Today: 21.09.2018
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20.09.2018

Drug used for lethal injections making its way into painkillers.

Late last month, news broke that singer Demi Lovato was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital after she experienced an apparent opioid-related overdose at her Hollywood Hills home. The 25-year-old pop star was revived after paramedics administered Narcan, one of the brand names for naloxone, a medication used to reverse overdoses. At the time, it...
Time: 15:45     Date: 15.08.2018
US Living News: Drug used for lethal injections making its way into painkillers. NY Post 24 - US News

At the time, it was unknown which opiate-derived drug Lovato had taken that led to the overdose. But sources close to the situation have claimed the “Cool for the Summer” singer reportedly used oxycodone — often called oxy — which, according to TMZ, may have been laced with fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid.

Unfortunately, that’s not really surprising — as the country continues to grapple with a deadly opioid epidemic, fentanyl is finding its way more and more into other substances, experts say.

“We are finding fentanyl in everything from painkillers, heroin, cocaine — you name it,” Jessica Hulsey Nickel, president and CEO of the Addiction Policy Forum, tells Rolling Stone. “Even benzodiazepines that are counterfeit and coming off the street.”

There are two prevailing theories as to how fentanyl is ending up in so many different drugs. Either drug cartels are deliberating cutting fentanyl into their product because it’s a cheaper substance — smaller amounts can yield the same street price, Hulsey Nickel says. Or there’s cross-contamination, often accidental, where the synthetic opioid is mixed with other substances produced in the same location — in other words, dealers aren’t being careful with clean up.

But, no matter the reason, it’s often unknown to drug users that the product they bought has been laced with fentanyl, says Hulsey Nickel, which is what happened in Lovato’s case, sources told TMZ. And this can have fatal consequences: Fentanyl — a derivative of the painkiller found in hospitals manufactured illegally in places like China and South America — is 80 to 100 times more potent than heroin or morphine, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. And the high lasts far longer, even longer than prescription fentanyl itself.

Fentanyl is so powerful and deadly that Nebraska executed a death-row inmate using the drug.

“Even if you are an opioid user, you can have an overdose from the first time fentanyl, carfentanyl or any of the synthetics is introduced to you,” Hulsey Nickel says. Because of its strength, more doses of naloxone usually need to be administered to reverse an opioid-related overdose if fentanyl is involved. “It is incredibly dangerous,” she adds.

Just take a look at the numbers: Data from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse show that synthetic opioids, primarily street fentanyl, were behind nearly 50 percent — or more than 19,000 — opioid-related deaths in 2016, surpassing prescription painkillers. That’s a dramatic uptick from 2010, when synthetic opioids were linked to only 14 percent of opiate overdose fatalities.

Overall, deaths from opioid overdoses increased five-fold from 1999 to 2016, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And, CDC estimates show, opioids — heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers — killed more than 42,000 people in the United States in 2016 alone.

Thanks to the rescue treatment, Narcan, Lovato survived her overdose and was able to recover. She was hospitalized for two weeks at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles before being transferred to an out-of-state rehab last week, according to news reports.

But Hulsey Nickel calls what happened to Lovato “a warning sign.”

“This is a signal that we need to make sure that we’re being more careful and talking to about 2.1 million Americans that have an opioid use disorder that we need to make aware of this risk,” she tells Rolling Stone, “and while we are working to get them into treatment, make sure they are keeping themselves safe.”

Living

US Living News: Dog owners share heartbreaking tales after alleged PetSmart grooming deaths. NY Post 24 - US News
Dog owners share heartbreaking tales after alleged PetSmart grooming deaths.
With his soulful brown eyes and floppy ears, Speck was full of life when he bounded into PetSmart to get spruced up for the...
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US Living News: Domino’s driver working multiple jobs gets $900 tip from church. NY Post 24 - US News
Domino’s driver working multiple jobs gets $900 tip from church.
A church group in Birmingham, Ala., pooled together a whopping $900 for their Domino’s delivery man, all because they thought...

Opinion

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A corrupt Cuomo crony gets the hard time he deserves.
Federal Judge Valerie Caproni clearly intended the six-year prison sentence she slapped on former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco...

Living

US Living News: Dog owners share heartbreaking tales after alleged PetSmart grooming deaths. NY Post 24 - US News
Dog owners share heartbreaking tales after alleged PetSmart grooming deaths.
With his soulful brown eyes and floppy ears, Speck was full of life when he bounded into PetSmart to get spruced up for the...
US Living News: Researchers got octopuses high for science. NY Post 24 - US News
Researchers got octopuses high for science.
Scientists have finally answered a question that has confounded mankind for ages: What happens if you get an octopus high...
US Living News: Ex-beauty queen under fire for claims big game hunting helps conservation. NY Post 24 - US News
Ex-beauty queen under fire for claims big game hunting helps conservation.
A big game hunter and former beauty queen is facing backlash after she claimed in a television interview that hunting helps...
US Living News: Domino’s driver working multiple jobs gets $900 tip from church. NY Post 24 - US News
Domino’s driver working multiple jobs gets $900 tip from church.
A church group in Birmingham, Ala., pooled together a whopping $900 for their Domino’s delivery man, all because they thought...
US Living News: Cat ‘serial killer’ mystery has a surprise ending. NY Post 24 - US News
Cat ‘serial killer’ mystery has a surprise ending.
Curiosity didn’t kill these cats — but neither did a serial kitty killer. The deaths and decapitations of over 400 cats...
US Living News: This fossil could be one of the earliest known creatures. NY Post 24 - US News
This fossil could be one of the earliest known creatures.
Scientists say they’ve confirmed that puzzling fossils from more than 500 million years ago are traces of an animal....
US Living News: Airport sorry for telling girl her diabetes medication could ‘make the plane crash’. NY Post 24 - US News
Airport sorry for telling girl her diabetes medication could ‘make the plane crash’.
Manchester Airport in England has apologized to a family after a security staff member allegedly told a 13-year-old girl...
US Living News: Woman on vacation reportedly finds dead tortoise in her vagina. NY Post 24 - US News
Woman on vacation reportedly finds dead tortoise in her vagina.
A British woman has been questioned by police in Spain after doctors found a dead tortoise inside her vagina, according to...

Business

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Wells Fargo to shed 10 percent of its workers by 2021.
Wells Fargo said Thursday it will shed as much as 10 percent of its workforce by 2021 as the bank struggles with continued...
Last US Business News: Tesla’s Model 3 wins perfect 5-star rating from US safety watchdog. NY Post 24 - US News
Tesla’s Model 3 wins perfect 5-star rating from US safety watchdog.
Tesla’s Model 3 sedan has been awarded a five-star rating by the US auto safety agency NHTSA in tests that are standard...
Last US Business News: Jobless claims post surprise drop, hit lowest levels since 1969. NY Post 24 - US News
Jobless claims post surprise drop, hit lowest levels since 1969.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, hitting near a 49-year low in a sign...
Last US Business News: Stocks hit record highs on relief over China tariffs. NY Post 24 - US News
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The Dow Industrial Average on Thursday became the last of the benchmark indexes to regain record territory, boosted by gains...
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BlackRock’s Larry Fink got blitzed by war protesters at a conference in New York Thursday. Moments after the head of the...
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Under Armour to cut 400 jobs.
Sportswear maker Under Armour will cut about 400 jobs, or 3 percent of its global workforce, as part of efforts to cut costs...
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Ticketmaster is essentially accused of colluding with scalpers — and collecting double fees in the process — in a bruising...

Metro

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Cops hunt for perv who groped 9-year-old girl in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn cops are on the hunt for a perv who groped a 9-year-old girl just a block away from an elementary school, authorities...
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90-year-old man killed by luxury car in Brooklyn.
A 90-year-old man was killed Thursday night when he was struck by a car driven by a 29-year-old in southeast Brooklyn, police...
Metro News: Bigot prisoner allegedly strangled, crushed throat of black inmate. NY Post 24 - US News
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A white inmate at an upstate prison, who was locked up on assault charges for attacking and threatening to “lynch”...
Metro News: Dog owners share heartbreaking tales after alleged PetSmart grooming deaths. NY Post 24 - US News
Dog owners share heartbreaking tales after alleged PetSmart grooming deaths.
With his soulful brown eyes and floppy ears, Speck was full of life when he bounded into PetSmart to get spruced up for the...
Metro News: WFP leader says ‘we don’t need Cuomo’ after campaign mailer. NY Post 24 - US News
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A leader of the Working Families Party said Thursday she would “never” vote to give the party’s line to Gov. Cuomo...
Metro News: Judge OKs DNA evidence in Queens jogger murder trial. NY Post 24 - US News
Judge OKs DNA evidence in Queens jogger murder trial.
Forensic evidence linking a Brooklyn man to the murder and sex assault of a Queens jogger can be presented at trial, a Queens...
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An Upper East Side man is suing his neighbors for not stopping construction during the Jewish holidays, according to a Manhattan....
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Gov. Cuomo’s opponents feasted on word that his former right-hand man Joseph Percoco was sentenced to six years in prison...

Sport

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Jets report card: Discipline breakdown falls on Todd Bowles.
Grades from the Jets’ 21-17 loss to the Browns on Thursday: Offense The Jets had long stretches of ineffectiveness in this...
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Aroldis Chapman’s return was supposed to complete the Yankees’ bullpen. Instead, in his first game back after spending...
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Andrew McCutchen’s hot streak (8-for-21, .381) combined with Aaron Judge’s return from the DL turned Brett Gardner into...
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Giancarlo Stanton’s late-season slump has more to do with a timing problem than any lingering effects of a left hamstring...