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ER visits for opioid overdose up 30%, CDC study finds

CNN - The opioid epidemic in the United States shows no signs of slowing, according to a Vital Signs report released Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report found that emergency department visits due to suspected opioid overdoses continued to climb -- about 30% -- from July 2016 to September 2017 across the country.

"This is really a fast-moving epidemic that's getting worse," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the CDC and acting administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, who was not an author of the report.

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Large U.S. cities see big jump in deadly opioid overdoses, CDC data shows

NBC News - The opioid epidemic is fast becoming a big city problem.

There was a 54 percent increase in overdoses from July 2016 through September 2017 in the major metro areas of 16 states surveyed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — a chunk of the country that includes Chicago, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.

Nationwide, the scourge that President Donald Trump has vowed to defeat shows no sign of abating, with a 30 percent increase in opioid overdoses reported during that same period, the data released Tuesday shows.

Anne Schuchat, the CDC's acting director, …

The Opioid Crisis Is Surging In Black, Urban Communities

NPR - The current drug addiction crisis began in rural America, but it's quickly spreading to urban areas and into the African-American population in cities across the country.

"It's a frightening time," says Dr. Edwin Chapman, who specializes in drug addiction in Washington, D.C., "because the urban African-American community is dying now at a faster rate than the epidemic in the suburbs and rural areas."

Chapman is on the front line of the opioid epidemic crippling his community in the Northeast section of Washington. He heads the Medical Home Development Group, a clinic specializing in addiction medicine.

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Guns and Opioids Are American Scourges Fueled by Availability

New York Times - The United States is in the midst of at least two plagues with much in common.

One is gun-fueled mass murder; the other is addiction to opioids — pain pills, heroin, fentanyl.

Both are uniquely American afflictions, killing in alarming numbers. Both are revved in part by commercial interests and in part by the collapse of community in American culture. Both persist because of the erroneous belief that there’s an easy answer to these complicated problems.

Above all, both are about supply.

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Date-rape drug teacher admits plans to sell narcotics

Daily News - A high school teacher accused of having date rape drugs delivered to his home admitted he was planning to go into the drug-dealing business, according to law enforcement sources.

Still, Steven Rich had no interest in explaining himself to a reporter as he left a Manhattan criminal courtroom Wednesday night.

“Get away from me! Get away from me!” the 51-year-old teacher yelled as he ran down Centre Street, with a scarf wrapped over his head to shield his face from photographers.

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Investigators find $100G worth of fentanyl wrapped in fish filets

Daily News - Investigators hooked quite a catch in the Bronx — $100,000 worth of deadly fentanyl wrapped in fresh fish filets, authorities said Thursday.

Bricks of the killer opioid were found stuffed inside Styrofoam coolers placed in the backseat of an Acura during a Feb. 1 search in Parkchester, the city’s special narcotics prosecutor said.

Law enforcement working a drug-trafficking case got a warrant to inspect the 2017 white Acura MDX near the intersection of Leland Ave. and Archer St.

One cooler had two fentanyl bricks underneath the fish slices, plus a third block hidden in vacuum-sealed chili. The …

Online Sales of Illegal Opioids from China Surge in U.S.

New York Times - Nearly $800 million worth of fentanyl pills were illegally sold to online customers in the United States over two years by Chinese distributors who took advantage of internet anonymity and an explosive growth in e-commerce, according to a Senate report released on Wednesday.

A yearlong Senate investigation found that American buyers of the illegal drugs lived mostly in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. The Chinese sellers primarily used Bitcoin, the digital currency, as their preferred method of payment and shipped the drugs through other countries to reduce the risk of the opioids being seized by customs officials, …

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