Seizing addictive drugs can be fatal

If failure can be defined as something that creates the very crisis it’s intended to prevent, then a recent Brown University study of close-proximity opioid overdoses in Indianapolis confirms suspicions that little else fails like the drug war when it comes to saving lives.

The [researchers] found that within seven, 14 and 21 days, opioid-related seizures of drugs by police were significantly associated with increased overdoses within 100, 250 and 500 meters of the seizure location. Most notably, the number of fatal overdoses was two-fold higher than expected within seven days and 500 meters following an opioid-related incident in which police seized drugs.

The researchers hypothesized that the increase in overdose events was because people who use opioids will generally seek out a new supply after losing access to their previous drug supply, and that new supply will have unknown potency. In addition, in the time period between losing the familiar supply and finding a new one, people using opioids can experience diminished tolerance to drugs. Accidentally ingesting a dose beyond one’s tolerance can be fatal. […]

Congratulations are due the Brown University research team for making ‘drug war’ another definition of failure and enabling it to appear next to synonyms like breakdown, malfunction, cataclysm, crash, defeat, ruin, collapse, catastrophe, miscarriage, tragedy, frustration, and disappointment.

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5 Responses to Seizing addictive drugs can be fatal

  1. OT…

    but I know this is one of Pete’s fave WO(s)D topics:

    Largest-ever “narco sub” intercepted off Colombia:

  2. Son of Sam Walton says:

    The Pentagon, the CIA, and the DEA warn of a massive amount of increased overdoses unlike ever seen in American history. The last time the Taliban outlawed heroin, it was to stop the funding of the NORTH, while creating a skyrocketing demand in prices for the reserves they held because they knew about 9/11 and the long 20-Year War to come shortly after (from Osama’s ‘Guide to Revolutionary Jihad’). Back in May, The Taliban invaded Iran and have also invaded Pakistan, while all three are fighting ISIS-K. The Taliban outlawed opium not because ‘Drugs Are Bad’, but because ‘Drugs Make Money’, for the ever-ever-ever growing ISIS-K. Every time ISIS or the Taliban outlawed drugs in their region, a big attack needing lots and lots of funding happens shortly . . . this is what happens when the ENTIRE world wakes up, jonesing for a shot of smack, but realizes that over 80% of the world’s DOPE has disappeared overnight, making the remaining dope 3-5 times more valuable in prices.

    YOU TAKE a cheap Dollar Genenaral lighter (drug money) that might cost a Buck after taxes and you take that cheap ass lighter to the most volatile area of your house, like the library or the garage and SPARK it. Chances are, you’ve created thousands if not millions of dollars worth of destruction with that single dollar bill . . . that is how much our 20 YEAR War costs to fight drug money.

    But the Silver lining goes to the Mexican farmers who for nearly a decade have seen their poppies lose value to the Taliban/ISIS/Al Qaeda, and synthetic opiates made in Chinese labs. YET, Mexico has ZERO ability to meet the world’s ‘Dope’ needs, though they are the next candidates to supply the world its entire amount of dope. Part of this reason is because of the Civil War currently happening in SE Asia over in Burma, meaning the Golden Triangle hasn’t been a major producer since Vietnam. BUT, Mexico will have to stretch its poppy dust with fentanyl.

    So, we are going to see 20 times the amount of Fentanyl being distributed by the Mexican Cartels just so they can hook up North America and Europe. More death.

  3. Servetus says:

    The Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine has launched a new research center to deal with a class of illicit substances called nitrazenes and any other new street drugs that emerge. The center is a milestone in the shift from punitive drug law enforcement to treating drugs and users as a medical and scientific issue devoid of moral stigma and sadomoralism:

    28-NOV-2023 — The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai announced today the launch of a new center for “Research on Emerging Substances, Poisoning, and Overdose, for New Discoveries,” to be known as the RESPOND Center. Its research findings could lead to major advances in this area of medicine, including better treatments for patients with drug overdoses in emergency departments across the United States. […]

    More than 100,000 people in the United States died from drug-involved overdoses in 2021, the majority from opioid drugs. In 2022, 3,026 New Yorkers died of a drug overdose, a 12 percent increase from 2021 and the highest number since reporting began in 2000. Fentanyl is one of those deadly opioids, and 25 percent of the fentanyl supply includes xylazine, an animal sedative. This has become a recent, growing threat that is leading to increased rates of addiction and adverse events such as severe skin lesions, hypothermia, and heart and respiratory issues. A subclass of opioid drugs called nitazenes are now emerging in the illicit opioid supply in the United States and are even more potent than fentanyl. According to a recent study in JAMA led by Dr. Manini, nitazenes add a layer of complexity to the dangers of illicit drug use, leading to a significantly increased rate of cardiac arrest in overdose cases and requiring significantly higher doses of naloxone for in-hospital treatment when compared to fentanyl overdoses. The RESPOND Center will prioritize researching these new threats. […]

    “Through this center, we hope to establish best practices for addressing the needs of patients who are exposed to the continuous flow of new drugs of abuse. We aim to define the unique risks of each of these substances and develop and deploy programs to mitigate these risks in a way that keeps people safe and alive,” says Ethan Cowan, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Icahn Mount Sinai. “Given the severity of the overdose epidemic, this work will be critical to stemming the flow of opioid overdose deaths. The center will also offer mentorship and training for a new generation of emergency medicine researchers who have a passion for improving the care and treatment for our most vulnerable patient populations.” […]

    AAAS Public Science News Release: Mount Sinai creates research center focusing on opioids, emerging substances, and drug overdose

    Mount Sinai: Mount Sinai Center for Research on Emerging Substances, Poisoning, Overdose, and New Discoveries (RESPOND)

  4. Servetus says:

    Genomic data has been gathered by Australian researchers for dozens of magic mushroom isolates and cultivars:

    04-DEC-23 — The study shows that commercial cultivars of the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis lack genetic diversity because of their domestication for human use. Meanwhile, a naturalized population of mushrooms in Australia has maintained much more diversity, they show, including unique gene variants controlling the production of the mushroom’s active ingredient, psilocybin.

    “What was surprising was the extreme homozygosity of some cultivars of magic mushroom,” says Alistair McTaggart of The University of Queensland, Australia. “Some of these cultivars have been nearly stripped of any diversity except at their genes controlling sexual reproduction.”

    “Whether this happened intentionally, by targeted inbreeding to fix traits over the last half century, or unintentionally through a lack of diversity to cross against is hard to know,” he says. “The trailblazers who domesticated magic mushrooms have set the stage for how we can advance cultivation and innovate with shrooms as we improve our understanding of psilocybin and its benefits.” […]

    …analyses showed that the Australian mushrooms are naturalized, having bounced back to a population size large enough to maintain genetic diversity after their initial introduction to the country. By comparison, commercial cultivars are sorely lacking in diversity across their genomes. The findings suggest that some of the unique gene variants in Australia may allow for differences in the synthesis of psilocybin and related compounds.

    The data they’ve generated on mating compatibility and diversity at the genes controlling production of psilocybin “will advance breeding for ‘designer shrooms,’ in which heterozygosity of psilocybin alleles may unlock variety in the production of psychedelic tryptamines,” McTaggart says. In fact, he reports, their start-up company, Funky Fungus, has already started to translate the findings for developing designer cultivars. […]

    Science Daily: More than 100 ‘magic mushroom’ genomes point the way to new cultivars

    Cell Press: Domestication through clandestine cultivation constrained genetic diversity in magic mushrooms relative to naturalized populations

    Alistair R. McTaggart, Stephen McLaughlin, Jason C. Slot, Kevin McKernan, Chris Appleyard, Tia L. Bartlett, Matthew Weinert, Caine Barlow, Leon N. Warne, Louise S. Shuey, André Drenth,
    Timothy Y. James.

  5. Servetus says:

    Treatment resistant Bipolar Type II Depression is successfully treated with psilocybin:

    06-DEC-23 — Synthetic psilocybin with psychotherapy was effective and safe for patients with treatment-resistant bipolar depression, a small nonrandomized controlled trial suggested.

    Among 15 people with bipolar type II disorder with a current major depressive episode who received a single dose of psilocybin, Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores decreased by 24 points at 3 weeks (Cohen d 4.08, P<0.001), reported Scott T. Aaronson, MD, of the Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore, and colleagues.

    Repeat measures analysis of variance showed lower MADRS scores at all analyzed post-treatment time points, including the endpoint (Cohen d 3.39, adjusted P<0.001). At 3 weeks, 12 participants met the response criterion (50% decrease in MADRS), and 11 met remission criterion (MADRS score ≤10), […]

    …no participants experienced any significant adverse events related to psilocybin. The most common adverse event was headache, occurring in four of 15 participants, but all resolved within a day. […]

    Aaronson noted that these findings cannot be extrapolated to a bipolar disorder I population, who have a higher risk for mania and psychosis, nor to non-professional or recreational psychedelic use. […]

    MedPage Today: Psilocybin Shows Promise in Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Type II Depression — Most patients achieved remission in small trial, and no hypomania episodes occurred

    JAMA Psychiatry: Single-Dose Synthetic Psilocybin With Psychotherapy for Treatment — Resistant Bipolar Type II Major Depressive Episodes
    A Nonrandomized Controlled Trial

    Scott T. Aaronson, MD; Andrew van der Vaart, MD, PhD; Tammy Miller, PsyD; Jeffrey LaPratt, PsyD; Kimberly Swartz, BSN; Audrey Shoultz, BS; Margo Lauterbach, MD; Harold A. Sackeim, PhD; Trisha Suppes, MD, PhD.

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