Obama Administration Funds New Projects to Disrupt Prescription Opioid, Fentanyl and Heroin Trafficking

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Obama Administration announced $17 million in funding from the Office of National Drug Control Policy for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) across the country. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program helps Federal, state, and local authorities address emerging drug threats by coordinating drug enforcement operations, supporting prevention efforts and improving public health and safety.

Click here to read full News Release by The White House

Heroin Epidemic Escalates Across Maryland

By Deb Belt

Annapolis, MD — ‘Epidemic’ isn’t big enough to describe the scourge of heroin sweeping across Maryland -- and the rest of the country.

Heroin has a stranglehold on city-dwellers and suburbanites alike.

Despite warnings that one dose of the illicit opioid can be not only instantly addictive but sometimes fatal -- either in the short term or the long run -- heroin usage has increased in the state in recent years.

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Prince died of accidental overdose of opioid fentanyl, medical examiner says

By Ralph Ellis and Sara Sidner

Ramsey, Minnesota (CNN) - Toxicology tests for Prince concluded that the entertainer died from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl, according to a report on his death by the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office.

Fentanyl, prescribed by doctors for cancer treatment, can be made illicitly and is blamed for a spike in overdose deaths in the United States. It's 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Click here to view full article on CNN.

Baltimore to get more federal help on heroin overdoses

By Jean Marbella, The Baltimore Sun

 

The Baltimore-Washington area will participate in a $2.5 million White House initiative announced Monday to combat a persistent rise in heroin deaths over recent years.

Michael Botticelli, the White House drug czar, said the new Heroin Response Strategy will increase collaboration between public health and law enforcement agencies to track and, it is hoped, interrupt the flow of the deadly drug.

The program is part of $13.4 million in funding for areas of the country that have been hit particularly hard by heroin. Last year, 578 people died of heroin overdoses in Maryland, more than double the number several years ago.

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More deadly doses of heroin flood market

By Elisha Sauers, Capital Gazette

 

Blue Magic, a name given to some heroin, started circulating in the area last summer.

Charles "Buck" Hedrick, who manages a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration intelligence program in Baltimore, said drug dealers didn't know what was in it, but knew it was powerful: Some of their customers were dying.

As a marketing strategy, dealers labeled the drugs with a blue marker so customers could recognize the extra-strength dope. And when it started getting a bad rap, sellers repackaged it with different names.

Blue Magic turned out to contain fentanyl, an opiate stronger than morphine typically administered to patients in extreme pain or recovering from surgery.

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