Posts tagged with "Heroin"

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Drug Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Oregon Decriminalizes Drugs

By Justin Lyons

This year’s election will go down as a legendary one in the history of the United States of America, and for some of the bigger fights, the country still doesn’t have an answer.

Where answers do exist seem to be in propositions and measures, and the big winners are those hoping for the decriminalization of drugs. Mississippi, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana and Arizona all approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The biggest victory for those in favor of drug decriminalization probably came in Oregon, where the penalty for small amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and other drugs was lessened.

According to Ballotpedia, Oregon’s Measure 110 would reclassify the possession of controlled substances such as those listed above from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E violation, which would result in a $100 fine or the necessity of a “completed health assessment.”

The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission estimated that convictions for possession would decrease by 90.7%.

Addiction recovery centers conduct the health assessments, which will include a screening from a certified alcohol and drug counselor and must be completed within 45 days of the Class E violation.

The funds for the assessments and the recovery programs will come from the Oregon Marijuana Account and money the state of Oregon saves from reductions in arrests, incarceration and official supervision. The recovery centers will provide treatment 24 hours per day along with health assessments, intervention plans, case management services and peer support and outreach.

The possession quantity of the now decriminalized drugs to be classified as a Class E violation are as follows: one gram of heroin or less, two grams of cocaine or less, two grams of methamphetamine or less, one gram or five pills of MDMA or less, 40 or fewer user units of LSD, less than 12 grams of psilocybin, fewer than 40 user units of methadone and fewer than 40 pills, tables or capsules of oxycodone.

A person carrying more than the specified amounts may face a misdemeanor with less than a year imprisonment, a $6,250 fine or both.

According to Yes on Measure 110, more than 125 Oregon-based organizations endorsed the measure, including Oregon Chapter of the American College of Physicians, Oregon Nurses Association, Oregon School Psychologists’ Association and Law Enforcement Action Partnership.

Ballotpedia also said the Democratic Party of Oregon, Multnomah Democrats and Working Families Party of Oregon support the bill, right alongside 11-time-GRAMMY-Award-Winning artist John Legend.

The measure is to be implemented no later than Feb. 1 of 2021.

Opioid Crisis Takes a Turn with Death of Founder

By: Elle Grant

The opioid epidemic is one of the great public health crises facing the United States today. Over the past two decades, the crisis has ebbed and flowed in different moments, but overall deaths, especially amongst younger people, have increased at an alarming rate. One of the most distinct drugs at the root of the problem is OxyContin from the company Purdue Pharma, a substance now known to be distinctly addictive and dangerous.

OxyContin, also known on the street as killers, OC, Oxy, poor man’s heroin or Oxycotton, is dangerous particularly due to its most active ingredient; “a 12-hour, time-released form of oxycodone, a synthetic form of morphine that is found in common painkillers like Percodan and Percocet.” Alarmingly, OxyContin can have as much as ten times the amount of oxycodone as an average Percodan or Percocet. Approved by the FDA in 1995, the National Institute on Drug Abuse asserts the “chronic use of drugs such as OxyContin can lead to physical dependence and severe withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped, including insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps, and involuntary leg movements. Large doses can cause severe, potentially fatal, respiratory depression.” Intended to be taken orally, many patients and addicts chose to inject or snort the pills (after being modified) to quicken and heighten the effects. Oxycodone is intensely addictive, requiring more frequent and stronger doses as the body becomes dependent.

Efforts were being made to hold OxyContin owners and Purdue Pharma executives accountable for their actions. Thousands of lawsuits had been filed against the Sackler family, one of America’s wealthiest with an estimated combined net worth of about $13 billion. One of the main pillars of the family was Jonathan Sackler, son of one of the three Sackler brothers that transformed the small drug company Purdue Frederick into a hugely profitable pharmaceutical firm. Sackler passed away on the June 30 due to cancer, complicating many of the lawsuits as he was often named a defendant. Other members of his family have been named other defendants, depending on the case.

The famed OxyContin pill launched in the mid-1990s and was continually and thoroughly promoted by the Connecticut based family. The members of the family are charged with the accusation that “eight people in a single family made the choices that caused much of the US opioid epidemic” due to an unethical, irresponsible, and often illegal scheme. Furthermore, “the actions of the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma included sharing studies that they knew were misleading, claiming that this was an effective, long-term treatment that didn’t give rise to risks of addiction,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told reporters at a news conference last year. “Those claims were verifiably false and ignored expert warnings. And they even undermined studies suggesting that there were addictive effects.”

Purdue as a company as well as the Sackler family deny any wrongdoing. Currently, Purdue seeks bankruptcy protection in order to counteract nearly 3,000 lawsuits that attribute blame to Purdue for beginning the opioid crisis. A Department of Justice criminal investigation is ongoing, relating to this process.

The opioid crisis, an epidemic that has spanned from 1999 to the present, has killed almost 500,000 individuals, potentially more. This count includes those that have died from an overdose involving an opioid, including both prescription and illicit opioids. Said epidemic can be characterized in three waves. The first beginning with the rise of prescribed opioids in the 1990s, including “natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone.” The second wave is marked by an increase of overdose deaths specifically related to heroin. The third commenced in 2013, with alarmingly stark increases in overdose deaths due to synthetic opioids, especially those “involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl” Unfortunately, “the market for illicitly manufactured fentanyl continues to change and it can be found in combination with heroin, counterfeit pills, and cocaine.”

Many Americans are unaware of the impact of the opioid crisis, or the fact that it is becoming increasingly, not decreasingly relevant to society. Yet, there are signs of positive change. Overall opioid-involved death rates decreased by 2% from 2017 to 2018, with sharper drops in prescription and heroin-involved deaths. Yet the increase in synthetic opioid-involved death rates increased by 10%, proving more work must be done to protect Americans. Currently, the Center for Disease Control combats this epidemic by monitoring trends, advancing research, equipping states with resources, supporting providers, partnering with public safety officials, and increasing public awareness.

Apart from crooked doctors, big pharmaceuticals, especially Jonathan Sackler, the Sackler family, and Purdue Pharma have received a majority of the blame for the epidemic. Jonathan Sackler’s death marks the death of who many see as a villain, but before justice was served in the American court system.

The opioid crisis, two decades in, has captivated the American imagination through film and media, as many crises often due. Netflix in particular has made efforts to document the crisis, including with the true crime series The Pharmacist and the limited series The Business of Drugs. Coming to Netflix next month is the long-awaited Hillbilly Elegy, starring Glenn Close and Amy Adams, both nominated for six Academy Awards each. The film lends a careful eye towards Appalachia, an area ravaged by the opioid epidemic, and features Adams in the role of a struggling addict. The film has already generated major Oscar buzz and will certainly bring further attention to a crucial issue.

Addiction is an incredibly difficult disease to combat. If you or a love one is struggling, please consider contacting the national hotline.

Opioid Epidemic

The painful and prevalent problem of opioid addiction plaguing families across our country has sparked national attention as the overdose death rates of these individuals has skyrocketed the past few years. The pervasiveness of the opioid epidemic is due in large part to the over-prescription of opioid pain medication and the highly addictive nature of these medications. Pharmaceutical companies and morally-corrupt doctors threw caution to the wind as “pill-mills” popped up all over the US. Although opioid use often begins with a legitimate injury and prescription for pain medication, those unfamiliar with the dangers of addiction are naïve to the depths of depravity it can take even the most innocent of souls.

As tolerance to the drug builds, the individual takes more than prescribed to alleviate the pain. Eventually, the suggestion is made to crush the pill and snort it for a better, more immediate high. The treatment morphs into a habit, then an obsession. Most opioid addictions escalate to intravenous use. Though the person previously swore never to pick up a needle, the temptation outweighs the willpower, and life becomes consumed with chasing the euphoria of that first shot. At this point, the sheer financial burden of the habit is insurmountable. Lying, cheating, stealing, anything becomes justifiable in the name of the next fix.

Inevitably, the solution becomes substituting the FDA regulated pills for the significantly cheaper heroin, which promises a more intense high. The recent inclusion of fentanyl in heroin increases the potency and the likelihood of overdose and death. Suffering with addiction is painful, exhausting, and frightening. Attempting sobriety means enduring withdraws, reality, feelings, and memories. Negative experiences with shady recovery businesses leaves clients feeling jaded and mistrustful. Unfortunately, many treatment centers view clients as numbers or worse, dollar signs.

They treat clients according to insurance benefits rather than clients’ needs. Once insurance quits paying, clients are dropped off at bus stations to fend for themselves with no resources. Luckily, the substance abuse field is starting to shift, and task forces in South Florida are shutting down illegitimate “treatment centers” whose sole focus is greed. Cleaning up the reputation of the recovery realm paves the way for companies genuinely vested in the best interest of the clients and the communities, like Delphi Behavioral Health Group. With fifteen treatment facilities in various locations across the United States offering the spectrum of care, Delphi understands every client is unique and so too is the specific treatment needed. Willing to step outside the norm, Delphi launched New Perspectives in Boynton Beach, Florida, a medication-assisted treatment facility.

MAT, while still somewhat controversial, is becoming an optimal treatment option for those suffering from long-term opioid addiction that have tried and failed at traditional, abstinence-based treatment models. New Perspectives offers a contingency-based model with highly monitored and conservative doses of Suboxone films. Suboxone decreases cravings for opioids and initiates withdrawal symptoms if opioids are ingested. Clients must be compliant with the clinical program to receive their prescriptions. Suboxone, in conjunction with intensive therapeutic services, provides a real opportunity for those afflicted with opioid addiction to finally create a life of sobriety. True, there is an opioid epidemic afflicting our nation, but new medications and treatment modalities bring hope that its reign is nearing an end.

Jennifer Behnke, MS, LMFT, LMHC, QS
Jennifer Behnke, Clinical Director at New Perspectives, has worked in the field of mental health and substance abuse for over a decade. Jennifer graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2012 with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. In 2014, Jennifer became a licensed mental health counselor and licensed marriage & family therapist. At that time, she opened her private practice and took a position as a clinical director. Jennifer helped launch the medication-assisted treatment program at New Perspectives and became a qualified supervisor. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in marriage & family therapy with a specialization in couples therapy at Northcentral University.

Written by Jennifer Behnke

Illenium’s New Single

ILLENIUM’S NEW SINGLE, TAKE YOU DOWN, IS OUT NOW

Single Marks His First Release On Astralwerks

Summer Festival Performances Include Lollapalooza On Saturday, August 4, Plus Outside Lands, Bumbershoot, Electric Zoo And More

August 29 Headline Show At Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre Is Sold Out

Illenium’s Combined Streams Surpass 1 Billion

Download / Stream Take You Down
View visualizer HERE

Denver-based artist Nick Miller, known professionally as Illenium, has signed to Astralwerks and makes his debut on the renowned dance label with the highly personal single Take You Down. After hearing from many fans about how his music has gotten them through dark periods, he felt compelled to share how music saved his life, too, following a heroin overdose six years ago.

In a letter to fans, posted HERE, Illenium explains, “Take You Down is about my struggles with addiction and what it can do to families and loved ones. It’s more specifically about my mom, and how no matter what, she never gave up on me. To anyone struggling like I did, not just with addiction but anything in life, I hope you guys can find peace in your struggles and know that anything can be overcome. I’ve been clean since that overdose and I owe that to finding my passion and being surrounded by the most loving people I could ever ask for.

Download / stream Take You Down HERE and view the visualizer HERE.

Fresh off a sold-out tour of Australia and New Zealand, Illenium will perform at Lollapalooza tomorrow, August 4. In addition to a full slate of festival performances, including Outside Lands, Bumbershoot, Electric Zoo, Lost Lands, Austin City Limits and EDC Orlando, he will play a sold-out headline show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO on August 29. See below for itinerary. Tickets are available at http://illenium.com/tour/.

Reviewing Illenium’s Coachella 2018 performance, Your EDM.com noted, “In the hour long set, Illenium played his heart out to tens of thousands of fans, some of whom were probably only at the festival to see him. Bringing out some deeper cuts as well as all of his newest music from Awake and Ashes, Illenium proceeded to take fans on an absolutely wild ride.

Illenium creates immersive emotional experiences, displaying an adeptness for crafting aural arrangements that vary in style, beauty, complexity and depth. With two full-length albums to his credit and sundry singles and remixes, he has surpassed the one billion stream mark across his discography.

His debut album, Ashes, was released to critical acclaim in early 2016. Awake followed in 2017 and hit #1 on in the iTunes Electronic Dance Charts in 12 countries. Named one of the 10 Best Dance/Electronic Albums of 2017 by Billboard, it included such singles as Feel Good (with Gryffin featuring Daya) and Crawl Outta Love. Praising the album as a gorgeous collection of future bass, piercing vocals, and barefaced lyrics, Dancing Astronaut said, While it might seem premature to call an album a masterpiece, no other title would fit Awake so well. Billboard observed, “The phoenix is Illenium ‘s mascot, and Awake is the emergent moment of that story.

Illenium’s Awake Live headline tour captivated audiences across the country, and sold out such renowned venues as The Shrine, Terminal 5, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Aragon Ballroom and Red Rocks. His remix of Flume’s Say It earned him an Electronic Music Award for Best Remix in 2017. Illenium’s recent collaborations include Don’t Give Up On Me with Kill The Noise ft. Mako and Gold (Stupid Love) with Excision ft. Shallows.

Follow Illenium:
Illenium 2018 Tour Dates

8/3 | Las Vegas, NV | Hakkasan Nightclub

8/4 | Chicago, IL | Lollapalooza

8/5 | Chicago, IL | Concord Music Hall (Lollapalooza Aftershow)

8/11 | San Francisco, CA | Outside Lands

8/12 | Baltimore, MD | Moonrise Festival

8/19 | Pointe-calumet, QC | Beach Club

8/29 | Morrison, CO | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | SOLD OUT

8/30 | Bellvue, CO | Mishawaka Amphitheatre | Throwback Set | SOLD OUT

9/1 | Seattle, WA | Bumbershoot

9/2 | New York, NY | Electric Zoo

9/6-9 | La Cygne, KS | Dancefestopia

9/14-16 | Thornville, OH | Lost Lands

9/14-15 | San Bernardino, CA | Nocturnal Wonderland

9/29-30 | Chandler, AZ | Goldrush Festival

10/5-6 | Nashville, TN | Breakaway Music Festival

10/5-7 | Austin, TX | Austin City Limits Music Festival

10/12-14 | Austin, TX | Austin City Limits Music Festival

11/9 | Orlando, FL | EDC Orlando

About Astralwerks:
Established in New York City and now finding its new home in the historic Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, Astralwerks was the brainchild of staffers at Caroline Records who saw an opportunity for a label focused on the emerging electronic and ambient scene. Having reached a milestone of 25 years, Astralwerks has quickly become a modern, artist-first label with a true focus on nurturing talent across the electronic genre and beyond. Acting with a scalable, independent and global thinking mentality with the capability to tap into the resources of a major label, has allowed Astralwerks to retain and sign up-and-coming artists such as I Illenium, Jonas Blue, Alison Wonderland, EDEN, Sigma and Axwell /\ Ingrosso. As a testament to this pioneering approach, Astralwerks has amassed 30 GRAMMY nominations, taken home six GRAMMY Awards and had historic releases from the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Swedish House Mafia, Halsey, Porter Robinson, Phoenix, Eric Prydz, Fatboy Slim and many more.

Trump Revealed on Opioid Epidemic 

With more than 100 Americans dying every day from drug overdoses, Trump declared it was time to take action and officially declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. The announcement was short on details. Declaring a national state of emergency involves more than just a brief statement from the president to the press — there’s a formal process that requires documents to be signed and legal steps to be followed.

On ViceNews.com, Keegan Hamilton details Trump’s informal state of emergency declaration and how a White House spokesman confirmed that the paperwork still remains incomplete.

The informal state of emergency declaration follows a pattern for the Trump administration. Much like his recent tweets about banning transgender people from the military or his early executive orders about cracking down on crime, Trump’s opioid gambit has been — at least so far — all flash and no substance, attracting attention without making any major policy changes.

Read “State of no emergency” by VICE News’ Keegan Hamilton here: http://news.vice.com/story/trump-officially-declared-an-opioid-emergency-and-then-officially-did-nothing. Follow @vicenews and @keegan_hamilton for more updates.