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Methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths nearly tripled between 2015 to 2019, NIH study finds

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Overdose deaths involving methamphetamine nearly tripled from 2015 to 2019 among people ages 18-64 in the United States, according to a study by NIDA. In 2020, more than 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, marking the largest one-year increase in overdose deaths ever recorded.

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Nora Volkow, MD at podium

AAMC - Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, shares, "Far too often, shame and stigma fuel addiction and prevent treatment. But replacing judgment with compassion can save lives. As a society, we still keep addiction in the shadows, regarding it as something shameful, reflecting lack of character, weakness of will, or even conscious wrongdoing, not a medical issue."

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Methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths nearly tripled between 2015 to 2019, NIH study finds

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Overdose deaths involving methamphetamine nearly tripled from 2015 to 2019 among people ages 18-64 in the United States, according to a study by NIDA. In 2020, more than 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, marking the largest one-year increase in overdose deaths ever recorded.

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Overdose Awareness: Spotlighting a National Crisis

The U.S. is in the grips of an epidemic of drug overdose deaths. Stemming the tide of this crisis is a massive undertaking for the nation’s scientific and health-care communities. The Louisiana Addiction Research Center (LARC) at LSUHS leads a multidisciplinary effort to study and understand the impact of substance use on our citizens. 

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Federal Charges Filed Following Record-Breaking Drug Seizure

United States Drug Enforcement Administration - HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant shared, “HSI and its law enforcement partners undoubtedly saved lives by preventing this massive drug shipment from entering our communities. We will remain vigilant in our mission to prevent these drugs from crossing the border and entering our communities.”

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US Drug Deaths Explode, Fueled by Mexico Production of Synthetics

Insightcrime.org - The United States saw a record toll in drug overdose deaths last year, driven in part by two powerful synthetic drugs mass-produced in Mexico and then smuggled over the border. The CDC recorded 93,331 drug overdose deaths in 2020. The devastating tally marked a nearly 30 percent increase from 2019.

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Louisiana overdose deaths skyrocket during 2020

KTAL/KMSS - Alarming new data from the CDC shows a drastic increase in drug overdose deaths across the country. Louisiana ranks in the top 5 states with the highest increase of fatalities. “We have to pay attention to it. There are too many lives at risk,” said Dr. Nicholas Goeders, Director of the Louisiana Addiction Research Center at LSU Health Shreveport.

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Operation Trojan Shield Drug Investigation (FBI)

KKTV 11 - “Grand totals for the entire investigation include 800 arrests; and seizures of more than 8 tons of cocaine; 22 tons of marijuana; 2 tons of methamphetamine/amphetamine; six tons of precursor chemicals; 250 firearms; and more than $48 million in various worldwide currencies. Dozens of public corruption cases have been initiated over the course of the investigation. And, during the course of the investigation, more than 50 clandestine drug labs have been dismantled. One of the labs hit yesterday was one of the largest clandestine labs in German history.”

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DEA: Meth Crisis, dealers have more of it than they know what to do with

Fox 29 San Antonio - The reason people consume methamphetamine is what it does in your brain releasing large amounts of dopamine, the feel really good chemicals in your brain, says James Miller, Houston Forensic Science Center. Today's meth has never been purer or cheaper, making it all the more difficult for users to resist. And shocking scientists now are lab results showing cocaine is being replaced by meth.

 

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blue containers holding chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs

CNN - Authorities seized a record 175 tons of meth in 2020 throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia, a new record despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to preliminary UNODC data. Drug prices continued to drop, meaning these major busts are not materially affecting the overall supply of drugs in the region.

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Massive meth bust in Oklahoma stems from Mexican drug ring bringing drugs into the state and its prisons

KFOR - “Often times we’re seeing some of the largest drug shipments in the country coming through Oklahoma because of our highway system and because of our close proximity to the border,” said Mark Woodward, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

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Alcohol bottles

The population level changes for women, younger, and non-Hispanic White individuals highlight that health systems may need to educate consumers through print or online media about increased alcohol use during the pandemic and identify factors associated with susceptibility and resilience to the impacts of COVID-19.

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Department of Justice photo

DEA.gov - “Criminals selling fentanyl on the Darknet should pay attention to Operation DisrupTor,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. “The arrest of 179 of them in seven countries—with the seizure of their drug supplies and their money as well—shows that there will be no safe haven for drug dealing in cyberspace.”

Read More about Intrn'l law enforcement operation targeting opioid traffickers on the Darknet results in over 170 arrests worldwide
Drug warehouse camouflaged with cardboard in Mexicali, Baja California

Borderland Beat reports, "More than 8 tons of various products that would be used for the manufacture of drugs were discovered by elements of the State Security and Investigation Guard (GESI), during an operation carried out in the Heriberto Jara ejido, on September 5 in the Poniente area of Mexicali, Baja California."

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WREG-3 Memphis: Seizures of "hard" drugs spike as Mexican drug cartels change tactics. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security

EL PASO, Texas — Seizures of illegal drugs are on the rise along the U.S.-Mexico border, as drug cartels have adjusted their tactics amid the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. officials say. Quantities of meth seized at the border through August are already double the amount that U.S. border agents came across all of fiscal year 2019; fentanyl seizures are up 30 percent and 24,264 more pounds of marijuana have been seized.

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NIH - Dr. Francis Collins and Dr. Nora Volkow. www.directorsblog.nih.gov

The NIH Director's Blog: Dr. Nora Volkow shares, "And as I see the movements across the country speaking out against injustice, I would hope that this will also extend to diseases that have been stigmatized. We need to modify our stigma so we provide the same level of importance to treating these diseases and supporting people afflicted by them."

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Millennium-healths-signals-report-covid-19-special-edition-reveals-significant-change

Millennium Health conducted an analysis of over 500,000 definitive urine drug test (UDT) results for non-prescribed fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine in the periods before and after COVID-19 was declared a national emergency, March 13, 2020. Nationally, all four drugs had significant increases in positivity.

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WWL News image of coronavirus

The AMA is greatly concerned by an increasing number of reports suggesting increases in opioid-related mortality—particularly from illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. More than 35 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder.

Read More about Reports of increases in opioid related overdose and other concerns during COVID pandemic
Ohio County Prosecutor: Pandemic Puts More Stress On Families Dealing With Addiction, NPR News

Vinton County, Ohio, has been on the front lines of the opioid crisis in the U.S. for several years. And even though the county hasn't had high infection rates of the coronavirus, the necessary social restrictions have made it harder to keep people addicted to drugs and their children safe.

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Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse with NIH Director, Francis Collins, courtesy of NIH

Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse shares, "We immediately can recognize the unique challenges of COVID-19 for people having an addiction. Some of these are structural; the healthcare system is not prepared to take care of them. They relate also to stigma and social issues, because it interferes with many of the support systems that can help them to reach recovery." 

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Packages of methamphetamine and cocaine seized in Texas

CBP officers assigned to the World Trade Center on Tuesday observed a 2012 Ford pickup truck hauling a shipment of magnets from Mexico. The officers selected the truck for a secondary inspection, according to information obtained from Laredo Sector CBP officials.

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