Oregon’s Measure 110, which decriminalized drug use and ramped up harm reduction, took effect in 2021 at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. After barely giving it a chance to have any effect, lawmakers got cold feet and decided to return to the tried – and failed – approach that has made the war on drugs America’s longest and most disastrous war.
Lawmakers think they can stem the flow of illicit fentanyl and its analogs into our country by seizing the assets of organizations trafficking the drug and its precursors. If that approach worked, organized crime would be a relic of the past. What they don’t understand is that even worse, that approach may make the nitazene crisis arrive ahead of schedule.
Prohibition of drugs simply doesn't work. Clamping down on Percocet and Vicodin resulted in a surge in heroin use. Fentanyl took care of that market and now even worse drugs called nitazenes are being found in fentanyl samples. Dr. Jeff Singer and I discuss this latest development in USA Today
From 1839 to 1842, the British attacked China over the Chinese government's decision to ban opium. The French joined the fray between 1856 and 1860. The military superiority of the Western powers resulted in the legalization of opium in China. Karma – in the form of China's payback to the Western powers – is a bitch.
The recent meeting between President Biden and China's President Xi Jinping delved into the U.S. fentanyl crisis, centering on the export of fentanyl chemical precursors from China to Mexico, where they are converted into fentanyl. However, there is an inherent challenge in restricting precursor chemicals. A minimally trained organic chemist can either make them or simply use a different, unrestricted chemical. Thus, any international agreement designed to minimize fentanyl by restricting precursors is likely to fail, defeated by organic chemistry.
It's 1980 and Queen released a huge, timeless hit, "Another One Bites the Dust." Imagine if someone wrote a parody about today's "fake" opioid crisis and put it to music. Wouldn't that be entertaining? Imagine no longer. Here it is.
The opioid crisis is fueled by fentanyl, largely a direct product or precursor manufactured in China. It's a rocket-fuel inversion of the Opium Wars, when Britain smuggled illegal opium into China.
First it was heroin. Next, it was fentanyl-laced heroin. Then it was fentanyl. Now it’s xylazine-laced fentanyl. Will nitazenes be next? Will policymakers ever learn that the Iron Law of Prohibition cannot be repealed?
The insanity of trying to control overdose deaths by banning certain drugs became evident years ago with fentanyl. Yet we now have a new monster on the street called Tranq and some people think that making it illegal will get rid of it. Simple chemistry guarantees that this plan will fail. Here's why.
As fentanyl-related overdose deaths soar to new heights, and with fentanyl found in stimulants, tranquilizers, and other recreational drugs obtained in the black market, it makes sense to let drug users use a simple test that detects fentanyl in products they are about to consume. But cruel and irrational drug paraphernalia laws in 42 states make it illegal for them to do so.
4-ANPP is not a term that most of you know but it's hugely important. It is the chemical that is the precursor to fentanyl. Although 4-ANPP is not an opioid, there is not a single thing anyone would do with it except convert it to fentanyl. And there is plenty of 4-ANPP to be had now the bad guys use synthetic organic chemistry to make it.
People who take oxycodone need to be careful when also taking antifungal drugs or drinking grapefruit juice. Why? Because both the juice and the drug can result in abnormally high, perhaps dangerously so, oxycodone blood levels. The same goes for fentanyl. But people taking morphine or Dilaudid don't have to worry; neither the juice nor the antifungal drug will have a significant effect on the opioid levels. Believe it or not, this all makes sense.