These are true events installed behind each chapter.
This epidemic can cost you your life as well as prison time being served.
It might seem like easy money but sometimes your greed opens other evil doors.
These wide-ranging events occur often and prevalent,
surviving is what we all believe in morally or dishonorably.
This is Common Creed……..
BY JAVON BATES
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WHAT IS THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC?
Can cause death, prison sentences and destruction upon others
The Education of the epidemic-Common Creed
The Opioid Epidemic rapid increase in the use of prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs in the United States and Canada beginning in the late 1990s and continuing throughout the next two decades. Opioids are a diverse class of moderately strong painkillers, including oxycodone (commonly sold under the trade names OxyContin and Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and a very strong painkiller, fentanyl, which is synthesized to resemble other opiates such as opium-derived morphine and heroin.
The potency and availability of these substances, despite their high risk of addiction and overdose, have made them popular both as formal medical treatments and as recreational drugs. Due to their sedative effects on the part of the brain which regulates breathing, the respiratory center of the medulla oblongata, opioids in high doses present the potential for respiratory depression, and may cause respiratory failure and death.
Fentanyl is a painkiller commonly used by drug dealers to cut heroin. The drug's potency is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.
Fentanyl can cause a person to overdose through skin contact.
Pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.
Increased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids from the opium poppy plant or are synthetic equivalents.
Prescription opioids are powerful medications that relieve pain by reducing the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain.
Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.
When used correctly under a health care provider's direction, prescription pain medicines are helpful. However, misusing prescription opioids risks dependence and addiction.
Understanding Drug Use and Addiction
The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs.
What do you know about Opioids?
Nearly one in five teens say they have used prescription medicine at least once in their lifetime to get high.
There are 144 drug overdose deaths per day in the United States.
Sixty-one percent of those deaths are related to pharmaceutical opioids or heroin.
Opioids have been linked to 63 percent of drug overdoses in the U.S.
In 2015, 58 percent of 12th grade students reported a “great risk” in trying heroin.
About 15 million people indicated misusing prescription painkillers in 2014.
Opioids are increasingly abused throughout the United States, a situation widely known as the Opioid Epidemic. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death among Americans, and opioids are now involved in the majority of fatal overdoses. An especially tragic aspect of the Opioid Epidemic is teenage Opioid addiction
In 2016, 276,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 used pain relievers (including opioids) for non-medical reasons, and 122,000 were addicted to prescription drugs. 21,000 teenagers used Heroin in 2015, and 6,000 of them had a Heroin use disorder in the previous year. Unfortunately, it appears the problem is getting worse. Teenage opioid addiction rates increased by 19 percent between 2014 and 2015. When asked, 12th-grade students identified the ease of availability of Heroin as a factor in their use.
Why are teens more vulnerable to Heroin and prescription opioids?
Brain is under construction making it more likely for risky behavior and experimentation
Increasing independence and responsibility
Social isolation and loneliness
Peer pressure wanting to fit in
Seeking rewards in all the wrong places
Exactly what is heroin? This is a commonly asked question regarding this substance. Known as dope, smack, horse and junk, heroin can appear as a white or brown powder or a sticky substance called black tar heroin. Heroin is an opiate, a natural derivative of the opium poppy plant seed pod, and it elicits feelings of elation and pleasure (a “high”) that people get addicted to. However, the adverse effects of use and abuse are too serious and harmful to ignore.
Although heroin is made from morphine, it changes back into morphine after it enters the brain. After binding to opioid receptors, the areas of the brain responsible for pleasure and mood are triggered. Such areas include the brain stem, which is responsible for controlling important autonomic bodily functions such as blood pressure, breathing and arousal. Heroin can be ingested by snorting it, smoking it or injecting it subdermally (under the skin), intramuscularly (into the muscle) and intravenously (into a vein).
Heroin is such a potent drug that those who use it feel the high relatively quickly. Because of the increase of supply and ease in obtaining it, people from many backgrounds use heroin. Prescription painkillers have become the gateway drug to heroin, so anyone who has been prescribed narcotic medications can be susceptible to heroin use and heroin addiction.
The opioid epidemic has taken the United States by storm, and many people are dying from overdose every day, with a high number related to heroin abuse. Due to the addictive nature of prescription opiates, people who are unable to finance their addiction may resort to heroin use because it produces a more distinct high for less money and is readily available.
What Does Heroin Look Like?
When answering the “What is heroin?” question, another factor to consider is the appearance of this substance. Heroin is available most commonly in a powder form. It can appear white or brown. This color usually varies based on geographic location in the United States. White or off-white powdered heroin is commonly seen in the eastern United States. The variation in colors denotes the purity level of the drug. The more white it is, the purer and more potent it is in comparison with off-white or brown. Typically, there are more impurities in brownish heroin powder.
Conversely, some heroin is sold as a solid, sticky substance that is typically black in color. Known as black tar or sticky tar, this substance can be hard to the touch. Some powdered heroin may also be found in the West, but it’s typically the more impure, brown variety. The purest forms are odor-free. However, the darker, impure forms of heroin have a slight, pungent smell similar to that of vinegar. Similarly, black tar heroin also has a smell slightly resembling vinegar. If both black tar and off-white heroin are smoked, the smell will intensify, and the vinegar scent will be even stronger.
While pure heroin does exist in the drug marketplace, more often than not, it’s cut with other drugs and substances. This means drug dealers mix in these other substances with heroin so they can sell more of the drug and make a more significant profit. While this process does dilute it, it also makes consuming the drug more dangerous, as it can cause a myriad of effects.
Some substances that heroin is commonly cut with are:
- Baking soda
- Laundry detergent
- Rat poison
- Talcum powder
- White sugar
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid used clinically to treat pain and as a general anesthetic. Recently, fentanyl has emerged as a recreational drug and its overdose has been linked to numerous deaths in the US. To better understand how fentanyl affects the brain, we used electrochemical techniques in rats and examined the effect of intravenous fentanyl on oxygen and glucose levels in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region implicated in reward and addiction. Oxygen and glucose are metabolism-related substances that must be constantly supplied to the brain for it to function properly. We found that at doses corresponding to human consumption, fentanyl caused brain oxygen levels to drop within seconds and subsequently glucose levels to increase. By measuring oxygen in a highly-vascularized region under the skin, we determined that the fentanyl-induced brain hypoxia is caused by the drop of blood oxygen levels resulting from drug-induced breathing depression. Diminished breathing also leads to carbon dioxide accumulation, which in turn causes vasodilation of blood vessels in the brain allowing enhanced glucose entry into the brain. Compared to other opioids, such as heroin or morphine, fentanyl doses required to cause hypoxia were very low, which highlights the danger when mistakenly consuming fentanyl instead of heroin or heroin that was contaminated with fentanyl.
Type of Opioid
Where they came from
3,500 to $70,000+
The Annual Cost of Addiction to Prescription Opioids
The yearly cost of an Opioid addiction also varies depending on the severity of the addiction (or how many pills an individual takes daily). Yet, because addictions require increasing amounts of the same substance to feel “normal” and even more on top of that to get high, the true cost of an Opioid addiction is likely higher.
The three main sources for illegal opium are Burma, Afghanistan, and Columbia; with opium and heroin in high demand.
The opioid epidemic is enhanced by the international drug trade as well as big pharmaceutical companies, despite having said authority to manufacture and distribute highly addictive substances.
Brand-name OxyContin per pill
oxycodone sells for $12 to $40 per pill
For instance, the average retail price of 60 tablets of OxyContin is $203. Taken three times daily, maintaining an addiction would cost $3,654 via prescription or an average of $70,200/year on the street.
(made from the plant)
Alkaloids, that occur in plants such as opium
Created in labs from natural opioids
FLIRTING WITH DISASTER
It is one of the most potent opioids known.
Its potency is approximately 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times stronger than fentanyl.
It is a general anesthetic designed for large animals.
The earliest references to purple drank came from Houston’s blues musicians. At the time, it referred to Robitussin mixed with beer. In the 1980s, sizzurp grew in popularity among southern rappers. Today, lean is abused in large numbers by young people across the globe.
Lean” is a slang term for a drink that contains the medications promethazine and codeine. People often combine a cough syrup containing the drugs with soda and flavored candies such as Jolly Rancher. Also known as “purple drank” and “sizzurp,” the beverage can produce feelings of relaxation and euphoria.
Promethazine is a prescription cold medication used to treat various conditions, including nausea and vomiting. Codeine is a naturally occurring opiate that relieves pain. They are combined in promethazine-codeine cough syrup, a prescription medication used to alleviate symptoms of allergies or the common cold.
When taken in high doses, sizzurp can create a high similar to that of heroin. But it can also lead to a number of physical and psychological health problems. Taking too much of the concoction can cause overdose or death.
Possible Consequences of Drinking Lean
Feelings of euphoria
*Slowed heart rate
Urinary tract infections
*Seizures (in at-risk individuals)
One thousand more Ohio children will be spending their holidays in foster care this year compared to 2016 as the opioid crisis continues to take an unprecedented toll on families.
In the state of Ohio, drug trafficking is defined as selling, offering, or packaging for delivery a “controlled substance,” as stipulated by the Ohio Revised Code. “Controlled substances” are classified under five schedules, with I being the most severe and V being the least severe. The severity of a heroin trafficking conviction is based on the amount of heroin found.
Different amounts with corresponding convictions are detailed below.
up to 1 gram: 5th degree felony (6-12 months)
1 – <5 grams: 4th degree felony (6-18 months)
5 – <10 grams: 3rd degree felony, presumption in favor of prison time (9 months – 3 years)
10 – 50 grams: 2nd degree felony, prison time mandatory (2 - 8years)
50 – <250 grams: 1st degree felony, prison time mandatory (3-10 years)
≥250 grams: Major drug offense (MDO), maximum prison time (11 year
If you are caught in possession of heroin in the state of Ohio, you can face thousands of dollars in penalties and up to a decade in prison. See the information below for a quick breakdown of heroin possession penalties based on amount.
Up to 1 gram: 5th degree felony, 6-12 months in prison (in favor of community control)
1 to < 5 gram: 4th degree felony, 6-18 months in prison (in favor of community control)
5 to < 10 grams: 3rd degree felony, 9 months to 3 years in prison (in favor of community control)
10 to < 50 grams: 2nd degree felony, 2-8 years in prison (mandatory).
50 to <250 grams: 1st degree felony, 3-10 years in prison (mandatory).
250 grams or more: Major drug offense (MDO), 11 years in prison (mandatory).
Americans are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose than an accident
For the first time on record the odds of accidentally dying from an opioid overdose in the United States are now greater than those of dying in an automobile accident.
The grim finding comes from the National Safety Council which analyzed preventable injury and fatality statistics from 2017.
The NSC also found the lifetime odds of death for this form of overdose were greater than the risk of death from falls, pedestrian incidents, drowning and fire.
Last month the CDC reported life expectancy in the United States declined from 2016 to 2017 due to increased drug overdoses and suicides. One study also found that a growing number of children and adolescents in the United States are dying from opioid poisonings.
“What began more than 2 decades ago as a public health problem primarily among young and middle-aged white males is now an epidemic of prescription and illicit opioid abuse that is taking a toll on all segments of US society,” the researchers wrote.
Overdose deaths reached a new high in 2017, topping 70,000, while the suicide rate increased by 3.7%, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports. Illegally manufactured fentanyl was suggested to be the driving force.
From 2013 to 2017, drug overdose death rates increased in 35 of 50 states and DC, with significant increases in death rates involving synthetic opioids reported in 15 of 20 states, the CDC said in a previous statement.
A separate December report found that in 2016, fentanyl surpassed heroin as the most commonly used drug in overdose deaths in the US.