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Tag: Heroin

Parker: Naloxone and the Surge of Fentanyl-Heroin Overdose Deaths

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

A young woman from Michigan we will call Janice started using heroin in her early 20s. Her family stuck by her and financed several rounds of rehabilitation. Each of these was followed after a short period of time by a relapse and her family or friends rushing Janice to a hospital emergency room when she overdosed. Each time the ER docs were able to stop the overdose and stabilize her.

Then one night Janice shot up with what she thought was heroin but which had such an immediate effect that she went into respiratory arrest with the syringe still in her hand. The people she was with called 911 but could do little else. By the time she got medical help, it was too late and she died during the EMT transport.

Last week this column focused on the deadly effects that fentanyl-heroin combinations were having on opiate addicts in Canada and the United States. Since fentanyl is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin, dealers are lacing low quality heroin with it to boost the effect without revealing this to their customers. Plus fentanyl is accessible and not expensive. Much of the fentanyl is obtained through prescription drug abuse from patients who are supposed to use the drug to combat serious pain, for example from cancer. The result has been deadly.

There is a drug that could save hundreds of lives of overdosing users. Its use in scattered projects and medical facilities around the country demonstrates that it is safe, effective and easy to administer. The problem is a lack of public education, resources and facilities with access to the life saving drug.

Naloxone Making a Difference

Naloxone blocks opioid receptor sites in the CNS, especially those in the brainstem which affect respiratory effort. It does not cure an overdose. What it does is enable the overdosing person to breathe for long enough to get her/him to medical facilities where their breathing can be secured more permanently. With the latest generation of fentanyl-heroin overdoses, this extra half hour or hour can mean the difference between life and death.

In a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, writer Bridget Kuehn described a project where the Naloxone is making a significant difference. Northwest North Carolina had the third highest death rate for opiate overdoses in the country. Project Lazarus has cut the death rate essentially in half by a program of providing access to Naloxone treatment kits and training on how to administer it to laypersons who are likely to be the first to observe the overdose.

Read more »

FBI Agent Speaks Out About Stealing Heroin to Ease Pain, Addiction

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Matthew Lowry seemed to have everything going for him.

He worked for an elite drug task force after graduating with honors from the FBI Academy. His wife was pregnant with their first child.

Trouble is, Lowry had become addicted to pain medication to ease his chronic and painful inflammations of the intestines and needed a way to get through the day. The pain medication wasn’t enough and it was getting too expensive.

That’s when Lowry said he first stole evidence – a bag of heroin.

“Within 15 minutes, I was fine,” Lowry told the Washington Post. “It gave me energy. It made me feel euphoric, like I had confidence. You feel like you can take on anything.”

Lowry, now 33, kept up the secret life for about a year until he was arrested. The discovery that he was stealing evidence forced prosecutors to dismiss cases against 28 defendants.

On July 9, Lowry faces prison time on 64 criminal charges, including obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence and possession of drugs, according to the Post report.

“Where am I going to be a couple months from now?” Lowry said, holding his son, who is now 16 months old. “How is my wife going to raise my son? How is she going to take care of the house? I spend as much time as I can with my wife, with my son, with my parents, because I don’t know when it’s going to stop, and I’m not going to be able to see them for an extended amount of time.”

 

DEA Arrests 2 in Largest-Ever Seizure of Heroin in NYC History

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The bust was so big that federal authorities are already calling it the largest seizure of heroin in New York City history.

The DEA helped nab a pair of suspected Bronx drug traffickers in what turned out to be the largest seizure of heroin in the city’s history, NBC New York reports.

Agents seized more than 150 pounds of heroin that is worth at least $50 million. An additional $2 million in cash.

Investigators believe the traffickers routinely received similar-size shipments every month from Mexico and supplied the deadly, addictive drug to users in New York, Pennsylvania and New England.

“To put it in perspective, this load was so large it carried the potential of supplying a dose of heroin to every man, woman and child in New York City,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said in a statement. “While this important seizure stopped a huge amount of heroin from flooding our city, it also highlights the critical need to intercept heroin before it ever reaches our region.”

Other Stories of Interest


Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to 64 Criminal Charges Tied to Heroin Abuse

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent who stole heroin that was collected as evidence pleaded guilty Tuesday and warned of the powers of addiction.

The Washington Post reports that Matthew Lowry, who worked in the Washington Field Office, apologized outside of the D.C. federal courthouse.

“Today I informed the court of criminal acts of misconduct that I committed while trying to handle my pain medication,” Matthew Lowry told reporters. “I want to apologize and say I was wrong.”

The 33-year-old agent pleaded guilty to 64 criminal charges, including obstruction of justice, possession of heroin and tampering with evidence.

Lowry’s attorney said his client started using heroin after being given a powerful pain medication that he shouldn’t have been prescribed.

“Hopefully from this situation I’ll be able to stand as an example of how not to deal with prescription pain medication abuse and be able to help people understand how powerful and addictive and dangerous they can be,” Lowry said.

Asked how he was holding up, he paused and said, “I’m getting better.”

 

 

FBI Agent Became Addicted to Heroin After Dependence on Pain Meds

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent accused of stealing heroin from evidence in cases to feed his addiction was first hooked on pain medication, The Washington Post reports.

Matthew Lowry, 33, of the Washington Field Office told investigators that he first took heroin in 2013 after stealing a small amount obtained during an undercover sting.

He said he became addicted to pain medication in 2012 for reasons that aren’t clear.

Lowry’s eventual dependence on heroin led him to steal heroin from suspects, authorities said in reports. The theft resulted in the dismissal of charges for 28 defendants because the evidence was deemed tainted.

Lowry has been suspended but not charged.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Mobster Frank Lucas, an Organized Crime Heroin Dealer

httpv://youtu.be/j1l2DBExXsk

Is DEA Out of Touch When it Comes to Marijuana?

By  Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Is the DEA out of touch when it comes to classifying marijuana as a schedule 1 substance, the same as drugs like heroin and LSD?

Some might think so.

The website Government Executive has written a story entitled: “The DEA Still Thinks Marijuana is as Dangerous as Heroin.”

The website writes:

At the federal level, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies cannabis as a schedule 1 substance, the most dangerous class under the Controlled Substances Act, with “a high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence.”

Many scientists say there is little basis to put marijuana in that category, and the DEA’s stance that marijuana has no medicinal use has been widely rebuked in recent years.

To read more click here.

FBI Agent Accused of Using Heroin That Was Stored As Evidence for Trial

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 
Matthew Lowry, the FBI agent suspected of tampering with evidence in drug cases, is accused of using heroin that was earmarked as evidence for a trial, the Washington Post reports.

The accusations against Lowry are so serious that authorities are dismissing cases against convicted and accused drug dealers in Washington D.C.

Lowry’s attorney described the allegations as “grossly overblown” and said his client wants to cooperate and “help bring this matter to a fast conclusion.”

Officials said Lowry has discussed the allegations with investigators.