How Drug Busts in Kensington Could Make Things Even Worse

Philadelphia police drug bust press conference

Photos via @PhillyPolice

The police laid the drugs, the money, and the guns on the table. The cameras rolled. And another victory in the drug war was declared.

After a string of at least 35 polydrug overdose deaths earlier this month, the cops moved in. From December 14th to 16th, Philadelphia police made 176 arrests in the East Detective Division, which includes Feltonville, Hunting Park, Juniata, Kensington, Port Richmond, and other parts of North Philly. At a press conference on the 20th, they showed off 21 guns, almost $50,000 in cash, and what the department said was $200,000 worth of heroin and other drugs. Read more »

There’s a Good Way to Fight Heroin Overdoses, but You’re Going to Hate It

Insite - vancouver

The injecting room at Vancouver’s Insite, North America’s first legal self-injection drug site. | Courtesy Insite

The news from last weekend was grim. Nine people, ranging in age from 20 to 40, died of drug overdoses. They included Victor Colon, a man the Daily News described having a “heart of gold.” There would have been more deaths, per Action News, but police revived four people with the overdose-reversing drug Narcan.

The weekend was part of a harrowing stretch of 35 fatal drug overdoses between December 1st and December 5th. The news for this entire year is grim, too: The medical examiner’s office says there could be as many as 900 fatal drug overdoses in 2016, and police have used Narcan to save 125 people. According to a report from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in June, heroin overdose deaths spiked in 2011 and have remained high ever since. Read more »

MLB Clears Ryan Howard in Drug Probe

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball announced today it had cleared Phillies slugger Ryan Howard in its investigation into the Al Jazeera performance-enhancing drug report released late last year.

The international media giant’s report into the world of sports doping used an undercover athlete to secretly record people peddling PEDs. It linked Howard, two-time Super Bowl champ Peyton Manning, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and others to edge-enhancing drugs. MLB cleared Zimmerman today also; the NFL is investigating other football players named in the report.

“This thorough investigation did not find any violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by either Howard of Zimmerman,” MLB said in its statement. “Both Howard and Zimmerman fully cooperated with the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.” Charlie Sly, the pharmacist secretly recorded in the report who accused the two baseball players, did not cooperate with MLB. Read more »

Drug-Resistant Superbug Found in Pennsylvania Woman

e-coli

A terrifying strain of drug-resistant bacteria has made its first appearance in the United States — in a Pennsylvania woman.

The report, posted online Thursday as an accepted paper in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, says the E. coli found in a woman in the Keystone State “heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria.”

A woman, 49, came to a Pennsylvania clinic and was found to have a rare strain of E. coli that is resistant to colistin. Read more »

ACME Now Selling Overdose-Reversal Drug NARCAN at Pennsylvania Pharmacies

ACME - Lawrence Park Shopping Center - Delaware County

The ACME Sav-On Pharmacy in the Lawrence Park Shopping Center in Broomall. (Photo courtesy ACME)

The country is the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. The CDC estimates 89 people die every day from an opioid-related overdose in the United States. Pennsylvania officials say that, in 2014, 2,400 people were killed by drug overdoses. Heroin and opioid overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the state.

Amazingly, there is a drug — Naloxone, commonly known by the brand name NARCAN — that can immediately reverse an overdose by reversing the depression opioids cause in the central nervous and respiratory systems. Research has shown that availability of naloxone does not encourage people to use opiates more.  Read more »

Penn Study: Painkiller Prescriptions on the Rise

iStockphoto.com | DanielAzocar

iStockphoto.com | DanielAzocar

Are prescription painkillers playing a role in increasing rates of addiction and overdose from prescription opioid painkillers? A study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers at Penn Medicine doesn’t go as far to say doctors’ pain treatment methods are the cause, but shows they have become much more lenient in recent years with prescribing opioid medications — both in larger doses and more frequently — after low-risk surgeries.

“I think much of this pattern probably derives from good intentions, says Mark Neuman, senior author of the Penn Medicine study. “It also reflects the fact that there are only so many options for patients who have pain.” The researchers say more work is needed to see how pain prescriptions plays into the addiction and overdose epidemic. Read more »

Medical Marijuana Could Be Law in Pennsylvania Very Soon

iStockphoto.com | OpenRangeStock

iStockphoto.com | OpenRangeStock

After a long battle, medical marijuana is poised to be made into law in Pennsylvania.

The House of Representatives passed the bill earlier this week; the Senate will be able to vote on the bill as early as Monday.

“I applaud the Pennsylvania House for passing legislation to legalize medical marijuana, and I look forward to the Senate sending the bill to my desk,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. “We will finally provide the essential help needed by patients suffering from seizures, cancer, and other illnesses.” Read more »

Another Nice Spring Day, Another Villanova LSD Bust

Was it just last month that a bunch of Villanova University kids went on bad LSD trips, resulting in two arrests and four hospitalizations? It sure was. Radnor Township cops confiscated $9,000 and 37 tabs of acid in February, and we pretty much assumed that was that, even though only a few years back, cops broke up what they said was a $1 million LSD ring operating out of Drexel University.

Well, Radnor cops were back on Villanova’s campus on Saturday to make another LSD bust. John Patrick Visser, a 19-year-old freshman from Aurora, Colorado, was arrested after campus police found paper dose tags and bottles of a liquid they believe to be LSD in a dorm room at Good Counsel Hall on the college’s South Campus. That’s the same dorm where the students involved in last month’s incident lived. Read more »

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