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News METH | Meth overdoses surpassing heroin deaths ->

mr peabody

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Ibogaine blocks the cravings and withdrawal symptoms of many types of drugs

"Its effects are pretty dramatic," says Dr. Kenneth Alper, an associate professor of psychiatry at New York University who specializes in addiction research. "I've observed this firsthand, and it's difficult to account for."

Dr Alper was among the attendees who gave a presentation on the benefits of ibogaine to the Catalan Ministry of Health. Dr Alper believes ibogaine's most likely path to prominence in the United States will be as a medication for meth addiction, for the simple reason that doctors and treatment providers have found that small daily—and thus drug-company-friendly—doses seem to work better for meth addiction than the mind-blowing "flood doses" used on opiate addicts. Alper says no one thought to try non-hallucinogenic quantities of ibogaine until recently. Ibogaine treatment providers tend to have been former ibogaine users, and most assumed that the introspection brought on by tripping was key to overcoming their addictions. "That's just how it evolved," he says, noting that the large doses do seem to work best for opiate detox.

"You're talking about a drug that has been used in less than 10,000 people in the world in terms of treatment. It's not surprising that's how it evolved. The visions have some psychological content that is salient and meaningful," Alper adds. "On the other hand, there is no successful treatment for addiction that's not interpreted as a spiritual transformation by the people who use it. It's the G-word. It's God. We as physicians don't venture into that territory, but most people do."

Recently Wilkins has been experimenting with small daily doses of ibogaine for people with heart conditions or other health problems that make the "flood dose" unadvisable. The non-hallucinogenic regimen seems successful, she says, citing the case of Ron Price, the former bodybuilder, in particular. Price first came to Tijuana for ibogaine in 1996 and has been back six times, including his October stay. "Every time I feel like I'm getting out of control, I come here," he says, his voice a gruff mumble. "The very first time, I had a bit of visuals. It's supposed to take six months to get off methadone. With this it was one day. It was incredible. I haven't had a craving for methadone since then."

That first time, Price took a "flood dose," enough to keep him tripping for hours on end. During this stay, Wilkins started him off with a tiny dose and gradually increased the amount he ingested each day. At the same time, she was weaning him off Oxycontin.

"We reduced your Oxy dose from 240 milligrams to 120 milligrams, in what, two weeks? That's great!" she says encouragingly. "He was fantastic," she adds proudly. "He developed a routine in his day. He was getting up and watering the garden, and not staying in bed and watching TV. He was walking the dog and wanting to go out—he was eager to go home, not scared."

Now, seated at the kitchen table, Price reflects on what has been most helpful during his time in Mexico. The ibogaine lessened his cravings for drugs and alcohol, he says, but eventually the effect will wear off. "It's no magic thing," he says pensively.

"It's creating good habits and creating a support system. Ibogaine strips you of the cells and walls you build up for yourself. It allows you to go AA meetings — which I'll do when I get home. At least it gives you a fighting chance to make your own decision."

http://archive.seattleweekly.com/hom...129/story.html
 
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mr peabody

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Ten years of therapy in one night

In 1962, Howard Lotsof, a 19-year-old heroin addict in New York, was given iboga by a chemist, which he tried for kicks. After consuming the bitter rootbark powder, he experienced a visionary tour of his early memories. Thirty hours later, when the effects had subsided, he found that he had lost all craving for heroin, and he had no withdrawal symptoms of any kind.

He then gave iboga to seven other addicts, and five stopped taking drugs immediately afterwards.

In 1985, Lotsof patented the ibogaine molecule for the purposes of addiction treatment, but could not get his treatment approved. In the interim years, ibogaine had been declared, along with LSD and several other psychedelic molecules, an illegal "schedule one" substance, with potential for abuse and no medical value. Although it found dedicated support among a ragtag group of countercultural activists and left-over Yippies, in 1995 the National Institutes of Health discontinued research into the substance, and pharmaceutical companies have since ignored it, perhaps due to low profit potential.

But now, interest in ibogaine is growing rapidly, passing a "tipping point" through a combination of anecdotal evidence, underground activism, journalism and scientific research. Articles have appeared in US publications ranging from the authoritative Journal Of The American Medical Association (Jama) to the populist Star. The Jama piece, Addiction Treatment Strives For Legitimacy, described the drug's stalled and tortured path through the regulatory agencies, noting that the treatment's frustrated supporters in the US have set up an "underground railroad" to give addicts access to the drug: "While unknowable scores of addicts continue ingesting ibogaine hydrochloride purified powder - or iboga whole-plant extract containing a dozen or more active alkaloids - few trained researchers witness the events."

The Star took a more colourful approach: "Rare Root Has Celebs Buzzing" it said, trumpeting the treatment as the hot ticket for "the numerous celebs who look for relief from their tough lives, a needle or prescription drugs." The article insinuates that "some of our favorite A-listers" not only get cured but enjoy the hallucinations as an illicit "fringe benefit." Outside the US, new clinics have opened in Mexico, Canada and Europe, offering reasonably priced, medically supervised opportunities to try ibogaine as a method of overcoming addiction.

Iboga is the sacred essence of the religion of the Bwiti tribe of Gabon and Cameroon. Most members of the tribe ingest it just once in their lives, during an initiation ceremony in which massive amounts of the powdered bark are consumed. Through this ritual, they become a baanzi, one who has seen the other world. "Iboga brings about the visual, tactile and auditory certainty of the irrefutable existence of the beyond," wrote the French chemist Robert Goutarel, who studied the Bwiti. The iboga bark's visionary power is produced by a complicated cocktail of alkaloids that seems to affect many of the known neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. Its complex molecular key may lock into the addiction receptors in a way that resets patterns and blocks the feedback loops that reinforce

In an essay on ibogaine's anti-addictive properties, Dr Carl Anderson of McLean Hospital, Virginia, speculated that "addiction is related to a disrupted relationship between the brain's two hemispheres, and that ibogaine may cause 'bi-hemispheric reintegration.' " Ibogaine also accesses REM sleep in a powerful way - many people need considerably less sleep for several months after an ibogaine trip.

Six years ago, I became a member of the Bwiti. I had heard about ibogaine in an anarchist bookstore in New York. On a magazine assignment, I went to Gabon and took iboga in an initiation ceremony. It was one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, experiences of my life. I had heard the substance described as "10 years of psychoanalysis in a single night" but, of course, I did not believe it. As the tribesmen played drums and sang around me until dawn, I lay on a concrete floor and journeyed back through the course of my life up to that point, witnessing forgotten scenes from childhood. At one point, I had a vision of a wooden statue walking across the room and sitting in front of me - later, I was told this was "the spirit of iboga" coming out to communicate with me.

My Bwiti initiation was complicated by a belligerent, greedy shaman who called himself The King and demanded more money from us before, during and after the ceremony. The King was also dissatisfied with the visions I described, and threatened to keep feeding me more iboga until I reported more impressive sights. The initiation, which lasted more than 20 hours, was ultimately liberating. At one point, I was shown my habitual overuse of alcohol and the effect it was having on my relationships, my writing and my psyche. When I returned to the US, I steadily reduced my drinking to a fraction of its previous level - an adjustment that seems to be permanent.

Recently, I tried ibogaine for a second time. I took it at the Ibogaine Association, a clinic in Rosarito, Mexico. I had been contacted by a heroin addict who had been inspired to take ibogaine after reading the book I wrote about my experiences: three months after his first treatment in Mexico, he was still clean - after a 12-year dependency. He told me, "Your book saved my life." He had given Dr Martin Polanco, the clinic's founder, a copy of my book, and he had offered me a free treatment. I was curious to see how the experience would differ away from its tribal context. My new friend wanted to take it again to reinforce the effect. We went down together.

Polanco estimates that his clinic has treated nearly 200 addicts in its first 18 months. About one third of those patients have managed to stay clean - either permanently or for a considerable period; many have returned for a second treatment. "Ibogaine needs to be much more widely available," Polanco says. "We still have a lot to learn about how to administer it, how to work with it." He does not think iboga is a cure for addiction, but is convinced it is a powerful tool for treatment - and, in some cases, it is a cure. He plans to set up several non-profit clinics. "This is something that should be non-profit," he says. "After all, it is a plant. It came up from the earth. It does give you some guidance. It shows you how you really are." He chuckles. "That can be scary."

The Ibogaine Therapy House in Vancouver, British Columbia, opened last November. "So far, we have treated 14 people quite well," says Marc Emery, the clinic's founder and head of the BC Marijuana Party. "They all say that their life has improved." Emery, nicknamed the "Prince of Pot", is funding the free clinic with proceeds from his successful hemp seed business. "Ibogaine stops the physical addiction without causing withdrawal," he says, "and it deals with the underlying psychological issues that lead to drug use."

Emery estimates that treatment for each patient at the clinic costs around $1,500, which includes two administrations of the drug. "When I found out about ibogaine, I felt that someone should be researching this, but the drug companies aren't interested because there is no commercial potential in this type of cure." Neither he nor Polanco is too concerned about ambiguous studies on ibogaine's toxicity. As the Jama article noted, "One reviewer wrote that the drug's toxicology profile was 'less than ideal', with bradycardia [an abnormally slow heartbeat] leading the list of worrisome adverse effects."

"From the masses of reports I have studied, a total of six people have died around the time they took ibogaine,"
says Emery. "Some were in poor health, some took other drugs at the time of their treatment. That doesn't scare me off. I have a lot of confidence in ibogaine."

At this stage, with little scientific study, the true toxicology of ibogaine is impossible to determine - the treatment is unlicensed in other countries and illegal in the US. The decision whether or not to take such a risk is entirely personal. Emery notes that his clinic screens for heart problems and other medical conditions that might contraindicate the treatment. It also gives patients small daily doses of iboga for two weeks after their initial treatment. "Iboga tends to make anything bad for you taste really crappy. If possible, we want our patients to quit cigarettes at the same time. We think that cigarettes can lead people back to other addictions."

Emery notes that nobody has so far criticised the project, and he is seeking support from local government. "Iboga tells you to change your ways or else - it goes over all of your health and personal issues. It is like the ghost of Christmas past."

Randy Hencken drove us from San Diego to the Ibogaine Association. A 25-year-old former heroin addict who had kicked the habit after two ibogaine treatments at the clinic, he was now working for the association, going to local methadone centres with flyers and keeping in contact with former patients. The first treatment costs $2,800, including an initial medical examination and several days' convalescence afterwards, but subsequent visits are only $600 - and it seems most addicts need at least two doses of ibogaine to avoid relapsing.

"The Ibogaine Association is in a quiet, dignified house overlooking the Pacific, decorated with Buddhist statues and yarn paintings from Mexico's Huichol people. I was given a medical examination by Polanco and a test dose of the drug. Twenty minutes after ingesting the test dose, I started to feel nervous and light-headed. As I took the other pills - a gel-capped extract of the rootbark powder - I realised I was in for a serious trip."

"The nurse led me back to my room. My head already spinning, I lay back on the bed as she hooked me up to an electrocardiograph and headphones playing ambient music. Why was I doing this again? Ibogaine is no pleasure trip. It not only causes violent nausea and vomiting, but many of the "visions" it induces amount to a painful parading of one's deepest faults and moral failings. I had a loud, unpleasant buzzing in my ears - the Bwiti probably pound on drums throughout the ceremony to overwhelm this noise. With my eyes closed, I watched as images began to emerge like patterns out of TV static. I saw a black man in a 1940s-looking suit. He was holding the hand of a five-year-old girl and leading her up some stairs. I understood that the girl in the vision was me and that the man represented the spirit of iboga. He was going to show me around his castle."


While startling at the time, such an encounter with a seeming "spirit of iboga" is a typical vision produced by the Bwiti sacrament. In many accounts, people describe meeting a primordial African couple in the jungle. Sometimes, the iboga spirit manifests itself as a "ball of light" that speaks to the baanzi, saying, "Do you know who I am? I am the chief of the world, I am the essential point!" Part of my trip took the form of an interview that was almost journalistic. I could ask direct questions of "Mr Iboga" and receive answers that were like emphatic, telegraphed shouts inside my head - even in my deeply stoned state, I managed to scrawl down in my notebook many of the responses.

I asked Mr Iboga what iboga was. I was told simply: "Primordial wisdom teacher of humanity!"

Later, my personal faults and lazy, decadent habits were replayed for me in detail. When I asked what I should do, the answer was stern and paternal: "Get it straight now!"

This ideal of straightness, uprightness, kept returning during the trip - a meaningful image for me, as I suffer from scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. When I was shown other faults that seemed rather petty and insignificant, I tried to protest that some of these things really didn't matter. Iboga would have none of it, insisting: "Everything matters!"

Iboga told me that I had no idea of the potential significance of even the smallest actions. I reviewed some events in my life and my friends' lives that seemed bitterly unfair. Yet, in this altered state, I felt I could sense a karmic pattern behind all of them, perhaps extending back to previous incarnations. Iboga affirmed this, dictating: "God is just!"

To many readers, these insights may sound trivial. They did not feel that way at the time. They were delivered with great force and minimalist precision. While they might have been manifestations of my own mind, they seemed like the voice of an "other." I never think in such direct terms about "God", and "primordial wisdom teacher" is not my syntax.

During the night, I had numerous visions and ponderous metaphysical insights. At one point, I seemed to fly through the solar system and into the sun, where winged beings were spinning around the core at a tremendous rate. Up close, they looked like the gold-tinged angels in early Renaissance paintings. Perhaps due to my recent reading of the Austrian visionary Rudolf Steiner, this whole trip had a kind of eco-Christian flavour to it. At one point, I thought of humans as an expression of the Gaian Mind, the earth's sensory organs and self-reflective capacities, at the planet's present state of development. If we are changing quickly right now, I considered, it is only because the earth has entered an accelerated phase of transformation, forcing a fast evolution in human consciousness.

The loud buzzing sound that ibogaine produced seemed to be something like a dial tone, as if the alkaloid were in itself a device for communicating on a different frequency than the usual one. Thinking of my girlfriend and our child, I realised that I was lucky - "You are lucky!" Mr Iboga echoed. I felt tremendous, tearful gratitude that I had been given a chance to live and love, to explore and try to understand so many things.

As so often these days, I pondered on the terrible state of the world - wars and terrors and environmental ruin. I saw sheets of radioactive flame devouring cities, huge crowds reduced to cinders. I asked Mr Iboga if this was going to be the tragic fate of humanity. The answer I received was startling - and reassuring: "Everything is safe in God's hands!"

As ludicrous as it may sound, this message has stayed with me and alleviated much paranoia and anxiety. While tripping, I decided that Mr Iboga was a form of enlightened mind, like a buddha who had chosen a different form, as a plant spirit rather than human teacher, to work with humanity, imparting a cosmic message of "tough love". At one point I asked if he would consider incarnating as a person, and the answer I got was, basically, "Already did that!" - implying that, in some previous cycle, he had passed through the perilous stages of evolution we are now navigating. I also came away from this trip with the suspicion that iboga was the original inspiration for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Biblical tale. The plant's placement in equatorial Africa, cradle of humanity, would support this idea, as well as its sobering moral rectitude. The "good and evil" that iboga reveals is not abstract but deeply personal, and rooted in the character of the individual.

Late in the night, I retched and vomited out bitter rootbark residue. I put on a CD of African drumming. Closing my eyes, I watched a group of smiling Bwiti women dance around a jungle bonfire. After that, the visions died down, although it was impossible to sleep until late the next night.

My friend in recovery had a less visionary experience. His faults were also paraded in front of him in repetitive loops that seemed endless. At one point, I heard him scream out, "No! No! No!" He saw a possible future for himself if he didn't kick heroin - becoming a dishwasher, sinking into dissolute old age with a bad back and a paunch. He asked what he could do to help save the world. He was told: "Clean up your room!" Meditating on his experience later, my friend quipped, "Ibogaine is God's way of saying, 'You're mine!' "

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/sep/20/booksonhealth.lifeandhealth
 
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mr peabody

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As meth use surges, first responders struggle to help those in crisis

by April Dembosky | May 1, 2019

Amelia and her roommate had been awake for two days straight. They decided to spray-paint the bathroom hot pink. After that, they laid into building and rebuilding the pens for the nine pit bull puppies they were raising in their two-bedroom apartment.

Then the itching started. It felt like pinpricks under the skin of her hands. Amelia was convinced she had scabies, skin lice. She spent hours in front of the mirror checking her skin and picking at her face. She even got a health team to come test the apartment. All they found were a few dust mites.

"At first, with meth, I remember thinking, 'What's the big deal?' " says Amelia, who asked that we not reveal her last name to protect her family's privacy. "But when you look at how crazy things got, everything was so out of control. Clearly, it IS a big deal."

While public health officials have focused on the opioid epidemic in recent years, another epidemic has been brewing quietly, but vigorously, behind the scenes. Methamphetamine use is surging in parts of the U.S., particularly the West, leaving firstresponders and addiction treatment providers struggling to handle a rising need.

Across the country, overdose deaths involving methamphetamine more than quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Admissions to treatment facilities for meth are up 17%. Hospitalizations related to meth jumped by about 245% from 2008 to 2015. And throughout the West and Midwest, 70% of local law enforcement agencies say meth is their biggest drug threat.

"But policymakers in Washington, D.C., haven't kept up, continuing to direct the bulk of funding and attention to opioids," says Steve Shoptaw, an addiction psychologist at UCLA in Los Angeles, where he hears one story after another about meth destroying people's lives.

"But when you're in D.C., where people are making decisions about how to deploy resources, those stories are very much muffled by the much louder story about the opioid epidemic," he says.

Even within drug treatment circles, where you'd think everyone would be on the same side, there's a divide. Opioid addiction advocates are afraid their efforts to gain acceptance for measures like needle exchange programs and safe injection sites will be threatened if meth advocates demand too much.

"The bottom line is, as Americans, we have just so much tolerance to deal with addiction," Shoptaw says. "And if the opioid users have taken that tolerance then there's no more."

So local lawmakers in San Francisco are trying to get a grip on the toll meth is taking on their city's public health system on their own. Mayor London Breed recently established a task force to combat the epidemic.

"It's something we really have to interrupt," says San Francisco District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who will co-chair the task force. "Over time, this does lasting damage to people's brains. If they do not have an underlying medical condition at the start, by the end, they will."

Since 2011, emergency room visits related to meth in San Francisco have jumped 600% to 1,965 visits in 2016, the last year for which ER data is available. Admissions to the hospital are up 400% to 193. And at San Francisco General Hospital, of 7,000 annual psychiatric emergency visits last year, 47% were people who were not necessarily mentally ill — they were high on meth.

"They can look so similar to someone that's experiencing chronic schizophrenia," says Dr. Anton Nigusse Bland, medical director of psychiatric emergency services at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. "It's almost indistinguishable in that moment."

"Someone who has methamphetamine-induced psychosis,"
he says, "they're often paranoid, they're thinking someone might be trying to harm them. Their perceptions are all off."

For example, someone starts walking into traffic on Sixth Street while shouting and taking off his shirt. A bystander calls 911 and reports a mentally disturbed person, and then the police come and deliver him to Nigusse Bland's department.

If the person is really agitated, doctors might administer a benzodiazepine to calm down, or even an anti-psychotic. Otherwise, the treatment is just waiting 12 to 16 hours for the meth to wear off. No more psychosis.

"Their thoughts are more organized, they're able to maintain adequate clothing. They're eating, they're communicating," Nigusse Bland says. "The improvement in the person is rather dramatic because it happens so quickly."

Trends in drug use come in waves

For some people recovering from addiction, the memories of meth-induced psychosis are part of what motivates them to stay sober.

For Amelia, the scabies scare is what alerted her mother to her addiction, forcing an intervention. Even though she did not have scabies, the itchy feeling and the fear are vivid, even a year and a half later.

"I still don't really want to say it out loud that it wasn't real," says Amelia, now 33.

For Kim, another woman in recovery, there was one day last year when she says she went wine tasting with a friend in Sonoma. She was high on Xanax and speed.

"I was crazy," says Kim, 47, who also asked that we not reveal her last name. "Meth causes people to act completely insane."

She and her friend got in an argument in the car. Kim thought someone was behind them, following them. She was utterly convinced. And she had to get away.

"I jumped out of the car and started running, and I literally ran a mile. I went through water, went up a tree, and I was literally running for my life," she says. "I literally thought I was being chased."

Kim was soaking wet when she walked into a woman's house, woke her from bed and asked for help. When the woman went to call the police, Kim left and found another woman's empty guest house to sleep in. Kim says she just wanted to get warm.

"But then I woke up and stole her car," she says.

That's how Kim ended up in jail, in a residential treatment program in San Francisco, part of the steady rise in people seeking help for meth addiction. Rehab admissions in San Francisco for meth are up 25% since 2015.

"The trend in rising stimulant use is nationwide: cocaine on the East Coast, meth on the West Coast," says Dr. Daniel Ciccarone, a professor of medicine and substance use researcher at the University of California, San Francisco.

"It is an epidemic wave that's coming, that's already here," he says. "But it hasn't fully reached our public consciousness."

"Drug preferences are generational,"
Ciccarone says. "They change with the hairstyles and clothing choices, like bell bottoms or leg warmers. It was heroin in the 1970s, cocaine and crack in the '80s. Then opiate pills. Then methamphetamine. Then heroin. And now meth again."

"The culture creates this notion of let's go up, let's not go down,"
Ciccarone says. "New people coming into drug use are saying, 'Whoa, I don't really want to do that. I hear it's deadly; people look really doped up and they're not that fun to be with. I'm going in a different direction.' "

Kim has been with meth through two waves. When she got into speed in the 1990s, she was hanging out with a lot of bikers, going to clubs in San Francisco.

"Now what I see, in any neighborhood, you can find it. It's not the same as it used to be where it was kind of taboo," Kim says. "It's more socially accepted now."



Dying from meth

A hint about who is using meth today comes from the data on deaths. Meth is not as lethal as opioids: 47,600 people died of opioid-related overdoses in 2017 compared to 10,333 deaths involving meth. (About half of those involved a mix of meth and opioids.) But the death rate for meth has been rising. Meth-related deaths in San Francisco doubled since 2011 and more than quadrupled nationally. This is another indication that more people are using meth and that today's supply is very potent, says UCSF's Ciccarone.

Another hypothesis that experts have come up with to explain the growth in meth-related overdoses is that meth users are aging. Most meth deaths are from brain hemorrhage or a heart attack, which would be unusual for a 20-year-old.

"Because your tissue is so healthy at that age," says Phillip Coffin, a physician and the director of substance use research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "Whereas when you're 55 years old and using methamphetamine, you might be at higher risk for bursting a vessel and bleeding and dying from that."

Older adults have higher blood pressure, maybe heart disease, that makes their heart weaker.

"So stimulant-related death, really, you shouldn't see it affect so many young people," Coffin says.

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation runs a 12-week program called Positive Reinforcement Opportunity Project to help men who have sex with men stop using meth. The project's program manager, Rick Andrews, has noticed a trend in older men coming in for help.

"Older gentlemen who grew up in the time of HIV and AIDS initially, maybe they led very safe lifestyles, and now they're older," he says.

Now that things are different with HIV — there's treatment, there's a prevention pill, PrEP — they're taking a new approach to the often drug-fueled party scene.

"They feel like they've missed out and they want to have a little fun and make up for lost time maybe," Andrews says.

Another explanation for the rising death rate is that meth is contaminated. And that affects everyone, old and young. Last year, three young people in San Francisco died after smoking meth together. It turns out the meth had fentanyl in it. The synthetic opioid has been causing waves of heroin overdoses across the country, but now it's showing up mixed into cocaine and meth.

Most researchers believe the contamination is accidental.

"The whole idea of the evil drug pusher who's trying to create a market by getting their cocaine users hooked on fentanyl — I would highly doubt that," says UCSF's Ciccarone.

Dealers know that people are particular about their drugs, he says. It doesn't make sense to alienate a customer base like that. He compares it to coffee drinkers' preference for a favorite style of coffee.

"Folks that are doing hardcore illicit drugs can be pretty fussy, too," he says. "And most meth users don't want an unbeknownst fentanyl put into their methamphetamine."

"More likely,"
Ciccarone says, "the same table that was used to cut and bag fentanyl later got used to bag meth."

Deliberate or not, health officials call this poisoning. They started distributing fentanyl test strips to meth users so they can test their drugs. But counselors like Rick Andrews say the strips aren't refined — even trace amounts will give a positive result.

"I hear guys saying, 'Oh, there's test strips and I'm testing. It's positive, but I do it anyway and everything's fine,' " Andrews says.

"That's why they're also giving out Narcan, the nasal spray that can reverse an opioid overdose," Andrews says. "They're telling meth users to carry it just in case."

Recovery

Over her two decades of meth use, Kim has been through drug treatment more than a dozen times. Relapse is part of recovery, and among meth users, 60% will start using again within a year of finishing treatment. Unlike opioids, there are no medication treatments for meth addiction, which makes it particularly hard to treat.

Kim finished her last round of treatment in April at a six-month residential program for women in San Francisco called The Epiphany Center. She came to Epiphany directly from jail, after serving time for her housewarming spree and stealing the car. She says in the first 30 days, all she could do was try to clear the chaos from her mind.

"You have to get used to sitting with yourself, which is essential for life, is to get along with your own self," she says.

Kim is hopeful that this recent treatment will stick. She's living in transitional housing now, she has a job, and she has been accepted to a program at the University of California, Berkeley to finish her college degree.

"I've gone through 12 different programs and it's been for my children, for my mom, for the courts. I've never come to be there for myself," Kim says. "So it's like I've come to a place where it has to be for me."

 
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mr peabody

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“It’s not the sort of thing anyone would ever want to repeat”*

Shea Prueger speaks while swinging in a hanging wicker garden chair at a house in Costa Rica, 30 miles west of the capital city of San Jose. The 30-year-old used to live in New York City, work as a model and shoot up heroin. Today she is recalling a desperate attempt five years ago to break her opiate addiction with a psychoactive drug called ibogaine.

She had tried methadone, Suboxone, Narcotics Anonymous and other treatments. Nothing worked. So for two days in 2011 she lay on a mattress in a concrete-walled room in an underground clinic in Guatemala, unable to move, nauseated, while her mind plumbed the deeper recesses of hell. She stayed clean for nine months, relapsed once in June 2012 and says she has not used any narcotics since. “Ibogaine,” she insists, “did for me what no other recovery treatment could do.”

Recovered addicts, along with a handful of scientists, argue that a dose of ibogaine, a substance derived from a rain-forest shrub called Tabernanthe iboga, can “reset” the addiction centers of the brain, freeing people from cravings. As claims have spread, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people have been flocking to clinics primarily located in Mexico and Central America, where the drug is obtainable - it is illegal in the U.S. In 2006 there were a handful of ibogaine clinics operating worldwide; today, by some estimates, there are around 40. Clinic operators claim that a dose can curb addictive behavior, as well as depression, in about 70 percent of patients.

That success rate, if real, would make ibogaine a sorely needed remedy for an exploding problem. In the U.S., most research indicates that heroin addiction has doubled since 2007, reaching upward of one million addicts today. The increase in needle use has also triggered a new surge in HIV infections. Overall, in 2014 7.1 million Americans had some kind of serious drug problem, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Many seek help but do so in vain. For example, 40 to 60 percent of treated substance-abuse patients will relapse. About 80 percent do so if they stop taking methadone, the most common opiate replacement therapy.

Ibogaine proponents say it does a better job because it works on many neural pathways at the same time, not just one, as do other treatments. Buoyed by these ideas, two companies, one with partial funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, are currently developing medications based on ibogaine derivatives.

The drug does have a catch: it can kill its users. That is why it is off-limits in the U.S., where the substance has the most restrictive designation possible from the DEA. During treatment patients often suffer from cardiac arrhythmia, which can lead to cardiac arrest and sometimes death. Published medical reports tie ibogaine to 19 fatalities in 3,500 treatments between 1990 and 2008. Because informal clinics such as the one in Guatemala may not track all adverse events, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the U.K. estimates that the fatality rate may be even higher, reaching one in every 300 treatments. Animal studies suggest that the substance, when it does not kill, produces lasting brain damage. “Do we need ibogaine? Not if it there is a toxic part,” says Herbert Kleber, a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center.

Yet desperate addicts, failed by methadone, counseling and other treatments, are undeterred by these warnings. Many of them see ibogaine—and all its heart-stopping, brain-degenerating risks—as their last, best chance to defeat addiction.

*From the article here: https://www.jasonmischka.com/ibogaine/

Dr. Bruno Chaves of Brazil has performed over 1200 treatments with ibogaine in hospital without a single adverse event. 62% of those treated remain abstinent long term. Dr. Chaves is currently accepting patients for ibogaine treatment in São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, contact Dr. Chaves directly : [email protected] -pb​
 
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Low-tech, low-cost test strips show promise for reducing fentanyl overdoses.

Test strip fights fentanyl overdoses

by Katrina Krämer | 7 June 2017

Simple chemical analysis helps drug users prevent overdosing on deadly opioid.

A test strip that was originally developed for doctors to determine if patients are taking their pain medication is now helping stop drug users overdosing. The simple test can spot the presence of fentanyl, a powerful opioid drug sometimes added to heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

‘Over the past five years there has been an increasing proportion of overdoses in our region that we detect fentanyl in,’ says Mark Lysyshyn, lead medical health officer at Vancouver Coastal Health in Canada. ‘It is really a product contamination issue. People are trying to take other drugs, typically opioids like heroin, but instead they are getting fentanyl.’

Drug users can easily overdose on fentanyl, since the synthetic opioid is up to 100 times more potent than heroin or morphine. In British Columbia alone, 330 people died from fentanyl overdose in the first nine months of 2016. In comparison, between 2009 and 2014, there were 665 fentanyl-related deaths in the whole of Canada.

In July 2016, the supervised injection site Insite in Vancouver started handing out simple analytical test strips to drug users so they can check their products for fentanyl before injecting. While only a few of the 600 daily Insite visitors take up the offer, those who do find fentanyl are 10 times more likely to reduce their dose and 25% less likely to overdose. Most people test their drugs after, rather than before, use. However, detecting fentanyl in their drugs post consumption might still make users more careful in the future, Lysyshyn points out.

Although the test was never meant for this purpose – it was developed to detect tiny amounts of fentanyl in urine in people who have been prescribed the drug – it is simple enough to be used by laypeople. ‘We worked with our local police and tried a bunch of technologies, but some of the more complicated technologies, things like a mass spectrometer or ion scanner, were just too expensive,’ explains Lysyshyn. Since the health service’s pilot project operates on a shoestring budget, they opted for a low tech solution.

The test is based on antibodies that specifically bind to fentanyl, explains Shing Kwan Tse, a scientist at BTNX, the biotech company that produces the test strips used at Insite. ‘As the sample runs up the membrane it binds to the dye in the strip then gives you a visual readout in a similar way a pregnancy test does,’ adds David Campbell, business manager at SureScreen Diagnostics, which partners with BTNX and produces similar test strips for the European market.

"This is the first time drug checking has been shown to provide a positive health outcome," Lysyshyn says. Other needle exchanges in the US and Canada have now started handing out fentanyl test strips to drug users.

However, the illicit drug market is developing quickly, with new fentanyl analogues like carfentanyl – 100 times more than potent fentanyl – now hitting the streets. ‘We’re working on developing the test further to see if we can pick up some analogues of fentanyl,’ says Iqbal Sunderani, president and chief executive of BTNX. ‘One of the problems is keeping ahead of the curve,’ Campbell agrees.

 
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Michael Weese is homeless and struggles with meth addiction.

Meth devilishly hard to kick for addicts: ‘No effective treatment’

by Kevin Fagan | San Francisco Chronicle | Oct 26 2019

As she sat on Turk Street sucking in a deep pull from her lit “bubble,” or methamphetamine pipe, Roche shook her head.

“Kick meth? Are you kidding?” she said. Roche, a 20-something who said she only goes by the one name in the streets where she sleeps, blames her homelessness, her nagging cough and her constant jitters on meth. But she said she feels there is nothing she can do about it.

“When it’s got you, it’s got you,” she said. “I have about 10 friends who are dead from smoking this — and not just from fentanyl being in it — and someday that will probably be me.”

Doctors feel just as confounded as Roche does about the meth epidemic, which has long been a widespread crisis in San Francisco’s homeless community, destroying countless lives. While meth has been a problem for more than two decades, city officials say they’ve seen a huge uptick in its use over the past decade, and it’s contributed to what is widely seen as a mental health crisis on the city’s streets.

Officials announced plans last week for developing a meth sobering center in an attempt to move addicts off the street. But getting users into effective treatment won’t be as easy.

The drug is probably the hardest to treat for addiction, they say, largely because there is no replacement medication, such as methadone, which helps stave off cravings for heroin.

Even crack cocaine, which also has no replacement medication, is easier to kick than meth, most experts agree.

“It’s a super frustrating place for a physician to be in,” said Dr. Josh Bamberger, a longtime street addiction specialist and assistant director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative research institute at UCSF. “The take-home lesson is that we have no effective medical treatment for amphetamine addiction."

“We’ve tried so many medications — antipsychotics, antidepressants, Adderall and more, but none of them has a long-term impact on the addiction. It is very hard to treat.”


"One of the best rehabilitation techniques is called “contingency management,” in which addicts are paid to stay clean, with the amount going up every week. One key — as with any substance abuse treatment program, he said — is to get addicts housed first, if they aren’t already," he said.

“You pay $10 one week, $20 the next, and so on,” Bamberger said. “Then if you run the table and go 11 or 12 weeks without using, you have a good chance of staying clean. It’s not great, but it seems to be the best way right now.”

He said the city’s plan for a sobering center for meth addicts experiencing crises is good for several reasons, including that it will relieve stress on the more expensive hospital emergency rooms.

“Overall, it takes about 12 to 24 hours to come down from acute methamphetamine intoxication, and a sobering center can be useful for that,” he said.

“However, some people continue to exhibit psychotic behavior for days, or even months. And that can involve not just paranoid delusions, but also formication (named after the formic acid ants exude), where you feel you have ants or worms under your skin. It’s awful.”

He said one particularly disturbing effect of intensive methamphetamine use is that the change it makes in brain chemistry is “acute, and it can be long term.”

“It can ‘concretize’ existing mental conditions,” Bamberger said, meaning worsen them in hard-to-reverse ways. “In my 30 years of practice in San Francisco, there is no question that my least favorite drug is methamphetamine.”


Dr. Bruno Chaves has performed over 1200 treatments with ibogaine in hospital without a single adverse event. 62% of those treated have remained abstinent long term. Dr. Chaves is currently accepting new patients for treatment in hospital in São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, contact Dr. Chaves directly at : [email protected] -pb
 
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Is ibogaine treatment in Brazil finally stepping out from the underground?

by Dr. Bruno Rasmussen Chaves

Ibogaine, like other psychedelics, such as MDMA, ayahuasca, and psilocybin, has been shown to have important medicinal values. It is extracted from an African root and, besides its powerful mind-altering effects, it really appears to help people to quit drug abuse, sometimes after a single session, or, in less successful cases, helps stabilizing their use. This appears to happen with opiates, stimulants like cocaine and crack cocaine, alcohol, and even with process addictions, like gambling or eating disorders. For example ibogaine commonly stops cravings and withdrawal symptoms of opiate addiction in around 24–36 hours.

However, this treatment has some risks. Ibogaine affects heart rate, and sometimes people can have serious arrhythmias after taking it in inappropriate conditions. Ibogaine shouldn’t be given to people with some health issues, it shouldn’t be mixed with some medicines, and people must do certain lab tests before taking it; so, it is important to have medical supervision throughout the process.

Ibogaine is a scheduled drug in some countries, like the United States; but it is unregulated in the majority of them, such as Brazil, where it is unscheduled, although not yet recognized as a medicine. This status has stimulated a growing network of underground Ibogaine providers, sometimes providing treatments in less than ideal conditions.

I am a physician, a general practitioner, and gastroenterology specialist, who graduated in 1984; I have been working with ibogaine in Brazil since 1994. In the early days, it was totally unregulated; Brazil doesn’t even have a regulation agency, like Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in US. In 1997, ANVISA, the National Agency on Sanitary Vigilance, was founded, and, although it never totally regulated ibogaine, it left a door opened for its importation and medical use.

ANVISA allows the importation of ibogaine if the person who will take it has a medical prescription, and it is for personal, not commercial, use. This kind of importation, “for personal use only,” is legal, but it is bureaucratic and not cost effective. This is because ibogaine is not banned or scheduled, but simply unregulated. This means that it was possible for me to legally conduct more than 1000 ibogaine treatments since 1994. I used the plant medicine mainly for cocaine and crack cocaine users, since heroin and other opiates are not prevalent here.

During this period of time, I participated in a scientific study at the Federal University in Sao Paulo (UNIFESP) that studied the effects of ibogaine and evaluated the procedures of administration, including the reactions of the patients to the psychoactive substance, safety issues, and treatment outcomes. This work was published in November, 2014, in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

The results were surprising: 75 patients taking mainly cocaine and crack cocaine were followed for a year; it was concluded that ibogaine treatment with psychotherapy is effective, with around 62% of the patients staying clean during the follow-up assessment; and safe, if it is done in a legal setting, in a hospital environment with proper medical supervision, and with good quality medicine. These results fit with another study, published in January 2017, that showed that ibogaine treatment, even when it doesn’t promote complete abstinence for substance abuse, improves the patient’s quality of life.

In January, 2016, based mainly in the 2014 study, and under the pressure of drug policy activists and researchers, the Sao Paulo’s State Council on Drug Policy, a government institution that manages the drug policy in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, published some resolutions (that don’t have the power of a law, but are nevertheless government recommendations) stating that more research should be done on ibogaine, and that ibogaine treatments should be done in a hospital, with medical and psychological support.

In August of 2016, there was a fatality apparently linked to ibogaine in an underground clinic in Brazil. Authorities closed the clinic subsequently, stating that it didn’t have appropriate environment, equipment, and staff necessary to deal with this kind of situation. More information about this event is expected as authorities investigate it further.

In November 2016, ANVISA banned all non-pharmaceutical ibogaine preparations, including homemade and unofficial lab preparations. Only pharmaceutical grade ibogaine, made under controlled procedures, is allowed to be used in a therapeutic setting. The medicine must have a clear origin and a purity certificate and documentation to be legally imported.

We have here the unfolding process of our goal is to make ibogaine fully legal and available to everyone who needs it in Brazil. We are not fully satisfied with all the bureaucracy, special authorizations and exceptions regulations needed to import such an effective and life-saving medicine. We want complete, cheaper, and non-bureaucratic access to treatments in safe, supervised sites. So, we decided to follow the medical path to ibogaine approval here in Brazil, since we think this will be the most effective approach.

In order to achieve this, there is a group in which I take part, working to “register” ibogaine as a medicine, under ANVISA’s guidance. This means proving to ANVISA that it works and that it’s safe, hopefully, leading ANVISA to recognize it as an official medicine. This would facilitate importation, minimize bureaucracy and costs, and would facilitate the use of ibogaine in hospitals all over the country. ANVISA will request a lot of documents and research with data about safety, effectiveness, and fabrication procedures in order to see if our efforts are sufficient to fit ANVISA’s criteria.

We are pretty sure that we will achieve this, and, in less than 5 years. Ibogaine will emerge from the underground to be an easy-to-access and valuable tool to help people with substance abuse problems to regain control of their lives, with treatments in safe places with appropriate and trained supervision. I believe the Brazilian model could inspire other countries and other regulatory agencies to do the same; not only with ibogaine but also with all the highly valuable medicines that comprise the so-called “psychedelics.”

Dr. Bruno Chaves of Brazil has performed over 1200 treatments with ibogaine in hospital without a single adverse event. 62% of those treated remain abstinent long term. Dr. Chaves is currently accepting patients for ibogaine treatment in São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, contact Dr. Chaves directly at this email address: [email protected]

https://chacruna.net/ibogaine-treatm...l-underground/
 
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mr peabody

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"Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave..."

James was addicted to meth

The Fix

I've destroyed everything and everyone in my life, he confides to us. I can't go home again. I've lied, cheated and stolen; I've been fired from jobs, lived on the street, done so much damage that all the amends in the world wouldn't begin to fix it. I can't stay clean, even though I know I have to. That's my biggest fear, that I'll get out of here and go right back to the same life as before. If that happens, I'm already done. I might as well be dead already.

James is restless as he leaves the beach house for the clinic on the morning of his ibogaine session. He tells us he got zero sleep - his mind just wouldn't leave him alone, berating him with all the fear and failure he had shared with us. Still, as he pulls away in the van bound for Tijuana, he flashes a confident smile and two thumbs up.

When James returns to the beach house two days after treatment, he looks as if he's been to war. He's pale and shaky, doesn't want to talk, says he doesn't mean to be rude but is anyway. He manages a crooked grin in our direction. Unbelievable, he rasps.

2 days post-treatment, we are sitting together under the watchful care of Anny Ortiz, the onsite therapist. Through biofeedback and breathing, she's taken James into a deep state of relaxation. His eyes are closed, his body open, his words unchecked as he recounts the horrors of the first few hours of his ibogaine treatment.

Then I saw something on the other side of all that, something bright and luminous. I knew I had to get there but I was stuck in all this shit and noise, and the terrible things I've done to people and the even worse things people have done to me. And every time I'd try to get out, I'd get sucked right back in, and I'd feel that rage rising up again and I would do anything to make it stop! It's like, do I have to die?! And then this very clear voice said: "Don't die. Forgive."

James pauses. His lips quiver; his eyelids tighten. And right there, before our eyes, James seems to kick back into his ibogaine experience. His breath sharpens; his movements become twitches and shivers. After a time the tears come, for all of us, actually. His words pour out as he starts to forgive himself, his parents, the people in his life, friends and enemies, anyone who's ever hurt him, anyone hes ever hurt; he's naming names, releasing rivers of pain and regret, asking to be cleansed, forgiven. His voice becomes barely audible, his whispered prayers punctuated by such statements as: So beautiful, Oh my God, and Thank you.

10 minutes later James is holding us in a big group hug. I love you guys so much, he says. Thank you for being with me for this experience. It means more to me than you'll ever know.

Over the next few days, James inner and outer talk begins to change. He articulates his vision for a new life. He tells us he believes that now its possible to repair some of the damage in his life. Even more important, he says, for the first time he feels as if he'll be able to stay clean. While still at the clinic, he reconnects with his mom, who invites him to come back home. He also reaches out to his former employer (who fired him for using drugs) and is told that when he's ready, there's still a job for him.

James remains in touch with us post-treatment. His phone calls are sweet, upbeat, full of optimism and enthusiasm. He's back to work and has moved into a sober living community.​
 
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Rising meth-involved deaths of major concern

Filtermag.org | Jul 22 2019

For the first time since the 1990s, fatal drug overdoses decreased in 2018, according to preliminary Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. But journalists and advocates alike caution against making definitive conclusions about the trajectory of the crisis — an estimated 66,000 deaths still occurred last year — until final numbers are available later this year. For Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) Executive Director Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, the country still has “a long way to go” until a victory can be claimed.

The rising number of overdose deaths involving stimulants is one such area of concern, in particular, a category that includes methamphetamine, are estimated by the CDC to be associated with nearly 13,000 deaths nationwide in 2018—the equivalent figure for 2017 stood at 10,000.

“There are a lot of factors that contribute to a decrease in prescription opioid drug-involved deaths, namely that legislation has been passed throughout the country to limit people’s access to prescription opioids, which actually isn’t an evidence-based solution,” said Kristen Marshall, Harm Reduction Coalition’s program manager for the DOPE Project. “In fact, limiting people’s access to resources—in this case, opioids—means they will need to get their needs met some other way, and will switch to other opioids, like heroin.”

Georgia mirrors the national trend of dropping numbers of deaths involving prescription opioids and increasing numbers of those involving methamphetamine. In 2018, 392 and 390 people, respectively, died from overdoses involving meth and prescription opioids like oxycodone or morphine. In contrast to national trends, meth is the most common drug involved in overdose deaths in Georgia—even more so than synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which have been recognized by the CDC as driving the “third wave” of the crisis since 2013.

The increasing number of meth-involved overdose deaths could be, in part, attributed to fentanyl-adulterated supply. Illicit cocaine and meth seized by law enforcement on the street level “almost always” contain fentanyl, commented Jack Killorin, public safety director for the Overdose Response Strategy, a public health and public safety collaboration of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program.

Some Atlanta meth users are increasingly injecting the drug, versus sniffing or smoking it, which greatly increases harms and risks associated with its use. People admitted to the city’s public drug treatment programs who reported injection use of meth doubled between 2005 and 2017, leaping from 11 percent to 23 percent.

In 2015, 9 percent of Atlanta’s surveyed injection drug users—more than half of whom were black—reported they injected methamphetamine. Back in 2006 (the rate has likely changed since) 14 percent of men who have sex with men (MSM) and use meth reported that they have injected the stimulant, though it was considered the least preferable consumption route. In 2017, nearly a quarter of all individuals “seeking treatment in the city” were injection meth users.

Skeptics of the CDC’s data point out that overdose deaths do not fully capture the scope of the crisis. “People are dying of other causes before overdosing,” tweeted Keith Brown, the director of Health and Harm Reduction at the Katal Center. For example, people who are inject drugs face higher risks of HIV transmission and its related complications.

In the context of meth use, and especially among queer men, injecting the drug is often “accompanied” with unprotected anal sex. Meth can make the body more vulnerable to HIV transmission because of its drying effect on mucosa, which can lead to tearing and exposure. In 2007, 35 percent of current new HIV infections among Atlanta‘s MSM were linked to methamphetamine use.

In addition to the drug’s physiological harms, social forces threaten meth users’ lives. From 2012 to 2017, one in five of people killed by police in Atlanta tested positive for meth, reported the Seattle Times.

More broadly, Dr. Sheila Vakharia, a drug policy researcher at DPA’s Office of Academic Engagement, notes that meth is often used by people who are homeless or unstably housed to stay awake and remain safe. “Meth use needs to be seen within broader social and economic factors,” she said.

As policy responses to the overdose crisis become an increasingly-popular talking point among politicians, Vakharia stresses that “the solutions to opioids don’t necessarily translate to stimulants. People want simple solutions, but it’s more complicated.”


Dr. Bruno Chaves has performed over 1200 treatments with ibogaine in hospital without a single adverse event. 62% of those treated remain abstinent long term. Dr. Chaves is currently accepting new patients for treatment in hospital in São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, contact Dr. Chaves directly : [email protected] -pb
 
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Meth use surging in the U.S.*

by Martha Bebinger | NPR | Jul 29 2019

Methamphetamine, an illegal drug that sends the body into overdrive, is surging through the United States. Federal drug data provided exclusively to NPR show seizures of meth by authorities have spiked 142%.

"Seizures indicate increasing trafficking, so if seizures have more than doubled, it probably means more than double trafficking in meth," says John Eadie, public health coordinator for the federal government's National Emerging Threats Initiative.

Overdose deaths involving meth and other stimulants rose last year by 21% (from 10,749 to 12,987) according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths from cocaine and fentanyl were up too.

For decades, meth wasn't widely available in every region of the country, but now that's changing. Seizures of meth are up in nearly every state.

"It was all about the meth"

There are many paths to meth use. Some drug users say they take it to pick themselves up after taking heroin or fentanyl. Those on the street say they take it to stay awake at night and avoid rape or robbery. Others pick up meth because they are terrified of fentanyl, the opioid that can shut down breathing in seconds.


Mike Leslie

"I knew if I went back to using fentanyl, I would likely overdose and die,"
says Mike Leslie, 37, who has overdosed on fentanyl twice.

Leslie found his way to meth after more than 20 years of drug use that started with marijuana and alcohol, progressed to cocaine and then led to opioids: pain pills, heroin and fentanyl. Leslie had been off fentanyl for about four years last fall when he ran into an old acquaintance on the streets of Boston and that urge to get high took over.

"He was selling meth. It was basically the one thing out there that I hadn't tried," Leslie says. "It was readily available, so I tried it."

Leslie says meth wrecked his life so fast that he hardly knew what was happening. He kept working while on heroin, but four months after his first hit of meth, he lost his job as a recovery outreach worker, dropped out of graduate school and was sleeping on the floor of a train station.

"As soon as I tried it, I was no longer functioning," Leslie says. "It was all about the meth."

Meth means new problems and dangers for first responders

The complications are not news to Bradley Osgood, the chief of police in Concord, N.H., which has one of the highest opioid overdose death rates in the United States.

"Methamphetamine just presents a whole new issue for us," says Osgood, "and our officers are getting hurt. We've had concussions. We've had broken hands."

He says officers may need to run through traffic after someone who is high and leaping between cars. Sometimes most of the nine Concord officers on duty at any one time are needed to restrain one person thrashing about on meth. Concord police get crisis intervention training and know how to calm residents who have uncontrolled mental health issues, but Osgood says those same techniques don't seem to work with people high on meth.

*From the article here :
 
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I'd love personally to try ibogaine, having been curious about the compound since reading about it aged 14 in 2008. While I have no interest in stopping stimulant use, if nothing else I would save money.. mainly I have always just wanted to trip on ibogaine, which I understand is a highly substituted tryptamine, apparently having the 5ht2a agonism but also possessing an additional more dissociative effect. Noting that I have extensive experience with seritonergic psychedelics and the NMDA antagonist void induced by ketamine and DXM, could someone try to describe the headspace and visuals of ibogaine? Say contrasted with just psilocybin or just DXM/ketamine. signed, I do drugs with Belasarius
 

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"What's it gonna take?"

Heart failure and death

Medical Xpress | Aug 22 2019

Although frequently overshadowed by the opioid epidemic, surging methamphetamine use nationally and around the world has fueled a chilling crisis of its own, according to a new report.

The result is a significant increase in meth-related deaths from unique cardiovascular consequences that researchers are trying to understand.

Methamphetamines can cause blood vessels to constrict and spasm, dangerous spikes in blood pressure, and the rewiring of the heart's electrical system, among other potentially fatal heart-related problems.

"Cardiovascular disease represents the second-leading cause of death among methamphetamine abusers following only accidental overdose," according to the report published Wednesday in the American Heart Association's journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

The report reviews current research on methamphetamine and the drug's effect on heart disease and stroke. "It discusses potential mechanisms behind those effects and highlights our deficiencies in understanding how to treat methamphetamine-associated cardiovascular dysfunction."

Methamphetamine, also known as crank, ice, crystal meth, speed and glass, is a highly addictive stimulant that can be smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected.

Meth users tend to show evidence of cardiovascular disease at greater intensity and at younger-than-typical ages, according to the report. The review also looked at how methamphetamine leads to a type of blood pressure that affects the heart and the arteries in the lungs, and how it can lead to an abnormal heart rhythm, called arrhythmia, and change in the structure of the heart muscle, or cardiomyopathy.

The drug's popularity has been reflected in emergency room visits. Amphetamine-related admissions to hospitals soared by more than 270 percent between 2008 and 2015, according to a study published last fall.

One reason for the drug's growth is that methamphetamine has been easier, and cheaper, to buy. Seizures at the U.S.-Mexico border increased tenfold from 2010 to 2018. A surplus of the drug has been documented in Southeast Asia.

But the rise in methamphetamine use has been overshadowed by an opioid epidemic full of headline-grabbing tragedies.

"When people look at overdose deaths from drugs, opioid is a much bigger problem. But what people are overlooking is the fact that meth users, while they're not overdosing, they're dying of other things. They're dying of heart attacks, they're dying of heart failure," said Wayne Orr, senior author of the report.

"A lot of the time, a meth user will come off of the methamphetamines, try to get clean, and the severe dysfunction in their cardiovascular system really limits their ability to function in society to work, and that can lead to enhanced relapses," said Orr, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.

The new report is a thorough review of what cardiologists are increasingly facing, said Dr. Isac Thomas, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

"It's a growing body of literature but frankly, there's an overall dearth of research. This problem is just rapidly accelerating," said Thomas, who was not involved in the report but has conducted several studies on the topic. Earlier this year, he released research that found widespread meth use has created a unique form of severe heart failure, often in younger patients.

"With production, trafficking and potency on the rise, methamphetamine is expanding to more and more parts of the country and the world," Thomas said, "and that's outpacing our knowledge of how to manage and treat it, and what kind of mechanisms are involved in terms of how it's causing cardiovascular disease."

For the medical community, the report discusses potential mechanics involved in the heart damage at a molecular level. It also stresses the need for more research and public awareness.

"I'm quite sure that people who use meth don't understand or appreciate the damage they're doing to their cardiovascular system. That even if they do get clean, the damage already there could be long-lasting," said lead author Chris Kevil, vice chancellor for research and professor of pathology at LSU Health Shreveport.

He said he and his colleagues can recite stories of people who have tried to bounce back from meth use.

"They've gotten clean after using meth for many years, and then all of a sudden they have a massive heart attack due to just getting excited at their son's football game," Kevil said. "They don't realize that it's like a ticking bomb in them. On top of that, neither do their primary care physicians, most likely. This is an education concept for both the public and health care professionals."

 
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NYC meth deaths up sharply*

by Duncan Osborne | GCN | Sep 4 2019

While overdose deaths from meth use continue to be a small part of all drug overdose deaths in New York City, a significant increase in meth overdose deaths that was first seen in 2015 and 2016 continued into 2017 and 2018.

There were 66 meth overdose deaths in the city in 2018 and 64 such deaths in 2017 — compared to just 18 in 2013.

Last year, benzodiazepines were also present in 52 percent of the meth-involved deaths and fentanyl was present in 48 percent of the methamphetamine deaths, according to data from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Cocaine was found in 39 percent of overdose deaths involving meth in 2018.

Nationally, fentanyl, an opioid, has been blamed for a substantial increase in drug overdose deaths in recent years, with the drug being found mixed with heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other substances.

Overall, there were 1,444 overdose deaths in New York City in 2018. Sixty percent of 2018 overdose deaths in the city involved the use of fentanyl, followed by heroin being present in 51 percent of such fatalities.

The city health department continues to recommend that people who are using drugs carry naloxone, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid drug overdose, and advises residents to not mix drugs. Users should also be accompanied by others who can administer naloxone if the medication is needed.

“The decrease in drug overdose deaths is promising, but far too many New Yorkers are still dying,” Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city’s health commissioner, said in a statement regarding the downturn in total deaths. “We are closely monitoring the trends of the epidemic as they evolve and responding to upticks in emergency department visits and deaths with targeted strategies and community engagement. We remain firmly committed to expanding life-saving services and caring for New Yorkers who use drugs.”

The city health department reported that there were 55 methamphetamine overdose deaths in the city in 2016 and 61 such deaths in 2015. Those numbers represent an increase of more than 200 percent compared to the 18 overdose deaths attributable to meth in 2013. Compared to the 35 meth overdose deaths in 2014, the increases in 2015 and 2016 — 74 percent and 57 percent, respectively — are smaller, but altogether the data clearly indicate a trend of increases in deaths attributable to crystal.

*From the article here :

Dr. Bruno Chaves has performed over 1200 treatments with ibogaine in hospital without a single adverse event. 62% of those treated remain abstinent long term. Dr. Chaves is currently accepting new patients for treatment in hospital in São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, contact Dr. Chaves directly at : [email protected] -pb
 
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mr peabody

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Cheap and powerful 'meth 2.0' is ravaging communities and slowly killing its victims*

by Christine Vestal | Pew/Stateline | 2 Nov 2019

The opioid epidemic appears to be subsiding in the northwest corner of South Carolina, a region known as Upstate. Some refer to this area as the Upcountry. Nationwide, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths is declining slightly. But a new variety of methamphetamine is taking its place as the No. 1 drug of abuse.

By most accounts, meth is much harder to quit. And the latest version of the illicit drug flooding the nation is cheaper than ever before.

Primarily imported from Mexico, “meth 2.0” is stronger, cheaper and far more plentiful than the old home-cooked variety. And with historic levels of funding from the federal government focused exclusively on fighting opioid addiction, states and counties are scrambling to find resources to combat this most recent drug plague.

In the small city of Greenville, Faces and Voices of Recovery staff work around the clock to provide a place people struggling with meth addiction can come to talk. CEO Rich Jones spends many evenings and weekends fundraising because little federal or state money exists to provide the kind of long-term support people in recovery from meth addiction need, he said.

Across town, Rebecca Maddox runs Phoenix Center’s Serenity Village, a women’s residential addiction treatment facility. The center receives substantial funding from Medicaid because patients are either pregnant or have custody of their children and therefore qualify for the federal-state health plan for low-income people.

She said federal funding for the center has remained flat for more than a decade, except for recent money targeted for treating opioid addiction. But data showed that opioid use was declining in Greenville, so “we didn’t get any of that money this year,” she said.

Sixty-three percent of the 81 women admitted to Serenity Village last year were treated for meth addiction. They include Haas, who is staying at the center with her three children.

When her heroin addiction caused her to lose everything, including her children, Haas said she decided to quit. Feeling sick and depressed as she came off the powerful drug, “some friends gave me meth and told me it would make me feel better,” she recalled. “It made my sickness go away, or maybe I just didn’t care about it anymore.”

For a time, Haas got her kids back. But within weeks, meth began to take an even bigger toll on Haas’ life. She lost custody of her oldest kids again, yet she said she still found it impossible to quit. After losing custody of her youngest, who just turned 1, she said she "knew it was time to quit."

She checked into Serenity Village, and for the first few weeks she "struggled every minute of the day. But now, after nearly three months, 'the pull' is starting to fade."

“When I get that pull,” she said, “I know I need to find someone who will tell me to play that tape again about what’s going to happen to me and my kids if I pick up,” she said, meaning if she started to use again. “I just need to find somebody to talk to.”

Harder to stop

Pickens County, about 20 miles west of Greenville, has been hit hard by the meth surge.

Tucked into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and home to Clemson University, Pickens County is a destination for wealthy retirees who build multimillion-dollar homes on the shores of Lake Keowee and other scenic spots.

But jobs have been scarce and wages low ever since the cotton mills closed in the 1990s, creating stress and anxiety for many residents. That and its proximity to drug trafficking routes – it is less than 20 miles off Interstate 85, the main artery to Atlanta – have contributed to soaring meth use.

Between 2016 and 2017, the number of people seeking treatment for meth addiction nearly doubled in Pickens and the other nine counties in the Upstate region, according to data from the state drug and alcohol agency.

In the midlands and coastal regions of the state, including Charleston, opioid addiction and overdose deaths remain the biggest threat, according to state data.

At Cafe Connections, a “coffeehouse ministry” in the town of Pickens, much of the talk is about families whose lives have been shattered by meth. The drug offers boundless energy to work extra shifts or clean the house – until it turns ugly.

“I can see on a personal basis what meth and other drugs are doing to our community. Homelessness wasn’t a problem in Pickens a few years ago. Now, it’s a big problem,” said Ann Corbin, who runs the cafe with her husband, Steve, and with support from the East Pickens Baptist Church and volunteers. Coffee, sweets and conversation are free at the cafe, a big airy former drugstore with cafe tables and cushy upholstered couches and chairs clustered along brightly painted walls.

"Everyone here knows someone who uses meth or has lost a family member to its ravages," Corbin said. "People have set aside long-held prejudices against drug users to focus on helping families who have been destroyed by meth."

The leap in deaths has been dramatic. The Pickens County coroner, Kandy Kelley, said 25 people died of a drug overdose in the county last year, topped by 39 as of September this year, mostly from a combination of meth, opioids and other substances.

At Behavioral Health Services of Pickens County, a state-funded drug treatment center a few doors down from the cafe, more people are seeking treatment for meth addiction than ever before, Executive Director Angela Farmer said. And those in treatment are having a much tougher time quitting.

Farmer, a licensed counselor and Pickens native, has seen a lot of changes in the habits of Pickens drug users over the 22 years she’s worked here.

"More meth users are injecting the drug than smoking or snorting it as they did in the past," Farmer said, "and people are starting to use it at a younger age."

“Our patients are struggling a lot more and they relapse more, and it takes them longer to engage in treatment,”
Farmer said. “Most of our patients are compliant with their treatment for opioids, but they find it harder to stop using meth.”

With roughly 2,400 clients in a county of 120,000, Behavioral Health Services, which occupies nearly a full block of offices on Main Street, is bursting at its seams.

The county’s 50-year-old jail also is overflowing. In November, a new facility will open, providing more than triple the current jail’s capacity. And its staff will include an addiction treatment practitioner and a mental health counselor, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Justice Department.

“We haven’t been able to respond to as many of the drug-related crimes as we would like in the last couple of years, because we haven’t had anywhere to put them,” Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said. “It’s always a balancing act.”

Clark and other law enforcement officials say most of the meth supply in the region comes from Atlanta, where illicit labs convert liquid methamphetamine from Mexico into crystal powder for dealers to distribute across the South.

Not the ‘pretty people’

Nationwide, the advancing meth scourge has yet to capture the kind of public response the opioid epidemic was, even though the nationwide spike in meth-related deaths in the past two years was steeper than the spike in opioid deaths two decades ago when that crisis began.

In the first decade of the opioid epidemic, the number of overdose deaths rose fourfold, from 3,400 in 1999 to 13,500 in 2009, based on a Stateline analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With the advent of cheap and powerful imported meth, the spike in deaths has been much sharper. Meth overdose deaths increased fourfold in half as much time, from 2,600 in 2012 to 10,300 in 2017.

Still, meth users are less likely to die of an overdose than users of painkillers and heroin. Instead, meth kills most of its victims slowly.

Opioids cause relatively little physical damage to chronic users, unless they take too high a dose. But meth takes a severe mental and physical toll on chronic users, destroying their appearance and substantially shortening their lives.

“If you want to know whether a town has a meth problem, just go to Walmart and take a look around,” Pickens Chief Deputy Chad Brooks said. "Its symptoms are unmistakable: rotting teeth, skin lesions, extreme weight loss and premature aging."

The CDC only records meth-related overdose deaths – typically heart failure or stroke – resulting from using too much of the drug in a short period. It doesn’t include deaths from long-term use.

"Despite the nation’s growing recognition because of the opioid crisis that addiction is a disease," Sheriff Clark said, "society still tends to look down on meth users."

“I hate to say this,”
Clark said, “but the reason we’re not hearing as much about the meth problem at the national level is that we don’t have as many pretty people dying of meth as we do with opioids.”



‘Rapid downhill course’

On average, patients addicted to meth require at least 90 days of intensive counseling and therapy to get started on recovery. And even then, nearly all of them can be expected to relapse multiple times before reaching sustained recovery, treatment experts say.

“Crystal meth accelerates the reward circuits in the brain more powerfully than any other drug we have,” said Dr. Paul Earley, an addiction physician in Georgia and the board president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

“There’s no doubt that it causes the most rapid downhill course of any drug."

“With heroin, some people can go on using the drug for 30 or 40 years without medical problems, as long as they dose it right,”
the doctor said. “But with meth, 100% of people who use the drug experience severe and rapid physical deterioration.”

The Federal Drug Administration has approved three medications for the treatment of opioid addiction. Research is underway on meth addiction medications. Behavioral Health Services is one of seven sites funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in a study of the effectiveness of two drugs – extended-release bupropion sold as Wellbutrin and extended-release naltrexone sold as injectable Vivitrol – in easing detoxification and promoting recovery from meth addiction.

Farmer said Wellbutrin, a mild stimulant, seemed to alleviate the depression and exhaustion that typically occurs when people are coming off meth. She didn’t see as much evidence for Vivitrol warding off cravings.

But so far, no medications have been clinically proven to be effective in the treatment of meth addiction.

“If someone is addicted to opioids, they can get medication-assisted treatment pretty quickly,” said Charlie Stinson, executive director of GateWay Counseling Center, a state-funded treatment center in Clinton, another hard-hit Upstate town.

“The problem is if they kick that addiction and start using meth, they can be out of luck when they decide it’s time for treatment.”

*From the article here :
 
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mr peabody

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Meth and cardiovascular pathology

Sharlene Kaye, Johan Duflou, Rebecca Mcketin, Shane Darke

There is sufficient clinical evidence to suggest that meth can have adverse and potentially fatal effects on the cardiovascular system. The existing literature suggests that: (1) meth users are at elevated risk of cardiac pathology; (2) risk is not likely to be limited to the duration of use, because of the chronic pathology associated with meth use; (3) the risk of cardiac pathology is greatest among chronic meth users; (4) pre‐existing cardiac pathology, due to meth use or other factors, increases the risk of an acute cardiac event; and (5) meth use is likely to exacerbate the risk of cardiac pathology from other causes, and may therefore lead to premature mortality.

https://www.researchgate.net/publica...f_the_evidence

-----

Iboga accumulates in the body. It remains in the body for more than 4 weeks. This means that all the drops you take in a 5-week period will accumulate and remain in your body until they slowly wear off. If the dose you take exceeds 10 drops a day, physical and psychological effects can occur. Be aware of that some people respond very sensitively to a few drops only. It is important to listen to the signs of your body at all times, and adjust your dosage accordingly. Do not take the iboga tincture before going to sleep. The plant gives you energy and might cause insomnia.

Whilst treating yourself with iboga, it is advisable to keep stimulants—such as coffee—to a minimum, as well as tobacco or certain herbs. Your receptors will become very sensitive and you may have an unexpectedly strong reaction to them. It is strongly discouraged to combine iboga with other psychedelics. Iboga should never be combined with anti-depressant medication such as SSRI's. Such a combination would be very dangerous.

Doctors and treatment providers have found that daily low doses of iboga seem to work better for meth addiction than the mind-blowing "flood doses" used on opiate addicts.

https://www.dmt-nexus.me/forum/defau...=posts&t=52279
 
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mr peabody

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"I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments... will
be lost in time, like… tears in rain...
"


Meth is the most common drug in overdose deaths in 19 states*

by Mike Stobbe | Associated Press | Oct 24 2019

Fentanyl is driving drug overdose deaths in the U.S. overall, but in nearly half of the country, it's a different story. Meth is the bigger killer, a new government report shows.

Nationwide, most deaths still involve opioid drugs like fentanyl and heroin. But in 2017, the stimulant meth was the drug most frequently involved in deaths in four regions that include 19 states west of the Mississippi.

The report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the agency's first geographic breakdown of deaths by drug. It's based on 2017 figures when there were more than 70,000 overdose deaths in the U.S., two-thirds of them involving opioids.

Fentanyl was involved in 39% of the deaths that year, followed by heroin, 23%, and cocaine, 21%. Those drugs top the list in the eastern part of the country.

Methamphetamine was No. 4 nationwide, cited in 13% of overdose deaths. But in the four western regions, it was No. 1, at 21% to 38%.

Previous CDC reports have charted meth's increasing toll, noting that it rose from eighth to fourth in just four years.

The new report found dramatic differences in the 10 regions. For example, In New England, fentanyl had the highest adjusted overdose death rate and meth was a distant 10th on the list. In the region that includes the mountain states and the Dakotas, meth was No. 1 and fentanyl was sixth.

Most of the meth in the U.S. is made in Mexico and smuggled across the border — U.S. production has actually been declining in recent years, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Its availability has held at high levels in recent years in areas of the Southwest, and has increased in some areas of the Midwest, the agency's field offices report.

Final 2018 data has not yet been released, but preliminary figures suggest that overdose deaths involving meth increased.

The CDC report is based on a search of overdose death certificates for the name of drugs. In many cases, a person was taking multiple drugs.

Since the report is the first of its kind, how meth factored into overdose deaths regionally in the past isn't known.

"New Mexico has seen a shift. For years, black tar heroin was the biggest problem, then prescription painkillers," said Dr. Michael Landen of the state's health department. State meth deaths went from 150 in 2017 to 194 last year, vaulting meth to the top.

"It's really been the first time we've seen that," said Landen.

He attributed the surge in meth to its wide availability and low cost, and said he worried it could get worse. "While there are programs to deal with fentanyl and heroin overdoses, there's not much in place to prevent meth deaths," he said.

"I think we're going to be caught off guard with methamphetamine deaths, and we have to get our act together," he said.

*From the article here :
 
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mr peabody

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"Then I saw something on the other side of all that, something bright and luminous. I knew I had to get there, but I was stuck in all this shit
and noise, and the terrible things I've done to people, and the even worse things people have done to me. And every time I'd try to get out,
I'd get sucked right back in, and I'd feel that rage rising up again, and I would do anything to make it stop! It's like, do I have to die?!
And then this very clear voice said: "Don't die. Forgive."


Meth, not fentanyl, driving overdose deaths in the Western US

by Erin Schumaker | ABC | Oct 25 2019

Although fentanyl use remain a pressing concern in the United States, a government report that details regional differences in drug overdose deaths shows that in much of the country, methamphetamine is a bigger killer.

In the majority of states west of the Mississippi River, methamphetamine was the most common drug implicated in drug overdose deaths, according to the report, which utilized data from 2017, the latest available, and which was released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In states east of the Mississippi River that trend was reversed, with fentanyl the most common drug implicated in overdose deaths in 2017.

"What's interesting is that the patterns are different across the U.S.," said Dr. Holly Hedegaard, an epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics and co-author of the report.

Hedegaard noted that since the report is a one-year snapshot of overdose deaths, it doesn't provide insight into whether fentanyl deaths are rising or falling in the western U.S.

"We have to recognize that the drug problem isn't the same across the entire U.S.," Hedegaard added.

While the report didn't examine potential underpinnings of those drug overdoses patterns, Dr. Zachary Dezman, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at University of Maryland School of Medicine, who was not associated with the report, pointed to regional variation in substance use throughout history.

"Like all culture, it varies from region to region and is a a result of history, demand, law enforcement," Dezman said.

In Baltimore, where Dezman is an emergency physician, heroin has been the most commonly misused substance among residents for decades, he explained, adding that since meth use in the U.S. started in California, that could explain the drug's stronger regional foothold.

"Meth can be made cheaply using materials found on most farms," Dezman said. "A large amount of toxic waste is produced in the process, so meth is more often produced in rural or isolated areas where it is easier to hide from the authorities."

For people who use methamphetamines, treatment and resources are slim. Opioid addiction can be treated with the medications buprenophine or methadone, and opioid overdoses can be reversed with the drug naloxone. "There's no FDA-approved medication for methamphetamine treatment, nor any overdose reversal drug to revive people," Dezman explained. "Developing such a treatment is a top research priority for the National Institute on Drug Abuse," he added.

Despite the regional implications of the report, fentanyl is still driving the nation's opioid crisis. The potent opioid, the most frequently cited substance in drug overdose deaths, was involved in 39% of those cases in 2017.

"Clearly, fentanyl continues to be a problem," Hedegaard said.

In comparison, nationwide, heroin was involved in 23% of overdose deaths, cocaine was involved in 21% and methamphetamines were involved in 13%.

The nation's drug overdose death rate has more than tripled since 1999, with 70,000 cases in 2017, according to the CDC.

 
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Meth involved in one-third of all drug-related deaths in the Western US*

Filter | Nov 7 2019

In July 2019, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released preliminary data suggesting that national overdose deaths slightly declined in 2018 for the first time in 20 years. But on a state-by-state level, that’s not the case. While the parts of the United States with the highest rates of opioid-involved deaths, like Appalachia, are seeing overall drops in fatalities, the western part of the country is seeing an escalating crisis.

Researchers have suspected that methamphetamine has been involved in growing numbers of deaths in these regions, but because of the drug’s inclusion in broad data categories, like “psychostimulants with the potential for abuse,” they’ve had difficulty proving it.

A new report by the CDC was able to get around this issue. The researchers behind a study published on October 25, 2019 circumvented the usual roadblocks to identifying the exact drug, or drugs, determined to be involved in deaths by using a “literal text search” of death certificates for the specific mention of certain drugs.

Their research indicates that meth, specifically, was involved in around one-third of all drug-related deaths in western states in 2017. Using regions defined by the Department of Health and Human Services Regions to locate deaths, the researchers found that Region 9, a group of states including California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii, saw 2,741 meth-involved deaths, involved in 37 percent of all drug fatalities across the four states.

In contrast, heroin was involved in 16 percent of drug-involved deaths in the area. The deaths across these states occurred occurred at a rate of a 5.2 per 100,000 people, with a higher meth-involved death rate than in any other HHS region—though the fentanyl-involved death rate was still far higher.

The findings are important but not necessarily groundbreaking. The report notes that the stark contrast between the western United States and the Northeast, for example, has been shown elsewhere. In 2017, methamphetamine was far more likely to be involved in seizures among folks in the West census region (46 percent) versus the Northeast census region (2 percent).

Media outlets are now beginning to ring the alarm bells about the role of meth use in driving fatalities. But public officials’ albeit-understandable preoccupation with opioid-involved deaths has long veiled this issue.

The CDC data, once more, underscores how myopically focusing on the harms of one drug can allow the harms associated with another to swell.

*From the article here :
 
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