info learned from VPD, RCMP, media and other emergency responders

By Mike Laanela, CBC News Posted: Nov 18, 2016 2:13 PM PT Last Updated: Nov 18, 2016 4:09 PM PT

It's a claim that's been repeated so often it's often assumed to be true — all they way up to the office of the Premier of B.C.

But police and health officials in B.C. say there is no evidence to back up Premier Christy Clark's comments yesterday in Ottawa that marijuana has been found laced with fentanyl in B.C.

Clark made the claim after meeting with federal officials to highlight her concerns about the fentanyl overdose crisis currently sweeping B.C.

The premier said police are finding traces of deadly fentanyl in all sorts of illegal drugs from cocaine to heroin to marijuana — and it's those combinations of drugs that are killing people.

"I think regulating marijuana is even more important now when we're finding fentanyl in marijuana," Clark said Thursday at a press conference in Ottawa.
Clark discusses the opioid crisis

B.C. Premier Christy Clark, centre, attends a meeting with federal officials in Ottawa Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 to discuss B.C.'s opioid crisis with Leslie McBain, left, a mother who lost her only son to overdose, and Mikaela Mamer, an advocate and former addict who lost her boyfriend and best friend to overdoses. On the table are photos of people who have lost their lives to opioid overdoses. (Jennifer Choi/CBC)

But it turns out Clark was likely repeating some erroneous information, according to Vancouver Police Constable Brian Montague, who said while it has been suspected and raised by police as a concern, the claim has never actually been proven to be true.

"I can't speak for other police departments and I can't say that fentanyl has not, is not, or couldn't be placed in marijuana, but I can tell you the VPD has not seized marijuana that has been tested and shown to be laced with fentanyl," Montague said on Friday.

He notes, however, while police have seized fentanyl along with drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana, they've never actually found fentanyl in the marijuana.

"This is a constant battle to try and keep this information accurate," he said.

"There have been comments made in the past regarding fentanyl in marijuana that may have been the belief at the time based on the information available, but it has shown not to be the case and we continue to try and correct any misinformation."
RCMP warnings lacked evidence

According to Premier Clark's office, she was simply repeating information learned from Vancouver police, RCMP, media and other emergency responders.

Even the CBC has reported anecdotal claims from community organizations.

The premier's office pointed to an RCMP warning last week that marijuana laced with fentanyl may be circulating in the Haida Gwaii community of Masset.

"Masset RCMP has reason to believe that there is marijuana available for sale in Masset that is laced with fentanyl," said the statement.

But Cpl. Madonna Saunderson told the CBC the warning was based solely on concerns raised by community members and there "was never any marijuana seized or handed to police" to back up the claims.
Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid painkiller that is commonly mixed into other drugs like cocaine and heroin. (CBC)

Likewise, at the RCMP's provincial headquarters in Surrey, Cpl. Janelle Shoilet says they have heard plenty of stories, but none have been proven true.

"We have even had individuals present with opioid overdose symptoms that have claimed they have only consumed marijuana," said Janelle.

"However, we have never seized or confirmed via chemical analysis any marijuana laced with or contaminated with fentanyl,
'No official confirmation of any cases to date'

The BC Coroners Service also confirmed its members have found no evidence of pot laced with fentanyl killing anyone in B.C.

"We cannot confirm any deaths that fit this pattern, and aren't aware of any," said spokesperson Barb McLintock.

"But that being said, all we really know is what was in someone's bloodstream after death. A toxicology report doesn't tell us when or how they consumed the substances involved."

Several other sources also said they actually have no evidence either, including Patricia Daly, the chief public health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health.

A similar lack of evidence was even confirmed by the provincial Ministry of Health.

"There is no official confirmation of any cases to date," said spokesperson Lori Cascaden.
One possible explanation

It all raises the question, why are the rumours persisting without any evidence?

Cascaden offers one possible explanation.

"There is the occasional report of overdoses where people reported taking marijuana, but responded to naloxone (the most effective antidote for a fentanyl overdose)," she said.

That might be because they are not comfortable admitting to using other types of harder drugs, she says.

"In such a situation, we would suspect an opioid was involved, but testing hasn't been conducted in any case that we are aware of at this time."
'A shadow of a possibility'

​B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Morris said on Friday that he hadn't spoken to the premier about where she got her information, but he said, even if there was no hard evidence, her message was worthwhile.

"I'm looking at it from a public safety perspective here, and if there's a shadow of a possibility that fentanyl can be laced into marijuana or any other substance that we have out there, we need to be as vocal and vigilant as we can to make sure people are aware of that, so that's where I'm coming from," he said.

"You know, based on my experience in the police force, I've seen lots of drug trafficking locations where they've taken large quantities of drugs and repackaged them into smaller packages to sell and the cross contamination is unbelievable sometimes," said Morris, adding that the toll fentanyl has taken on B.C. lives has been enormous.

"If we have to apologize at the end of the day that maybe we overstated a couple things, I would rather do that than suffer the consequences."

With files from Rafferty Baker.

I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.