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Schumer: Deadly ‘super pills’ are making opioid epidemic even worse

New York Post - More than a million high-dose opioid “super pills” are prescribed by doctors every month, creating an opioid epidemic that’s “on steroids,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

A single super pill has at least 80 morphine equivalents, a dosage the senator said is rarely needed in pain management. The OxyContin brand of super pills has the dosage power of 24 Vicodin tablets in one swallow.

“Gaining access to these drugs often begins with the stroke of a doctor’s pen, but can lead down a dark and dangerous path that either fuels opioid addiction or results in overdose …

What Explains The Rising Overdose Rate Among Latinos?

NPR - The tall, gangly man twists a cone of paper in his hands as stories from nearly 30 years of addiction pour out: the robbery that landed him in prison at 17; never getting his GED; going through the horrors of detox, maybe 40 times, including this latest, which he finished two weeks ago. He's now in a residential unit for at least 30 days.

"I'm a serious addict," says Julio Cesar Santiago, 44. "I still have dreams where I'm about to use drugs, and I have to wake up and get on my knees and pray, 'let God …

The Hard-to-Trace Ingredient Behind Skyrocketing Cocaine Deaths

The Atlantic - In the United States, more people are dying because of synthetic drugs like fentanyl than because of heroin or prescribed painkillers. While, to many, the opioid crisis has been synonymous with heroin and prescription pills, a report published Tuesday in JAMA Psychiatry builds the case that the class of synthetic drug is increasingly making its way into other drugs like cocaine and leading to overdoses. From 2010 to 2016, more and more overdose deaths have been found to be caused, at least in part, by drugs like fentanyl.

In a way, this isn’t exactly news. The same …

America’s Fentanyl Problem Is Reaching a Whole New Group of Users

Mother Jones - On a clear day in the summer of 2016, an ambulance arrived at the Yale New Haven Hospital carrying a man in his 60s with the classic signs of an opioid overdose: His breathing had stopped, his heart had slowed, and his blood pressure had dropped. Over the next six hours, 11 more people were admitted with similar symptoms, three of whom died. At first, the cause of the overdose cluster appeared to be the usual: Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, had probably made its way into a batch of …

DA: Largest opioids seizure in Suffolk County history

Newsday - Federal agents seized more than 90 pounds of fentanyl and heroin with a $10 million street value — the largest opioid bust in Suffolk history — and charged a major supplier to Long Island drug dealers, the county’s top prosecutor said Thursday.

Agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency executed a search warrant Wednesday of a Wyandanch home and recovered 33 bags of heroin and fentanyl, Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini said.

William Velasquez, 38, who lives in the home, faces charges of operating as a major drug trafficker and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

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Elderly doctor, wife convicted of running $77M ‘pill mill’

New York Post - An 80-year-old Manhattan doctor and his 82-year-old wife were convicted Friday of running a $77 million prescription “pill mill.”

Dr. Rogelio Lucas and his wife of 55 years, Lydia, sat quietly together at the defense table as a jury found them guilty of 30 counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance.

The doctor and his wife worked with several major drug rings to distribute some 23,600 prescriptions for a whopping 3 million tablets of oxycodone, according to prosecutors with the Special Narcotics office.

During their years-long racket, the couple flooded the streets with approximately $77 …

Cash, weapons, Lamborghini seized in major drug bust in Queens, Brooklyn

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (WABC) -- Four suspects were arrested in Queens and Brooklyn overnight Wednesday in what is being described as a major drug bust.

The bust was the result of a long-running investigation that began with two overdose deaths involving fentanyl-laced heroin -- one in Bay Ridge in 2016 and one in Kew Gardens in May of 2017.

The alleged ringleader was identified as 35-year-old Dionne Sharrow (AKA "Slay"), who was arrested at his apartment in a luxury high-rise on 51st Avenue in Long Island City. Among the property seized there was a loaded firearm, approximately $500,000 in …

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