The opioid crisis has not stopped.
While there are glimmers of hope — destigmatization, the banning of Fentanyl from the dark web, more services for those addicted — there is still much to do.
Opioid Overdoses Killed More Than
in the First Quarter of 2018
By Leslie Young, Global News, September 18, 2018
More than 1,000 Canadians lost their lives to apparent opioid overdoses in the first three months of 2018, according to new data released Tuesday.
The Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses released new figures Tuesday that showed that there were more than 8,000 opioid-related deaths between January 2016 and March 2018.
The number of opioid-related deaths from January to March 2018 rose 16 per cent from the same period in 2017.
The vast majority of the 1,036 deaths in the first quarter of 2018 were accidental, said the report. Nearly three-quarters of accidental deaths involved fentanyl or fentanyl analogues — a slight increase from 2017.
British Columbia had 390 deaths in early 2018, the highest in the country. Ontario was second with 320 deaths.
Read more. . . See video with Stephen Colbert, history of Purdue Pharma.
Dark Web Dealers
Voluntarily Ban Deadly Fentanyl
Suppliers, fearing police crackdown,
decide opioid is too high-risk to trade
By Mark Townsend, The Guardian, December 1, 2018
Major dark web drug suppliers have started to voluntarily ban the synthetic opioid fentanyl because it is too dangerous, the National Crime Agency has said.
They are “delisting” the high-strength painkiller, effectively classifying it alongside mass-casualty firearms and explosives as commodities that are considered too high-risk to trade. Fentanyl can be up to 100 times stronger than heroin and can easily cause accidental overdoses, particularly when mixed with heroin.
Vince O’Brien, one of the NCA’s leads on drugs, told the Observer that dark web marketplace operators appeared to have made a commercial decision, because selling a drug that could lead to fatalities was more likely to prompt attention from police.
It is the first known instance of these types of operators moving to effectively ban a drug.
O’Brien said: “If they’ve got people selling very high-risk commodities then it’s going to increase the risk to them. There are marketplaces that will not accept listings for weapons and explosives – those are the ones that will not accept listings for fentanyl. Clearly, law enforcement would prioritise the supply of weapons, explosives and fentanyl over, for example, class C drugs – and that might well be why they do this.
“There are also drug users on the dark web who say on forums that they don’t think it’s right that people are selling fentanyl because it is dangerous and kills a lot of people.”
Fentanyl arrived in the UK around 18 months ago and so far is said to have caused around 160 deaths, with fatalities caused by the opioid rising by nearly 30% last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.
One type of fentanyl, carfentanyl, is thousands of times stronger than heroin and O’Brien confirmed that police had made a number of small seizures of the substance in the UK. In the US, fentanyl has taken a significantly more profound hold on the drugs sector and has replaced heroin in many major US drug markets, precipitating a more deadly phase of the nation’s opioid epidemic. The number of overdose deaths associated with fentanyl and similar drugs has grown to more than 29,000 a year, from 3,000 five years ago. Deaths were up by more than 45% in 2017.
O’Brien said that the NCA is working with US law enforcement agencies to prevent the UK from having a similar fentanyl epidemic, though the number of people dependent on opioids in the UK compared to America means it has a much smaller market.
“We are working closely with international partners in terms of how the threat developed there. It’s an emerging new drug, a threat we’re taken very seriously because of what happened in the US,” said O’Brien. The NCA has had a series of successes against UK fentanyl dealers, who typically source the drug from China and then sell it on the dark web. The first fentanyl case to be sentenced in the UK involved Kyle Enos, 25, from Newport who was jailed for eight years in February. Enos had procured the narcotic from China, selling it worldwide and to customers in 30 UK police areas.
Colin Williams, senior NCA investigating officer on the case, said: “We realised within a number of hours we had to deal with this very quickly.”
Even so, as they tracked down the 160 or so clients who had bought fentanyl from Enos to warn them that the drug was deadly, they learned that four of his customers were already dead. “We can’t say whether they took the drug but they were certainly on his [customer] list,” said Williams.
Enos, himself a fentanyl and heroin user, was aware of the risks and had informed each customer that the substance was liable to kill.
O’Brien added: “Every time we take down a dark web vendor we follow up with customers, and when we have done that, a number are turning up dead – there’s a real cautionary tale there.”
Some of the biggest dark web fentanyl suppliers were closed down last year with the most famous – Alphabay – often described as the largest underground market ever seen – shut following a global police investigation.
From this post December 2, 2018, US-China Trade War: Deal Agreed to Suspend New Trade Tariffs, about the G20 Summit:
“The US says Beijing agreed to designate Fentanyl as a controlled substance.
“The opioid – much of it thought to be made in China – is driving a huge rise in drug addiction in the US.”
Peter Hedges Explores Addiction
and Parental Love in New Film, Ben Is Back
CBC Radio, December 5, 2018
Oscar-nominated director Peter Hedges’ new film, Ben Is Back, tells the harrowing story of a young man struggling with drug addiction and his mother’s desperate fight to save him.
The film stars Julia Roberts as well as Hedges’ own son, Lucas Hedges, as the title character, Ben.
Hedges joins Tom Power live, here, from New York to talk about the experience of coaching his 21-year-old son through a film that goes to the core of parental love. Ben Is Back will be released this week on Friday, December 7.
Museum Creates Program for
Families Suffering from the Opioid Crisis
Approximately 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017 alone. For families hurt by addiction, the Currier Museum of Art in New Hampshire has created an unprecedented program that uses art as a healing tool for those affected by the epidemic in a state that’s ranked third in the nation for drug overdoses.
By Zachary Small, HyperAllergic, December 5, 2018
New Hampshire’s most populous city has a major drug problem, but the Currier Art Museum is here to help families affected by addiction.
The Manchester museum’s education department created “The Art of Hope” program in partnership with Partnership for Drug Free Kids, to provide a safe space for relatives of those struggling with drug use to discuss methods of resilience, self-care, social connection, shame, and hope.
Participants spend a few hours each week contemplating the museum’s collection and completing small art projects meant to provide coping mechanisms, and healing tools meant to mend broken relationships between families and their drug-using relatives.
The focus of each session varies, but most begin with an introspective look at paintings like the 18th-century French painter Claude-Joseph Vernet’s “The Storm” (1759).
Educators choose works that can speak to the tempestuous nature of drug addiction and the collateral damage it can inflict on loved ones.
Accordingly, Vernet’s painting depicts turbid waters and a shipwreck, with scrambling survivors dragging loved ones ashore and a gloomy mountain-bound fortress in the distance.
“There’s blue out there beyond,” a woman observes at a recent group session documented by Shawne Whickham for The New Hampshire Union Leader. “It’s going from the chaos to sunshine and glory.”
When asked by a facilitator why the people in the painting were so important to each other, one woman replied, “Survival. Helping each other. It goes to show when there’s some disaster, people do pick it up.”
“It shows that just because you made it to shore, you may not be safe,” another person said while looking at Vernet’s menacing waves.
What We Can Do
We can, with deep forgiveness for our entire journey, help in the healing of all addiction to pain.
In order to do this there’s need for consistent quiet time, meditation time, to remember related situations in order to do the work.
Allowing the situations to arise is a methodical practise. It’s not something to be rushed and it’s one that can done on deeper and deeper levels, a process for freedom from any addiction.
When we forgive our selves in meditation for not expressing and experiencing our Divinity — situations from the past, the feelings held from trauma, the “being right” and disarray created — we heal, communities and societies heal.
“I forgive my self for not expressing and experiencing my self
as Divine, for the thoughts and the feelings not of love,
for the lack of self-worth and lack of self-love.”
Just like a drop in the ocean ripples outwards and affects the entire ocean, we, with thoughts, mental attitudes, feelings — directed at the self and one another — we do the same, we affect the entire world and beyond.
We can call on Sanat Kumara, our Planetary Logos, Keeper of Universal Law, for help:
I invoke Sanat Kumara, the Universal Law of Transmutation,
of Transformation for all situations out of alignment
with my Divinity. I ask for help l e t t i n g g o
a l l a d d i c t i o n t o p a i n w i t h
d e e p forgiveness of everything
within, and therefore without.
Thank you, Sanat Kumara,
for your assistance.
The more I Am in Divine Alignment, Love, trust, forgiveness, unity, connectedness, the more we balance as a whole society.
Being the frequency of forgiveness and the vibration of forgiving we balance in all dimensions, all realities. We are peace on Earth.