The Drug Report

Facts about what can go wrong when people use drugs

  • The Best Drug Info Ever?

    A big part of my inspiration for The Drug Report was Beth Pearce's amazing film, VOICE OF THE VICTIMS: TRUE STORIES OF ECSTASY AND KETAMINE. The film simply lets the victims of drug tragedies tell their stories. It's real life, it's undeniable, and it's incredibly powerful. I'm sure Beth has saved many, many lives, and it is my hope that this blog will do so as well. To learn more about her film, go to Voice Of The Victims.

    FACTS ARE FACTS

    A friend of mine likes to say, "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."

    When it comes to drugs, there are lots of opinions out there: Some think drugs are safe and fun, some think they're dangerous and frightening, and many think everything in between.

    But facts are facts, and when someone dies from drugs, or someone is murdered by a person who is on drugs, or is raped by someone who has given them drugs, that's just a fact. Drug users who actively promote drug use rail against these facts, and I expect they'll be commenting regularly on The Drug Report. But they can't change the facts.

Archive for the ‘Heroin’ Category

Fentanyl Deaths Fault of U.S.?

Posted by Childress on September 4, 2006

I’m not going to post a comment by Pat Rodgers, who blames last summer’s heroin/fentanyl deaths on the U.S. government.  His/her point:  American successful interdiction of Asian heroin caused addicts no choice but Mexican heroin, which led to Fentanyl spiking in an effort to yield similar effects as Asian heroin.

My take is different, of course.  However, it’s not the purpose of this blog to debate drug policy.  I’m not taking any comments on this post; I’m just putting Rodgers’ comment out there for your consideration.

Posted in Heroin, Prescription drugs | 1 Comment »

Another Heroin-Fentanyl Murder Charge

Posted by Childress on September 1, 2006

Another man has been charged with homicide following the recent wave of 100 or more overdose deaths from heroin laced with the painkiller Fentanyl.

The charges were filed in Chicago, where authorities charged 35-year-old Corey Crump Thursday with homicide in the death of a police chief’s son who died after taking Fentanyl-spiked heroin.

The homicide charge was the first to stem from an investigation into numerous deaths attributed in part to the drug. Another man has been charged with homicide for a death caused by Fentanyl-spiked methadone.

A conviction could land Crump in prison for up to 30 years.

Posted in Charges & Trials, Heroin, Methadone, Prescription drugs | 1 Comment »

Guilty Plea in Fentanyl-Methadone Deaths

Posted by Childress on August 22, 2006

Earlier this summer, hundreds died in the Midwest from a lethal mixture of the pain-killer fentanyl and either heroin or methadone.  Now that a guilty plea has solved three of the deaths, questions remain about the other 90+.

The following information was released by the U.S. Department of Justice:

United States Attorney Margaret M. Chiara announced the guilty plea of Robert Lee King to a federal charge of distribution of fentanyl causing death. Mr. King, age 40, of Charlevoix and Cheboygan Counties, Michigan, was facing three separate charges in a trial set to begin on August 21, 2006 in the Federal District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The first charge alleged the distribution on January 8, 2005 of methadone and fentanyl, Schedule II controlled substances, resulting in the serious bodily injury and death of Emily Waskiewicz in Charlevoix County from the use of the methadone and fentanyl ….

The second charge involved a distribution of fentanyl on October 1, 2005 resulting in the serious bodily injury and death of Garry Sneller in Cheboygan County from the use of the fentanyl which King had originally obtained from a pharmacy in Boyne City, Michigan.

Fentanyl is a highly potent pain medication which typically is administered through patches worn on the skin.

The third charge alleged a conspiracy to distribute OxyContin in Charlevoix County and elsewhere from 1999-2004. A fourth charge was previously dismissed by the court. …

The charge of distribution of a controlled substance causing death carries a penalty of not less than 20 years and up to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million.

Posted in Charges & Trials, Heroin, Methadone, Prescription drugs | 1 Comment »

No More Heroin Legalization Comments

Posted by Childress on August 15, 2006

Thank the few of you for your comments regarding heroin legalization. 

I will not be posting any more of these comments because they are off-topic for this blog.  The Drug Report focuses only on facts about what can go wrong when people use drugs, and doesn’t concern itself with political issues regarding drug use.

I admit I’ve been a bit off base in this regard, too, and pledge to be more disciplined from now on.

Posted in Heroin | Leave a Comment »

Why High-Crime Drugs Must Stay Illegal

Posted by Childress on August 11, 2006

Frequent commenter Dodgy made a strange statement in a comment I am not going to post because of what he’s advocating.  Here’s the statement: 

The vast majority of drug related crime occurs simply because of prohibition i.e addicts having to fund their habit.

Excuse me?  I confess: I have a habit.   It’s expensive, powerful cars.  But I don’t satisfy my habit by stealing.  I work hard and succeed in my work so I can afford them.  I expect no one to subsidize my fondness for big German V-8s.

Others like to buy $100 bottles of wine or hundreds of pairs of designer shoes.  Like me, instead of stealing to support their habits, they go to work every day, save up their money (or use up their credit) then buy their satisfying fix.

The big crime drugs — heroin, meth, crack — debilitate many of their users so profoundly that they become fundamentally unemployable in any legit business.  So they become hookers, dealers or thieves.

And society is to bless this by providing them for free the drug that so debilitated them?  Or legalize the drugs so they can debilitate even more people?

If society’s goal is fewer abortions, you don’t open up free abortion clinics.  If society’s goal is fewer burglaries, you don’t make lock picks legal.

Society’s goal must be to protect as many as possible from the dangers and debilitation of drugs like heroin, meth and crack.  You do not let the few, the addicted, the debilitated set social policy for the many, the healthy and the innocent.

Posted in Cocaine, Heroin, Meth, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Heroin Doesn’t Always Kill Scummy Junkies

Posted by Childress on July 19, 2006

Here’s a sad story out of New Jersey via the Passaic County Herald News that paints a different picture of heroin overdoses.  This isn’t a story of some guy living on the street, lost to his family, stealing to support his habit.

A young man’s battle with drug addiction ended tragically this week, police said… .

Christopher Loeffler apparently injected heroin at his family’s home on Sunday, after looking bright-eyed and healthy moments before, his father said.

On Tuesday, Loeffler’s loved ones gathered to remember the outgoing 20-year-old man who graduated from the township’s high school last year.

“He’d been battling this thing for about a couple of years off and on,” Robert Loeffler said of his son’s drug addiction. “We couldn’t tell for sure when he was using. Lately, we thought he had turned a corner. But that’s the life of an addict.” …

A wake was to be held today for Loeffler, who turned 20 this month. He had started working as a technician for a Lincoln Park filter company in June and enjoyed weightlifting and spending time with his friends and family, his father said.

On Tuesday, friends spent the afternoon in the family’s living room putting together a memorial for today’s viewing at the M. John Scanlan Funeral Home.

“He was a very social person and made friends all over the place,” his father said. “He was a fun-loving spirit and everyone’s going to miss him. For now, we’re all just holding together as best as we can.”

Please say a prayer for the Loeffler family.  Their loss must be overwhelming.

Posted in Heroin | 4 Comments »

A Different Kind of Drug Abuse Death

Posted by Childress on July 15, 2006

Most of the drug deaths I write about deal with deaths that come quite quickly as a result of bad reactions or overdoses.  Here’s one that’s very different, from the Scunthorpe (England, I suppose) Evening Telegraph:

A long-term drug user died of acute bronchitis and drug abuse, an inquest heard yesterday.Marie Ann Clay (33), of Digby Street, Scunthorpe, was pronounced dead at the flat which she was sharing with her partner and a friend on January 12, this year.

The mother-of-four was discovered by her partner Jonathan Owen Kirk.

Deputy coroner Andrew Pascoe heard Mr Kirk saw Miss Clay asleep in the bedroom on a number of occasions during that day.  She lay on the floor snoring but he said he left her because she was too heavy to lift onto the bed.

But he went to check on her later that day and discovered she was cold and called an ambulance.

In a statement read out in court, Mr Kirk explained Marie had a history of drug taking over a number of years.  Her habit had included ecstasy, crack cocaine and heroin abuse. …

Pathologist Dr William Peters said Miss Clay’s drug history and the post mortem report found she had died of ‘respiratory trapped infection possibly from the debilitating affects of drug use’. …

He said: “The post mortem report confirmed Marie Clay died of acute bronchitis and that with drug abuse caused her death.”

As I read this, I think it must have happened to someone much older than 33.  But excessive drug use can break down a body quickly. Not everyone is Keith Richards.

Posted in Cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin | Leave a Comment »

Arrest in Heroin-Fentanyl Case

Posted by Childress on June 24, 2006

There has been an arrest in the terrible Midwest heroin/fentanyl case, in which some 200 heroin users have died.  From the Alliance (OH) Review:

A man suspected as a key player in the supply of a lethal form of heroin blamed for more than 100 deaths [close to 200 deaths in all] in the Detroit area was arraigned Saturday on drug possession and weapons charges, officials said.

Wayne County sheriff's deputies and federal drug agents said Daren Reese was arrested Thursday in the sale of a mix of heroin and the prescription painkiller fentanyl.

Reese, 45, of Detroit, faces charges including four counts of delivering and manufacturing a controlled substance, and two felony weapons charges for carrying a firearm and body armor. He was being held in the Wayne County Jail on $200,000 bond.

The article doesn't mention fentanyl, so expect some additional charges before too long.

Posted in Charges & Trials, Heroin, Prescription drugs | Leave a Comment »

Bad Bust In Fentanyl-Heroin Case

Posted by Childress on June 21, 2006

Efforts to find who's killed more than 200 people by lacing heroin with Fentanyl came up dry … somewhat … in Chicago.

In raids on Wednesday, agents seized more than 220 pounds of heroin, firearms, vehicles and cash — but no Fentanyl-laced heroin.  So the search for the killers goes on. 

If you have any doubts about how cynical drug marketers are about their customers, and how little their customers worry about their lives, consider this from the AP story:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro alleged that the Mickey Cobras gang marketed its drugs to take advantage of the deadly heroin’s notoriety, selling products with names such as “Max Pain,” “Lethal Injection,” “Fear Factor,” “Drop Dead” and “Final Call.”

Some say the solution to all this is to simply legalize heroin, give it free to addicts and toss in free needles for good measure. Sorry. Heroin is bad stuff, and society is supposed to protect its members from bad stuff.

Posted in Heroin, Prescription drugs | 1 Comment »

Fentanyl/Heroin Mix Kills 100+

Posted by Childress on June 7, 2006

Drug marketers screwed up big time.  Either they were trying to make heroin more potent, or they were working to develop a black market in the super-powerful prescription painkiller fentanyl.  In either case, they messed up … and more than 100 are dead.  Oops.  From AP:

Local and federal authorities on Wednesday announced a joint investigation into fentanyl-laced heroin that has caused several deaths in the Pittsburgh area and at least 100 deaths from Philadelphia to Chicago in recent months.

The investigation would try to determine whether fentanyl, a painkiller, is being used to make heroin more potent or whether local dealers are using it to create a market for a new drug, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said.

Buchanan and other officials declined to speculate where the heroin in Pittsburgh might be coming from or what the source of the fentanyl might be.

Earlier this week, U.S. drug czar John Walters said federal agents, working in cooperation with the Mexican government, had closed down a lab in Mexico that might be the main source of the fentanyl being put in U.S. heroin. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said it was testing fentanyl seized in Mexico to see if it could be linked to deaths in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

One of the risks of taking drugs is that drug users are letting theselves be used as guinea pigs and test markets for new products.  As any lab scientist knows, not every test is successful, which is why a lot of tests lead up to the first human trials.

Not so in the unscrupulous world of drug dealers.

Posted in Heroin, Prescription drugs | 12 Comments »