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The Opioid Crisis Is Crossing Over to Something Darker

Experts struggle to treat multi-drug use as opioid users turn to meth and other stimulants

(Newser) - The opioid epidemic has become an uphill battle with the rise of fentanyl on the streets, but experts are seeing an even scarier trend. The New York Times reports that people addicted to drugs are more likely to use multiple substances now, combining a cocktail of uppers and downers that...

One Woman's Controversial Mission to Help Drug Addicts

Louise Vincent focuses on 'harm reduction' approach instead of abstinence

(Newser) - One way to help addicts off of drugs is to get them to quit cold turkey, an approach favored by many US politicians as they push for legislation and tougher prison sentences to combat the emergence of such drugs as fentanyl and xylazine (aka "tranq," or "zombie...

After Fentanyl-Laced Letters, Officials Stock Up on Naloxone

Elections officials around the country are feeling threatened in wake of opioid-laced letters

(Newser) - The suspicious letters sent to vote centers and government buildings in six states this month were undeniably scary, some containing traces of fentanyl or white powder, accompanied by not-so-veiled threats and dubious political symbols. Harkening back to the anthrax attacks that killed five people in 2001, the AP reports that...

Oregon Considers Reversing Course on Hard Drugs

Just 2 years after Measure 110 passed, officials are taking a hard look at whether it's working

(Newser) - Oregon became the first state to decriminalize all drugs , but with overdoses and public intoxication on the rise, officials are taking a hard look at whether the new law is working. The Wall Street Journal reports that Measure 110, which had 58% support in 2020, is declining in popularity after...

Possibly Fentanyl-Laced Mail Sent to Election Offices

A rash of reports across the country, including, notably, Georgia's Fulton County

(Newser) - A possibly fentanyl-laced letter was sent to an election official in Georgia's Fulton County, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says. He says state and federal officials are working to determine whether any other officials in the state have been targeted, Fox 5 Atlanta reports; WSB-TV reports they're...

Ohio Woman Is Alleged Serial Killer
Serial Killer Suspect
Pleads Not Guilty

Serial Killer Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

Rebecca Auborn is accused of drugging 5 men in Ohio, 4 of whom died

(Newser) - An Ohio woman who police say fatally drugged four men pleaded not guilty to 28 charges at an arraignment Monday and will be held in jail awaiting trial after waiving her chance for bond. Rebecca Auborn's pleas were entered through her attorney, Mark Hunt, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Investigators...

New US Strategy Focuses on Fentanyl Supply Chain

Postal Service, carriers will help monitor chemicals, presses used to make pills

(Newser) - As overdose deaths continue at a record pace, US Customs and Border Protection announced a new government-wide strategy Thursday involving scores of agencies that will target the precursor materials used by traffickers to make fentanyl and other synthetic drugs. Under the plan, CBP will work with the Postal Service and...

Report: Sinaloa Cartel Now Killing Fentanyl Producers

Cartel appears to be enforcing ban on the drug, though authorities still have doubts

(Newser) - When banners went up announcing that the Sinaloa drug cartel had given up the sale and production of fentanyl , authorities were understandably wary. But members of the cartel, the leading exporter of fentanyl to the US, say cartel leaders are serious—deadly serious. A "midlevel Sinaloa cartel operative" who...

GOP Rivals Propose Acts of War Against Mexico Over Fentanyl

DeSantis proposed killing suspects, Haley sending special forces across border

(Newser) - Ron DeSantis wants suspected drug smugglers at the US-Mexico border to be shot dead. Nikki Haley promises to send special forces into Mexico. Vivek Ramaswamy has accused Mexico's leader of treating drug cartels as his "sugar daddy" and says that if he is elected president, "there will...

'You Have Been Warned. Respectfully, Chapitos'

Sinaloa cartel puts up banners in Mexico saying it's abandoning fentanyl, but could be 'pure propaganda'

(Newser) - Banners appeared Monday in northern Mexico purportedly signed by a faction of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel claiming that the gang has sworn off the sale and production of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. But, as the AP reports, experts quickly cast doubt on the veracity of the claim, saying that fentanyl—...

Fentanyl Found Hidden Under Floor at Daycare Where Child Died

Police are still searching for daycare owner's husband

(Newser) - The New York Police Department on Thursday released photos of what officers say is a huge stash of fentanyl they found hidden under a trap door in the daycare's floor. Other drugs were also allegedly found in the stash totaling more than five kilos, CBS News reports. The two...

More Charges After Child Is Fatally Exposed to Fentanyl

2 adults already charged in case are now also charged in federal court

(Newser) - The two people previously hit with state charges over the death of a 1-year-old boy who was exposed to fentanyl at a New York City home daycare are now also facing federal charges. A complaint filed in federal court Monday charges Grei Mendez, 36, and Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, with...

Puppy Given Naloxone After Possible Fentanyl OD

8-week-old puppy made a full recovery

(Newser) - Naloxone, the opioid overdose-reversing drug, was used not on a human but on a puppy in southern California last week. Irvine police officers say the pit bull puppy appeared to have been exposed to fentanyl and recovered quickly after the drug, also known as Narcan, was administered via nasal spray,...

Former US Swimmer's Cause of Death in Virgin Islands Revealed

Jamie Cail died of accidental fentanyl poisoning, announce Virgin Islands police

(Newser) - A former US swimming star found dead in the US Virgin Islands in February died of accidental fentanyl poisoning, according to police. Jamie Cail, 42, died of "fentanyl intoxication with aspiration of gastric content," police said in a Saturday release, per NBC News . An autopsy was performed on...

Elderly Drug Dealer Sentenced in Wire Actor's Death

72-year-old got 2.5 years in prison

(Newser) - One of the men arrested in the overdose death of The Wire actor Michael K. Williams was on Tuesday sentenced to two and a half years behind bars. Carlos Macci, 72, pleaded guilty in April to possessing and distributing narcotics, NBC News reports. "I would like to say, your...

Cops: De Niro Grandson Got Drugs From 'Percocet Princess'

Sofia Haley Marks, 20, arrested during sting operation in NYC: reports

(Newser) - A 20-year-old woman dubbed the "Percocet Princess" has been arrested in connection with the suspected overdose death of Robert De Niro's grandson. Sofia Haley Marks, who allegedly sold drugs to 19-year-old Leandro De Niro-Rodriguez before he was found dead in New York City, was arrested around 6pm Thursday...

De Niro Grandson Dies at 19
De Niro's Daughter:
Fentanyl Killed My Son

De Niro's Daughter: Fentanyl Killed My Son

'Someone sold him fentanyl laced pills that they knew were laced yet still sold them to him'

(Newser) - Robert De Niro's eldest daughter says her son was killed by pills laced with fentanyl. In a comment on an Instagram post , Drena De Niro blamed drug dealers for the death of 19-year-old Leandro De Niro-Rodriguez, NBC reports. "Someone sold him fentanyl laced pills that they knew were...

Police: 2 Dead After Possible Mass Fentanyl Overdose
Arrests Made in
Hawaii Mass Overdose

Arrests Made in Hawaii Mass Overdose

Couple charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl

(Newser) - Authorities have arrested a man and woman they say supplied the fentanyl in a mass overdose that left two people dead in a room at an oceanfront Hawaii hotel. Avery Garrard and Keina Drageset are charged with conspiring with each other and others to distribute fentanyl that resulted in death,...

Mom Held in Spouse's Murder Told Cops: 'I Just Want This Over'

Utah woman accused of poisoning husband wrote letter to authorities about her finances, marriage

(Newser) - A mom who wrote a children's book about dealing with the grief of losing loved ones, penned after her own husband died, is now accused of killing him and she'll be sitting in jail for the duration of her trial. Kouri Richins, 33, was denied bail during a...

US Army Sees Record Number of Fatal ODs From This Drug

Fentanyl is hitting all military branches, but none as hard as the Army, and loved ones want answers

(Newser) - Earlier this year, Congress received some sobering data from the Department of Defense showing that fentanyl was involved in 88% of the 2021 deaths of US troops who'd died of drug overdoses—up from just 36% five years earlier. "Our military is not immune to the opioid epidemic,...

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