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Towson had her own near-death experience with fentanyl more than a year and a half ago, during a blizzard that dropped more than 2 feet of snow on Baltimore. She was getting high with a group of people, she told us. She and another woman were given the task of testing a new batch of dope. She wouldn't know until later that it was laced with fentanyl. It would be her first and last taste of the drug.

A LEADING pathologist has called for prescription painkiller Tramadol to be made a class A drug after an inquest last week found a mother-of-six had died from an overdose.

Managing an Opiate Use Disorders (OUD) with medication under the care of a physician can make the difference between life and death. When this approach is coupled with counseling, vocational and other supports, the effects can be life changing for the user as well as those who love them.

This is a follow up story to the one we posted on June 25th regarding Evesham K9 . Please go to link to read more and watch news video.

When a toxic batch of drugs is triggering potentially fatal overdoses, one of the most crucial antidotes is to get the word out as fast as possible to alert other users.

A new research project to develop a more speedy way to communicate information about clusters of drug overdoses will be announced today by Vancouver Coastal Health and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Amid an opioid addiction epidemic that is killing more than 90 Americans every day, there is a growing movement to make it easier for relatives and health care providers to quickly secure court orders to forcibly confine and treat people who are addicted to drugs.

EVESHAM TWP -- Seeing the potential threat fentanyl exposure can pose to the K9s tasked with sniffing out illicit drugs, police here have equipped officers to treat dogs in the event of an overdose.

Law enforcement officials have recently come to see that the opioid crisis is affecting not only the drug's users, but also police officers who are exposed to it through their line of work and may need doses of Narcan, a drug that combats the effects of opioids.

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Proclamation

June 6, 2017

TOPAC received the proclamation shown to the above in recognition of their commitment to helping Mercer County.

Governor Chris Christie signed into law N.J. S295/A2234 a bill that will now allow small pharmacies to dispense the anti-overdose medication, Naloxone, to be dispensed without an individual prescription.

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Deaths from heroin and other opioids are far higher than federal statistics indicate in New Jersey and even more in Pennsylvania, according to a new analysis that examined information that was missing from records and estimated what it likely represented. Nearly 50 percent of Pennsylvania’s drug overdose deaths in federal data carried no indication of the types of drugs involved, as did 30 percent of those in New Jersey.

Doctors and researchers have long sought out ways to cure disease, heal the sick, and tend to those in pain. This has led to many miraculous breakthroughs and discoveries, as well as treatments that have changed society and stirred public debate, like the use of marijuana medically.

Governor Chris Christie today met with case managers and support staff at Homeless Solutions in Morristown to discuss an innovative approach to increasing the number of skilled drug counselors in the state. The employees are currently participating in a 45-week, state-funded, on-site drug counseling certification program and company-paid apprenticeship.

Sunday morning, Alexis Johnson drove from Harrisburg to Philadelphia to spend 3½ hours getting covered head to toe in black body paint. A friend plastered stark, white warnings like “silence kills” over and over again, on her face, chest, and legs. Two years sober, Johnson was returning to the city where she used to score heroin in the early days of her addiction.

A drug widely prescribed to treat opioid addiction fails so often that two-thirds of the pain patients who took it during addiction treatment wound up getting opioid prescriptions again, according to a large new study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Researchers analyzed pharmacy claims for over 38,000 people who were prescribed Suboxone (buprenorphine) between 2006 and 2013, and found that 67 percent of them filled a prescription for an opioid painkiller in the year after Suboxone treatment.

Wild Lettuce as a Healthy Alternative - Lactuca Virosa, the scientific name, has been used by many people for pain. It’s a leafy and tall plant, with small yellow buds, and could be grown right out your door. More commonly found in North America and England, it’s a cousin to the lettuce we typically see at the grocery store. It’s also referred to as bitter lettuce, or more appropriately for the purpose discussed here, opium lettuce.

TOPAC - New Training Schedule

June 15, 2017

In an effort to accommodate those who would like Naloxone training at TOPAC's office, but were unable to attend the pre-scheduled dates, TOPAC has changed the training procedure. If you would like to receive Naloxone training please either call 609-581-0600 to discuss our trainer's availability or email us at: topac@overdosepreventionagency.org and provide us with your phone numner, a few days and times that you are available and we will contact you to discuss. Please note: we would prefer to have training no later than 7:30 p.m.

For Medicaid recipients in NJ, options for in-patient detox are limited. At this time there are only seven facilities that accept Medicaid for detox. Bergen Regional, in Paramus, has 90 beds for detox average waitlist of 5-14 days: St. Clare’s, in Boonton, has 16 beds for detox with a waitlist of approx.y 14 days: Christ Hospital, in Jersey City, has 8 beds for detox with a waitlist of 3-7 days: Hunterdon Medical Center, in Flemington, has 14 beds available for detox: and Princeton House, in Princeton, has a total of 27 beds across two programs for detox. For AtlantiCare in Atlantic county (could not confirm the number of beds available). Finally, Straight and Narrow, in Paterson, has 20 beds for detox, though we have been told that they are only for people aged 18 to 21 (the same age limitation exists for New Hope and Maryville).

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Oftentimes it takes many occurrences and many things to happen before the substance user comes to the point of truly wanting or being forced to get help. It may come to their spouse leaving with the children, the children being removed from the home by Child Protective Services (CPS) or for some other legal issue to arise like jail time. Everyone has their own rock-bottom point.

In the case of the substance abuser being a teen, parents may have the feeling that their child does not have a problem, or the parent may be using as well so this is deemed normal.

After years of increasing opioid use, the nation is experiencing a downturn in doctors handing out prescriptions for the class of drugs, however rescriptions remained high in certain areas of NJ.

"The bottom line is, with opioid prescriptions, we are still seeing too many prescriptions given out for too long," she said.

Missouri became the final state to create a prescription drug-monitoring program Monday when Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed an executive order aimed at combatting a scourge that killed more than 900 residents last year.

Not long ago, I visited a Narcotics Anonymous meeting where men with tattoos and short-cropped hair sat in a circle and talked out their errors.

One had lived under an overpass, pimping his girlfriend’s daughter for cash to buy heroin. As the thought brought him to tears, his neighbor patted his shoulder. Others owned to stealing from grandparents, to losing jobs and children. Soon, most in the room — men with years of street addiction behind them — were wiping their eyes.

What made the meeting remarkable, however, was not the stories, but where it was taking place.

The Lt. Governor and her team are presenting at our upcoming Recovery Advocacy Summit. They will be talking about the state wide funding initiatives, the NJ Addiction Hot Line (IME) and the roles that Recovery Coaches will have within state. We are honored to have her participate in such an important event and will bring a wealth of information.

Top federal health officials recently said that they will launch a joint effort with pharmaceuticals companies to accelerate the development of drugs aimed at helping to curb the U.S. opioid epidemic.

Francis S. Collins, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Nora D. Volkow, who heads one of its components, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), announced a public-private partnership aimed at cutting in half the time ordinarily needed to develop new therapies.

Authorities seized $200,000 in raw heroin in raids targeting a Trenton heroin mill that led to three arrests following a four-month investigation, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office announced.

The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force conducted the raids Monday following the investigation dubbed "Operation Johnny Be Good," which included undercover purchases of heroin and countless hours of surveillance, the prosecutor's office said. Authorities also seized $35,000 in cash.

Opiates and the Tristate Area - Opiate addiction has impacted every region of the United States, from the smallest rural towns to the largest cities. No area has been spared, but some have been hit especially hard- including the tristate area of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has called heroin “the biggest threat to public health in the Northeast,” ... The region where New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York meet is ideal for transporting drugs throughout multiple states, resulting in a drug problem that has devastated this region.

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Stop opioids from being delivered by the U.S Postal Service

July 17, 2017

Drug Deactivation Pack

Contact the Southwest Council to learn more

Email the following address to learn how you can obtain a kit.
matthew@southwestcouncil.org.

America’s opioid problem has turned into a full-blown emergency now that illicit fentanyl and related synthetic drugs are turning up regularly on our streets. This fentanyl, made in China and trafficked through Mexico, is 25 to 50 times as potent as heroin. One derivation, carfentanil, is a tranquilizer for large animals that’s a staggering 1,000 to 5,000 times as powerful.

TOPAC - Training Report

Mar 2014 to May 20017

TOPAC's training program includes education about: the Overdose Prevention Act, which protects individuals who call 911 to report an overdose from prosecution pertaining to possessing drugs and drug paraphenalia; how to recognize a drug overdose; and how to administer Naloxone, an anti-overdose medication. Above is a report reflecting the number of people who have been trained by TOPAC.

Health professionals are sounding the alarm over the heightened risk of death linked to the use of psychiatric drugs, which was highlighted in a pair of Vancouver-based studies published this month.

Benzodiazepine (BZD) is a class of psychiatric medications known as “tranquillizers” which can reduce the body’s drive to breathe and are used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, seizures, and other conditions. They include commonly prescribed drugs such as Valium, Xanax, and Ativan.