WikiLeaks on Twitter

“As part of the plea bargain, Purdue agreed to pay the federal government $600 million and 27 states $20 million. The three executives agreed to $34.5 million in fines but avoided jail-time. By contrast, Purdue has earned an estimated $31 billion in total revenues from extended-release oxycodone since its launch. Rather than deterring fraudulent marketing, the penalties simply became a cost of doing business.”

A cost of doing business. The preceding is an excerpt from a Harvard study published last year titled “The Opioid Epidemic: Fixing a Broken Pharmaceutical Market”. It describes the illicit marketing practices advanced by Purdue’s executives for its wildly profitable opioid Oxycontin, and how the criminal and civil cases brought against the company for those practices weren’t consequential enough to prevent those practices from remaining highly profitable.

Big pharma has the highest profit margins of any industry in the United States and is also the number one lobbying industry in the United States, a correlation which won’t surprise anyone who knows anything worth knowing about politics in capitalist societies. One of the many, many ways that the US government has collaborated with these massive pharmaceutical corporations to increase their profit margins has been to put into place laws which make them obscenely difficult to sue, therefore rendering the cost of the few lawsuit settlements which get through a mere drop in the bucket of profits made by unethical marketing practices. Even fines for downright illegal practices can be chalked up to mere overhead, with the largest fine ever levied against a drug company being $3 billion against GlaxoSmithKline, which sounds like a lot if you don’t know that Glaxo raked in $27.5 billion just that year.

Which, if you think about it, is kind of like the business practices we’re seeing implemented by corporate media with the establishment-authorized Russiagate conspiracy theory.

If you haven’t heard already, the Guardian has published an article titled “Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy”. The story went insanely viral and dominated the trending topics on Twitter yesterday, despite the fact that it contains zero proof for its central claim that Paul Manafort met multiple times with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, despite the fact that the story defies all logic since there’s no reason there wouldn’t be public record of those meetings, and despite the fact that the story’s central figures are aggressively denying its claims. Both Manafort and WikiLeaks have stated that they are interested in taking legal action against the Guardian, with the WikiLeaks Twitter account also going so far as to bet the news outlet “a million dollars and its editor’s head that Manafort never met Assange.”

The accusations in the article will never be proven true. Definitive proof that Paul Manafort met with Julian Assange will never surface. There are far too many gaping plot holes in the narrative, far too aggressive a denial from the accused parties, a ridiculous absence of anything resembling proof, as well as the fact that the Guardian has already walked back its headline with the addition of “sources say” and softened some language in the article, and the fact that the article’s author, Luke Harding, is a sniveling establishment sycophant with no interest in truth and an already established history of lying about Assange. The Guardian cannot prove the article’s central claims, and it won’t.

So why publish it? There are a number of possible reasons to consider, but former Guardian employee Glenn Greenwald published an article for The Intercept about the latest Luke Harding debacle in which he brings up one reason that’s probably worth poking at.
“The Guardian does not bother to question, interrogate or explain any of this,” Greenwald writes. “It just tosses the word ‘Russians’ into its article in connection with Manafort’s alleged visits to Assange, knowing full well that motivated readers will draw the most inflammatory conclusions possible, thus helping to spread the Guardian’s article all over the internet and generate profit for the newspaper, without bothering to do any of the journalistic work to justify the obvious inference they wanted to create with this sloppy, vague and highly manipulative paragraph.”

“In sum,” Greenwald adds, “the Guardian published a story today that it knew would explode into all sorts of viral benefits for the paper and its reporters even though there are gaping holes and highly sketchy aspects to the story.”
Generate profit, worry about facts and consequences later. The Guardian committed journalistic malpractice to advance a popular conspiracy theory for viral views and profit, and if it’s forced to print a retraction or settle a lawsuit out of court it will be a drop in the bucket of the profits made. A cost of doing business.

In that same article Greenwald writes that apart from its seething institutional hatred of Assange, the Guardian is “an otherwise solid and reliable paper,” which I would say is a very charitable view for anyone to take today. In the last few years this outlet has been aggressively trafficking in the Russiagate conspiracy theory to sometimes absurd degrees, like the time it claimed people who are demonstrably real were Russian “bots”. It has been viciously and deliberately undermining Jeremy Corbyn with a despicable smear campaign, and has become what is surely the single most virulent promulgator of imperialist war propaganda against Syria on the entire planet. Legendary Australian journalist John Pilger said in an interview earlier this year that anti-imperialist writers like himself had been de-platformed by the paper in a “purge” some three years prior.

“But my written journalism is no longer welcome — probably its last home was The Guardian, which three years ago got rid of people like me and others in pretty much a purge of those who were saying what The Guardian no longer says anymore,” Pilger said on the Flashpoint radio show.

At least up until the time of its decision to publish Harding’s deceitful screed, the Guardian has managed to maintain a somewhat respected image as a mainstream outlet which markets itself to the political left. I would say that its doing so is exactly as legitimate as a pharmaceutical company which markets oxycodone as a non-addictive painkiller or markets antidepressants to children despite knowing the disastrous side effects it can give them. The Guardian, at this point, serves no agenda other than those of the intelligence and defense agencies of the western empire, as do the rest of the mass media outlets whose plutocratic owners have a vested interest in manipulating the public into supporting the status quo.

UPDATE: The Guardian has issued an unsurprisingly pathetic statement: “This story relied on a number of sources. We put these allegations to both Paul Manafort and Julian Assange’s representatives prior to publication. Neither responded to deny the visits taking place. We have since updated the story to reflect their denials.”

WikiLeaks has responded to this statement by saying that it did indeed deny the claim hours before publication, publicly on its Twitter account. The statement is essentially a suggestion that the Guardian has a right to publish any libelous fabrication it wants about anyone if they don’t quickly send a denial to the proper email address. This may be the closest we’ll ever get to a retraction of this story by this toxic outlet.

President Donald Trump and his advisers are hailing what they called a major promise from Chinese President Xi Jinping to crack down on fentanyl, a synthetic opioid blamed for thousands of overdose deaths in the U.S.

The pledge to enhance cooperation with the U.S. to fight illegal drugs including fentanyl and related substances emerged from a highly anticipated dinner between Trump and Xi on Saturday in Buenos Aires that yielded a truce in the trade war between the two countries.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said afterward in a statement that, as part of the agreement, China will tighten supervision of fentanyl and revise rules on the drug, while enhancing law enforcement work with the U.S.

Trump said that Xi had also agreed to rank fentanyl trafficking among the most serious crimes in China. “Therefore, if they get caught, they have the highest level of punishment,” he said.

“What he will be doing to fentanyl could be a game changer for the United States and what fentanyl is doing to our country in terms of killing people,” Trump told reporters on aboard Air Force One as he left Argentina following the Group of 20 summit.

Read more: U.S. Panel Says China Not Doing Enough to Stem Fentanyl Tide

Trump declared widespread opioid abuse a public health emergency in October 2017 and vowed to use the federal government’s legal powers to pursue companies that help fuel the epidemic. Trump said at the time that he would raise the issue of Chinese fentanyl making its way to the U.S. with Xi as a top priority.

The subject came up at the start of Saturday’s dinner with Xi in the Argentine capital. Trump told reporters in the room that he would raise his concerns that China isn’t doing enough to halt the flow into the U.S. of fentanyl and related chemicals.

Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids now rank as the deadliest abused drug in the U.S., accounting for almost half of the more than 70,000 overdose deaths in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

China is “the largest source of illicit fentanyl and fentanyl-like substances in the United States,” according to a U.S. commission established by Congress to review the national security implications of relations between the two countries.

Exporters of fentanyl have skirted Chinese laws by shifting to analogues, or molecules that have similar effects on the body, but don’t fall under bans the country has imposed on fentanyl itself, according to a report from the commission released on Nov. 26.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, said in its report that Beijing has been slow to add new categories to the list of prohibited substances.


Borderland Beat: UNODC Report: Poppy Cultivation up 21%
Monday, December 3, 2018 Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Proceso

A bill that would have imposed mandatory sentences on large-scale dealers of a powerful opioid responsible for a rash of deaths and overdoses over the last few years died in committee Thursday.

Fentanyl, an anesthetic said to cause a euphoric high 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin, caused around 30 overdoses in the Sacramento area alone in a seven-day period in March, about a third of which were fatal. In 2015, it killed 30 people in Orange County, and in 2014 it killed 62 people in Los Angeles County.

While the measure drew Democratic support in the Senate, one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Pat Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, said concerns related to overcrowded prisons were too much.

“It’s disappointing that the Assembly Appropriations Committee did not forward the bill to the entire Assembly for a vote,” Bates in a statement. “Unfortunately, (Gov. Jerry Brown’s) focus on decreasing the state’s prison population has made it difficult to pass any legislation that would address weaknesses in current criminal law.”

Voters approved a sentencing reform measure, Proposition 47, in 2014 and will consider another, supported by Brown, in November.

Bates’ bill would have targeted dealers of large quantities, adding sentence enhancements per weight, with a number of offenders thought to be relatively small.

While the measure drew Democratic support in the Senate, one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Pat Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, said concerns related to overcrowded prisons were too much.

More "put you to sleep" passing of Bills :nuts: which has been going on since Nixon. The only "positive" sign for the economy is privatization of prisons and rising health related costs (sarcasm warning !!!!).
Cocaine for Cash - (I'm having a hard time "digesting" this article? Who in their right mind ... forget-about-it ... this is gross!)

Thursday December 6, 2018 - Smugglers ingested Mexican Cartel Cash, say Colombia Police after arrests
Smugglers ingested Mexican cartel cash, say Colombia police after arrests | Reuters

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia has arrested 27 people accused of belonging to four smuggling networks which recruited youths to swallow drug trafficking cash profits and bring them into the South American country from Mexico, the police said on Thursday.

The money was wrapped in capsules made from latex gloves and consisted of funds from unidentified Mexican cartels. The cash was in exchange for cocaine sent by Colombian crime gangs, National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels and dissidents from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which demobilized last year.

The smuggling networks were broken up with help from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the police said.

The networks would recruit unemployed and poor young people to travel to Mexico and then ingest between 80 and 120 capsules of money before returning to Colombia, said General Jorge Hernando Nieto, the head of the national police.

“With each ingestion they could bring in up to $40,000, there’s even a case where they brought in $75,000 in one traveler,” Nieto told journalists. “The confiscated money in this investigation reaches $11 million.”

One of those captured had traveled between Colombia and Mexico 250 times since 2015, he said.

Colombia is the world’s top producer of cocaine, the majority of which is sent to Mexican cartels, which largely control its distribution. Colombia’s cocaine output is around 1,000 tons annually, according to security sources.
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December 13, 2018 - Mexican Officials bust Fentanyl Lab in Mexico City
Mexican officials bust fentanyl lab in Mexico City | Reuters

MEXICO CITY - A laboratory in Mexico City suspected of producing the powerful opioid fentanyl was raided on Wednesday, officials said, in a rare case of a bust involving a drug that is increasingly blamed for fueling the opioid crisis in the United States.

More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids. U.S. President Donald Trump declared the opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency.

Fentanyl is the most lethal type of opioid used in the United States, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and gained notoriety after an overdose of the painkiller was deemed to have killed pop singer Prince in 2016.

The drug is trafficked into the United States largely from China and Mexico but it is not currently possible to determine which country is a bigger supplier, the DEA said in a report in October.

Investigations led to the discovery of the lab in the northwest of Mexico City, the attorney general’s office in the Mexican capital said in a statement.

Officers in white protective jumpsuits raided the site at night and found small blue pills and large plastic jugs containing dark liquid, images from the prosecutor’s office showed.

Their finds also included chemical substances, machinery and supplies likely to be used to fabricate fentanyl, it said.
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Combating the Opioid Crisis
“Take shipping companies for example. People use them on a daily basis. You can order a package, you can track a package, you know exactly where the package is and you know when it will arrive to your home. You don’t need anyone’s assistance to do that. Now imagine doing that with a lethal substance like fentanyl where you’re able to order it and get it to your home. That’s what we’re dealing with.”
— Greg Nevano, Deputy Assistant Director Illicit Trade, Travel and Finance Division, HSI
December 18, 2018 - Over 50 Sao Paulo Police arrested, accused of ties to drug gang
Over 50 Sao Paulo police arrested, accused of ties to drug gang | Reuters

SAO PAULO - More than 50 police officers who patrolled the same area in Sao Paulo were arrested on Tuesday, accused by state prosecutors of taking bribes from Brazil’s largest drug gang to allow its members to sell narcotics, authorities said.

The Sao Paulo state police’s internal investigations unit worked with state prosecutors who focus on combating the powerful First Capital Command (PCC) drug gang to gather what prosecutors said in a statement was proof of collaboration between officers and the cartel.

The PCC has rapidly grown in strength in recent years, investigators say, now largely controlling cocaine and gun shipments into Brazil and also the flow of drugs grown in neighboring countries and shipped to Africa and Europe through Brazilian ports.

By late afternoon, 53 members of the 22nd Battalion of the Sao Paulo state police were under arrest - nearly 10 percent of that battalion’s entire force, according to state prosecutors. Three suspected PCC members are also in custody.

Battling Brazil’s rampant crime and ever-growing drug gangs is a top priority for President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who campaigned on a law-and-order platform and openly calls for police to assassinate suspected drug gang members.

Tuesday’s operation in one of Brazil’s safest states, however, underscored the complexity of the country’s security situation, with poorly paid and trained police routinely being found to tip off drug gangs about police raids, or being active members of paramilitary militias that battle the drug gangs for turf.

DEA Warns of Deadly Cocaine Laced with Fentanyl Ahead of New Year's Eve
By Myles Miller New York City 5:00 PM ET Dec. 27, 2018
It's the deadliest drug in America, shipped here from Mexico and China: Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin.

Ray Donovan is the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York Field Office.
"Two milligrams is considered potentially lethal," Donovan says.

This year, his office seized a record 540 million one milligram dosage units, enough to kill the entire city.
Roughly $500 million worth of drugs stopped from hitting city streets.

"Which essentially means thousands and thousands of lives have been saved," Donovan says.
With tourists expected to flood the city for New Year’s Eve, the DEA fears many unsuspecting people may be at risk of coming in contact with the deadly drug.

"You have a lot of out of town people coming here to celebrate,” Donovan says. “It's an opportunity for a drug trafficker or a distributor to pass drugs along to these potential users. And they might think they're getting one particular drug, but in fact they're getting fentanyl."

Between 2013 and 2016, overdose deaths involving fentanyl increased about 113 percent per year, according to the CDC.
New York is a hub for fentanyl sales cross the northeast.

"We often see large shipments of heroin and fentanyl coming into the city and getting dispersed throughout the northeast as far up as Maine as far down as DC and West Virginia," Donovan says.

There have been several high profile deaths associated with the synthetic opioid—originally created to treat end-stage terminal cancer patients.

In 2016, Prince died after ingesting a fatal amount of fentanyl.

Recently, the toxic mixture of cocaine and fentanyl led to the death of popular rapper Mac Miller.

Most drug users think they are buying pure cocaine or pure heroin, but it couldn't be farther from the truth.

So why would drug dealers, whose number one goal is to make money want to sell a deadly cocktail that could kill their clients?
"It's about market competition,” Donovan says. “To make their narcotics stronger and to make is so that the user wants to come back. They get hooked faster."

And it shows: the most recent stats released by the state put opioid-related deaths up 60 percent from 2015 to 2017.
Nationally, nearly 60 percent of all overdoses were opioid-related.


According to this graph, what was it in policy (or whatever it was) that suddenly skyrocketed the rise between at the tail of 2012 to 2013? And jeez, that is a sharp rise. In order for that to have taken place there needed to be a big change in prescription methods and then a backdoor for illicit products to be dumped into the streets?

Some of this I think is mention in this thread correlating with that date marker, and ultimately it goes back to the producers and those approving its wide spread use.
Borderland Beat: DEA: Mexico culpable in heroin crisis, does not eradicate poppy
Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from La Silla Rota
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 3-4 minute Read Snip:

Between 2013 and 2018 the amount of processed heroin went from 26 tons to 111 tons
The heroin crisis in the United States stems from the absence of a government campaign to eradicate Mexican poppy, according to the DEA's National 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment.

"The use of heroin and its availability is increasing in the United States.
The mixture of heroin and fentanyl is also on an upward trend. Mexico remains the main source of heroin. What is more serious, the increase in poppy cultivation and heroin production allows the Mexican cartels to distribute the drug with high purity and at low cost, while the demand in the United States increases, " the report adds.

Deaths from heroin overdoses are high and have increased throughout the United States, particularly in the Northeast and the Midwest. Deaths from heroin overdoses have quadrupled between 2010 and 2015; the most recent data indicates that deaths from heroin use amounted to 12,989 in 2015.

Borderland Beat: Fentanyl: The death letter from the Sinaloa Cartel and CJNG
Saturday, January 5, 2019 5-6 minute Read Snip: by JOSÉ GUADERRAMA
Translated by El Profe for Borderlandbeat from La Silla Rota

It is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and the adulteration of heroin sent to the US caused an unprecedented increase in deaths from overdose.
In the last 10 years, the outlook for drugs in the United States has changed, with the threat of opioids (controlled drugs, synthetic opioids and heroin) reaching epidemic levels and impacting significant portions of the United States.

A particular synthetic opioid, fentanyl, is used as an adulterant by the Mexican cartels, specifically by the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation Cartel according to the most recent DEA report on drug risks for the United States.

While the current opiate crisis has received significant attention, the threat of methamphetamine prevails; the risk of cocaine seems to be re-emerging; new psychoactive substances (NPS) are still a challenge, and the focus of marijuana application efforts continues to evolve.

Drug poisoning (overdose) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States; currently at a high, and since 2011, has outnumbered deaths by firearms, vehicular accidents, suicide and homicide. In 2016 approximately 140 people died daily from drug overdoses.

How heroin and fentanyl get into Philadelphia — and why a border wall likely wouldn’t stop them
by Aubrey Whelan, Updated: January 9, 2019- 12:47 PM 5-7 minute Read Snip:

In his prime-time address Tuesday night on shutting down much of the government over funding for a wall on the southern border, President Donald Trump suggested that the structure could help stop heroin from entering the country. “Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across our southern border,” he said.

But he didn’t mention his own Drug Enforcement Administration’s conclusion that traffickers smuggle most of the heroin through legal crossing points that are patrolled, not at unguarded stretches of the border.

So how does that heroin get into the U.S. generally, and the Philadelphia region specifically? Here are some answers, drawn from Inquirer reporting and recent DEA reports. (Local DEA representatives could not comment for this article Wednesday, because as part of the government shutdown, they may speak to reporters only about national security issues.)

How does heroin get to Philadelphia?
How does fentanyl get to Philadelphia?
What about prescription drugs? How much do they contribute to today’s opioid epidemic?
Would a border wall help stop the flow of illicit drugs?
OK, as one comment stated, (in article and within the you tube) :
"I wonder why this article fails to mention all these "Victims" were illegal drug users."

And that is because (IMHO) if the partiers were charged with a crime they would ultimately have to prosecute the dealers.

Following that rabbit hole, one would find that these illegal drugs are coming from illicit labs from over border. And that gives raise of the liberal failed but (profitable policies), with securing the safety and the metal health of California.

Thanks to Proposition 47, which gives pretense of hiding the truth.

One can see how the controlled media plays an important role with this coverup.

Police: Fentanyl a cause of overdoses at house
Sunday, January 13, 2019
CHICO, Calif
. (AP) — The Latest on a mass drug overdose at a house in Chico, California (all times local): 7:30 p.m.
Police say a mass overdose at a house in Chico that killed one man and left four people in critical condition appears to have been largely caused by the dangerous opiate fentanyl, the Enterprise Record reports.

Chico police Chief Mike O'Brien said at a news conference that "every indication is that this mass overdose incident was caused from the ingestion of some form of fentanyl in combination with another substance. That is yet to be confirmed, but we do anticipate confirmation in the coming days."

The newspaper says that a dozen people were taken out of the house Saturday morning and brought to hospitals

Chico police commander Mike Rodden tells the Enterprise-Record that all of the people hospitalized were over 18 and most appeared to be in their 20s.

Steve Standridge, chief of Chico's fire department, says cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed on six individuals at the scene and a total of 12 were taken to the hospital.

Chico is a city of about 92,000 people about 160 miles north of San Francisco.

Health & Safety Code 11370.1 HS
@ 0:43 / 1:55 (LOL)

Nothing to see here folks, move along, move along.

Borderland Beat: The tentacles of the Mexican cartels in the United States
Friday, January 11, 2019 Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Vanguardia 6-7 minute read
Authorities raided a residential suburban home in leafy Westchester County, New York Friday morning and walked out with enough fentanyl to kill nearly 2 million people, an official with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said.

March 3, 2019 - DEA, New York law enforcement raid alleged NY drug mill, recover enough Fentanyl to kill 2 million people


Five kilograms of the poisonously potent synthetic opioid were seized along with 6 kilograms of heroin, a more common street drug which, when spiked with fentanyl, has caused tens of thousands of fatal overdoses in America in recent years.

Officials said police arrested 31-year-old Braulio Mata, of Ardsley, 44-year-old Jose Garcia, of Ardsley, 47-year-old Ramon Aracena Alfe, of Mount Vernon, 32-year-old Dionell Duarte Hernandez, of New York, and 20-year-old Yarly Mendoza-Delorbe, of Ardsley.

PHOTO: Authorities said that they recovered 5 kilos of fentanyl and 6 kilos of heroin at a home in Ardsley, New York (WABC)

"The fentanyl alone has the potency to kill nearly over two million people," said Ray Donovan, New York division DEA Special Agent in Charge. "I commend the men and women in the Task Force and Tactical Diversion Squad for their quick and efficient investigation into this organization and their diligence to the safety of the residents living nearby."

The owner of the house told ABC station WABC he rented the split level home in December to a couple who moved from the Bronx but says he was unaware of any illegal activity.

PHOTO: A woman is led in handcuffs from an alleged fentanyl mill in a suburban home in Ardsley, New York (WABC)

The Ardsley raid was conducted by a task force that included the DEA, Westchester County police, Orangetown police, the Rockland County Sheriff's Office, Yonkers police, and the Putnam County Sheriff's Department.

The targeting of supply streams of fentanyl is part of a nationwide campaign to stem the flow of fentanyl, which has exacerbated a nationwide epidemic of opioid overdoses when it is used to strengthen the potency of more common street drugs like heroin and prescription pills like oxycodone.

Earlier this week, two California men who operated a similar drug mill out of a Michigan condominium were sentenced to prison. In the summer of 2017, authorities seized 10 kilograms of pure fentanyl and 20 kilograms of heroin-laced fentanyl, and more than a half million in cash. The seizure contained enough fentanyl to kill ten million people, federal authorities said.

PHOTO: Police said this home was used as a drug mill for fentanyl and heroin. (WABC)

Last week, a 75-year-old New York doctor was convicted of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and fentanyl after authorities charged that he wrote more than one million prescriptions for oxycodone over three years between 2015 and 2017. Hundreds of fentanyl sprays were seized from the doctor’s home, along with about $729,000 in cash, officials said.

Authorities said that pain management specialist Dr. Ernesto Lopez of Flushing, New York typically charged narcotics-seeking patients $200 to $300 in cash in return for the prescriptions, even though, officials said, 80 percent of his patients were insured.

The week before that, a 29-year-old Connecticut man pleaded guilty to selling opioids in 2017 to a 24-year-old man the day before the buyer died of a fatal opioid overdose. The dealer faces up to 20 years in prison.

More than 28,000 Americans died of synthetic opioid overdoses in 2017, the last year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a report.
Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations
Apr. 22, 2019 10:15 a.m
A synthetic drug found in fentanyl in Kamloops is the same drug that led to a mass overdose event in Brooklyn in 2015 in which those affected were described as acting like zombies.

Interior Health has issued a warning after a drug-checking machine — Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectrometer — revealed that beige pebbles found in Kamloops contained caffeine, heroin, fentanyl and a synthetic cannabinoid called AMB-FUBINACA.

Interior Health said the AMB-FUBINACA substance causes “speedy, trippy-like symptoms” with hallucinations. In high doses, users of the synthetic cannabinoid can appear to be having what looks like an opioid overdose, but will not respond to Naloxone, a medication that temporarily reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

AMB-FUBINACA was the drug involved in a mass casualty overdose event in Brooklyn four years ago in which 18 men were taken to hospital after being found in what the New England Journal of Medicine called “zombielike” state, based on observations by onlookers.

READ MORE: B.C. opioid overdoses still killing four people a day, health officials say

Those who had overdosed on the synthetic drug fell into “a trancelike state, groaning and moaning, their eyes lifeless and their movements slow and seemingly mechanical,” according to a December 2016 New York Times article.

The synthetic cannabinoid was originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, but never tested on humans as the company abandoned its research.

AMB-FUBINACA was also listed as being responsible for about 20 overdose deaths in New Zealand in 2017.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the AMB-FUBICANA tested in Brooklyn in the summer of 2015 was 85 times as potent as the main agent in plant-grown marijuana — THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Synthetic drugs like AMB-FUBICANA and K2 are made in labs and a world apart from natural cannabis.

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