DEA Calls Heroin Problem “Enormous and Growing”

DEA Calls Heroin Problem “Enormous and Growing”

By Ed Coghlan

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has called the use of heroin and other opioid drugs an “expanding health crisis.” The DEA released its 2016 National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary on Tuesday (June 28).

The DEA called out three data points in its press release:

  • The number of people reporting current heroin use nearly tripled between 2007 (161,000) and 2014 (435,000).
  • Deaths due to synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and its analogues, increased 79 percent from 2013 to 2014.
  • Deaths involving heroin more than tripled between 2010 (3,036) and 2014 (10,574) – a rate faster than other illicit drugs.

“We tend to overuse words such as ‘unprecedented’ and ‘horrific,’ but the death and destruction connected to heroin and opioids is indeed unprecedented and horrific,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.  “The problem is enormous and growing, and all of our citizens need to wake up to these facts.”

The DEA stated: “Many users of Controlled Prescription Drugs (CPDs) become addicted to opioid medications originally prescribed for a legitimate medical purpose.  The reasons individuals shift from one opiate to another vary, but today’s heroin is higher in purity, less expensive, and can be easier to obtain than illegal CPDs”.

New to this year’s summary is information on a recent phenomenon—fentanyl disguised as prescription pills—something allegedly responsible for the death of 19 people in Florida and California during the first quarter of 2016.

The number of users, treatment admissions, overdose deaths, and seizures from traffickers all increased over those reported in last year’s summary.  In addition, heroin was the greatest drug threat reported by 45 percent (up from 38% last year and 7% in 2007) of state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies responding to the 2016 National Drug Threat Survey, an annual survey of a representative national sample of 2,761 agencies.

The agency said the heroin threat is particularly high in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest areas of the United States, law enforcement agencies in cities across the country report seizing larger than usual quantities of heroin.

The DEA said that National Seizure System data show an 80 percent increase in heroin seizures in the past five years, from 3,733 kilograms in 2011 to 6,722 kilograms in 2015.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There are 29 comments for this article
  1. Ken at 7:46 am

    Of course they could stop the heroin, they don’t want to, way too much money to be made. Pain patients are a much easier target. I posted this before and they didn’t post it. I fully agree with the Doctor. Heroin has been a problem for so many years, but since Washington got involved, they’re blaming everything on opioids and the poor CPP. My neighbor told me yesterday, who has a husband in a w/c from a car accident, the PM doc has him on one OxyContin a day. She told me he’s going to die on me from the pain. This is going on all over the country, if the people can’t get their meds they will turn to heroin or worse yet, suicide. I guarantee, if things went back to normal regarding the legal pain patients, the heroin overdoses would drop drastically. The DEA and CDC need to butt out and let the doctors handle their patients pain in the manner they were trained to do.

  2. Sandra at 8:10 pm

    Now your getting it.
    Wake up America. People can not live with that kind of pain.

    If you tell them you may die if you take heroin , but it will stop your pain . If you have seriou pain you will take the heroine to stop the pain. They would rather be dead than be in pain. They have no one to help them not the hospital or their doctor.
    The CDC and polititicans are to be blamed for the deaths . They will go down in history for this killing people.

  3. Doc Anonymous at 5:05 pm

    The heroin problem and its closely related “fentanyl” problem is NOT a prescription drug problem. Heroin and fentanyl causing so many deaths is an ILLEGAL POISON problem. It is not occurring because of pain management with opioids. It is occurring because illegal controlled substances are entering the US illegally or are being produced illegally in the US.

    The POISONING OF AMERICA is a direct consequence of the failure of the DEA to meet its statutory charge under the Controlled Substances Act to control the ILLEGAL production of these POISON chemicals. I guess pain doctors and their fiduciary compatriots, the pain patient, are just easier targets.

  4. Kenneth Burgos at 5:25 am

    When is the CDC going to open their eyes and realize the heroine overdoses are directly the result of what they are doing to people that can’t get their pain meds. They need to stop blaming th people with legitimate pain and legitimate prescriptions from their pain management doctors. Get the government involved as they are and looking to again sweep the use of opioid use, they are going to create a larger fiasco than what is happening now.

  5. scott michaels at 10:57 am

    THE DEA IS THE ENORMOUS PROBLEM, NOT THE DRUGS…
    FRO DECADES WE HAVE POURED BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. I BELIEVE THE GOT THE JOB DESCRIPTION WRONG. THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ENFORCING THE FLOW OF DRUGS BUT STOPPING IT.
    HOW MANY MORE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WILL IT TAKE BEFORE WE REALIZE THEY FAILED.
    IT SEEMS AS A LAST DITCH EFFORT THEY ARE GOING AFTER DISABLED U.S. CITIZENS THAT LIVE IN HORRIFIC PAIN.
    THEY MAKE SUREBTHE MEDIA SEES A BUST THEY MAKE. BASED ON THE DOLLARS SPENT WE SHOULD BE SEEING 10 VUSTS A DAY ON THE CA BOARDER AND 50 ON THE TEXAS BOARDER. WHERE IS ALL THE MONEY? IH, I KNOW ITS IN PAYROLL. THEY CANT OR WONT STOP THE DRUG TRAFFICKING BECAUSE THEY WOULD HE OUT OF WORK.
    WELL DEAR DEA STOP ATTACKING THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY AND DO YOYR JOB. STOP THE TRAFFICKING OF DRUGS OVER THE BOARDER

  6. Jean Price at 7:02 pm

    Therese…I understand the good timing thing!! Always seems the “right” time when we are low that something picks us up! I noticed before that you talked about praying…one of the best things I can do, too! Please know when you’re having a particularly bad time or even just want to chat, I’m usually around the house and would consider it a blessing.. And we can all use the socialization, I think! One sad thing about pain is how it shrinks our world and our contacts with people! I’m reachable through messaging on Facebook and my email is jeankprice@hotmail.com. Never worry about sounding silly…since we have pain we can always use that when we need to…to explain away any missteps!! Hey, we might as well find something good about it, right?! Any any rate, I’ll keep you in my prayers and hope you know seeing your reply tonight helped my day have a lovely finish! Thanks!

  7. Therese at 2:31 pm

    Oh Jean, how very sweet of you to respond at all, and today has been one of my absolute lowest days so I totally understand the down and out. It’s funny how things work out that way sometimes – words of encouragement when you need them most. I don’t really know you at all but I consider you a friend; unfortunately I can’t say I have others or much support at all. I really appreciate your saying they were good suggestions. If I were in better shape I might be able to write a better post, but I’m just not and don’t think I will be for quite a while. So I hope I don’t sound too, I don’t know, foolish, I guess. Thanks.

  8. Jean Price at 1:22 pm

    Therese…sorry it took so long for me to acknowledge what you said, but I’ve been down and out more than usual lately!! And I’ve done a little precursory looking, without much to show for it. But I’ll keep trying the two people you spoke of and thanks for this! Anyone one else with names or ideas, please check them out or let me know. I’m not at all sure how to contact these people and the ones I’ve tried in the past never responded, but hey,…we keep plugging away, just like the rest of life with pain! Maybe the “right” person will turn up! And these were both good suggestions! I do think a nationally know spokesperson would be an asset!!

  9. Pain at 8:52 pm

    Has anyone read the CARA of 2016 that passed 7 days ago? It is further causing problems. Read it, I would strongly recommend. Some of the objectives are to: Educate about the dangers of opioids, educate about the some of the similarities of opioids (misuse) and heroin.

    It’s just bad all over. I don’t think its right to condemn pain patients and give people with a SUD a ton of services and essentially make pain patients miserable in the process.

    Maybe I just sound a bit harsh. Pain hurtz.

    Maybe its just me.

  10. scott michaels at 6:49 pm

    The most ignorant group of people in the world. Siezures double.. Usage is up 50 fold if all they did was doulbe the busts.
    These ignorant people were so worried about our pain medication, they continued to close their eyes on dope crossing the boarder. Besides that we must support the heroin trade or we will have to send even more money to afganistan. Only 1 good thing cane from the taliban, that was thry killed poppy growers, Now they are subsidized by our government.
    our govt also created a new demographic for geroin us. Those that have been cut off of their pain meds for no reason. Did they think people in pain would just accept this. Now they search the streets for illegal drugs, not to get high, just to relieve their pain.
    I want to Know how much money was spent to sieze barely 7000 kilograms. Thats only 14k pounds.
    I am confident our country uses 14k pounds an hour of heroin.
    Those hundredsnof millions spent needlessly could have gone to schools,roads, chronic pain research, homeless,the hungry.
    This country is run and will continue to be run by corrupt thieving people. this country is the worse in the world as far as corruption goes. they just hide it extremely well.

  11. Mark Ibsen MD at 2:54 pm

    Heroin?
    Afghanistan.

    Simple.

  12. derk at 9:20 am

    By this time it is quite obvious to all actually INVOLVED, that the regulation and encompasing guidelines set forth by our regulatory agencies, are the result of either false pretension or attempts of downright manipulation. The one major aspect of this puzzle that seems to be overlooked during these discussions, is the publics perception. Mentioning stigma, is just about the extent of our adress in most cases, when infact it plays a much larger role in the progression of this battle. The average person in America does not read this website…or any other publication of the sort. Their understanding of the problem afoot is not only rudimentary at best, but sourced from the pages of Time magazine or the Huff post. These publications do NOT paint the true picture, the lives and obstacles we are familiar with. They are failing to convey the pertinent information, regarding the deceit and agenda that drives it, that puts this entire situation into perspective. They believe that our government is taking the best approach to the epidemic they are told of, and have very little (if any) reason to question or dig any deeper. Untill the ideologies we hold here are brought to the forefront of our media, and are incentivesed in some way for the publics support, we are not going to see this budge. The government will continue to take up the slack their people give them and run away with their ability to manage existing or future ailments. This is a difficult task, considering that most people will side against their own family members, despite watching them experience the weight of this regulation on their already fatiguing frame…but I do believe it is possible. Unfortunately some sort of glamorization will need to be used, such as a celeb spokes person mentioned below, as that is the most universal form of attraction. I see a common theme here, where us as frustrated and pained warriors come to a site like this while at rest, to gather some form of hope and comradary that our lives may lack day to day…but that needs to become a more active and synergistic movement. I urge those in the earlier stages of their disease to strike while the iron is hot, using what energy has NOT been drained of them to counter the movement to destroy them, before they are to ravaged to do so. We have the numbers and simply must do a better job of banding together on a less spurratic basis. The fact that the medias portrayal (of this) is a repetitive amalgamation of generally the same tired narrative, IS on our side. It leaves us the opportunity to be the first to present a comprehensive idea, which will in itself put enough pressure on the foundationless claims of this crisis to crumble it. Stay stong my friends, know that you are, and continue to be much STRONGER (through this test of will) than your counterparts, despite the gauges we would normally like to use.

  13. Angel at 8:24 am

    17 years is the amount if time I’ve had opioids prescribed to me for pain relating to my chronic leukemia and endometriosis. I’ve never ever used drugs and don’t know 1 pain patient that has. I never had even tried marijuana until my pain doctor prescribed it several months ago. The hypocrisy of the federal government who refuses to secure the southern border where cartels freely run drugs yet seeks to blame pain patients for random drug addicts? What absolute insanity

  14. Therese at 4:45 am

    Jean, along the lines of what you wrote to Red, I recall your saying some time ago that we could use some type of celebrity spokesperson – a hero! I have been reading (just to depress myself, apparently) the comments on “Petition2Congress First Do No Harm.” One person wrote that they thought George Clooney had chronic pain issues and that they doubted he’d be denied meds, and indeed, according to CBS News, 4/23, “Even though it’s now under control, Clooney is still one of the 116 million Americans who lives with debilitating chronic pain.” Also, Cathy M. here on NPR brought our attention to an article on McClatchyDC.com dated 6/22. To quote: ” … But Dr. Charlotte Yeh, chief medical officer at AARP, isn’t ready for the opioid pendulum to swing back to the days when chronic pain sufferers had to do without access to some of the world’s best painkillers. She said chronic pain was a serious condition that limited a patient’s independence, social interaction and mobility. While the opioid addiction crisis is a major concern, it’s important that ‘we don’t forget that people were on the medicines because they started with pain … I don’t want to lose sight of that.’” I commented at the time (the topic was called “Represent Chronic Pain and Call Your Representative Today – Tuesday, June 21st @ 3pm EST” and has been taken down, I guess because it’s over) that maybe she might be willing to help us in some way. I do tend to be incredibly naïve, and I have no idea where we’d begin, but if we could somehow get both her/AARP and someone like George Clooney (whose wife just happens to be a human rights attorney) behind us, that would be huge …

    Still praying constantly though.

  15. Jean Price at 10:56 pm

    Red…I heartily agree with your statement regarding law suits! And I think we’re over due, actually! If money is their core issue, their goal….then that’s what will give them an incentive to change, as in penalizing them with a hefty dollar amount to cover all the physical harm and the discrimination and the invasion of privacy and practicing medicine without a license, to say nothing of the mental anguish they cause! I keep thinking someone with ethics will join our team and fight for us, rather than against us, I wish I knew how to help make this happen!! If someone knows how, I certainly will lend my support in time, efforts, energy, money, writing, and interviews, as I’m able….and lots prayers,

  16. Richard A. Lawhern at 11:42 am

    Jean, you asked “why” and there are any number of possible answers, some of them plausible and some maybe not so much. I’m personally not inclined to proclaim any vast coordinated conspiracy of destructive intent — though I realize that many people perceive such forces at work in DEA and mainstream addiction medicine. I’m more inclined to write off the mess to a principle sometimes attributed to Will Rogers: “It’s usually a mistake to attribute to conspiracy, behavior that is equally plausible as the consequence of simple human cussedness.”

    We know that there is little interest at National level today in challenging the prevailing orthodoxy of the War on Drugs. And we “should” know that Congress is as much a part of the problem as the Agencies which it is supposed to oversee. Big Pharma has bought itself a large number of Representatives and Senators with campaign contributions — and probably judges with even less legal money. The result is a welter of misdirection and confusion, mixed up with outright fraudulent misrepresentation.

    But we also know that other large issues of public perception have been successfully changed. It took 30 years and tens of millions of dollars in research and legal fees to finally box in Big Tobacco and force its executives to swallow their propaganda and admit that smoking causes lung cancer. These days, cigarettes can’t be advertised on Television (since 1970), and there seems to be growing sentiment for banning the advertisement of prescription drugs for some of the same reasons.

    These influences don’t seem likely to help chronic pain patients in the near term. I’m inclined to guess that insurance companies or other non-governmental entities may have to be sued on grounds of medical negligence and denial of care for their refusal to fund a full spectrum of integrated care for pain patients. Suing the government will undoubtedly be tougher because it reserves the right to decide who can sue it. Civil rights issues or violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act seem a more likely legal approach.

    I think it’s time to entertain this idea more meaningfully, and to move toward much more visible confrontation in the courts.

  17. Doug at 2:06 am

    You know, the DEA has had the power for over 40 years to stop the HEROIN problem in the US. The issue is and always has been the illegal trade of drugs, not doctors prescribing opiates for pain. The DEA and other state operated law enforcement agencies have been letting illegal drugs flow into our country since the Vietnam War.
    The corruption in these agencies have just recently become a very serious issue. Agents have been busted by other enforcement agencies for not only selling convinscated drugs, but using as well. Almost every week we all hear about an agent or police officer breaking the law. The fact that they have been going after the legally prescribed opiate medications is simply a ploy to remove the attention from the agents and officers breaking the law for profit. Also the fact that cartels in neighboring countries smuggle so many illegal drugs in to the US is embarrassing to our government. Someone is on the take and it’s getting old.
    The CDC, FDA and DEA are continually putting out reports that the medical prescribing of opiates are the reason why heroin and Fentanyl opiates are killing people, when in fact the street drugs are the major cause. Come on people, I personally know at least 5 addicts who have begged me to sell them some of my pain medications. Of course I refused and will continue to refuse all of them. Not a single one of these people I know got hooked on heroin or prescription drugs because they had been prescribed them. Every single one of them became addicted either while in college or at parties and liked the rush they got from using them. As a matter of fact, Sunday morning I received a phone call from a very good friend who was calling to tell me that her daughter had just died from an overdose on heroin. This 41 year old woman became addicted while she was going to school at LSU to become an RN. As with so many students, the workload was very demanding and she started on speed to help her study. The major, Major in almost every university ends up being partying for 90% of the students who attend. Some drink heavily, some smoke pot, but the biggest concern that parents especially should be looking at is the harder drugs.

    These teenagers and students in their early 20s are impressionable and under a lot of pressure. Their parents all want them to succeed and tend to push them. These kids would never want to let their parents down, so they start using speed to stay awake all night and study. But they are all on the verge of adulthood and want to party as well. So they end up at a do party one night.
    They have been experienced with alcohol since high school but would like to try another type of buzz. So someone may turn them on to opiates, and they like the way they make them feel with alcohol so then they start buying them from the rich kid who is steeling them from their parents. Sooner or later after using these drugs and alcohol while going to college party’s, they end up willing to try something different. That’s when Heroin steps in to the picture.
    They may start out snorting or smoking it, but one day a friend will turn them on to a syringe filled with heroin. Next thing you know, your kids grade go straight to the toilet and you have an honest to God junkie as you child. But you have to remember, none of the drugs your kid is using had been obtained from a doctor who has legally prescribed any of these medications or illegal drugs.

    My knowledge on this subject is not from firsthand experience, but that of the 5 friends I spoke about earlier and the daughter of the friend of mine who just overdosed and died. So, in the way that the DEA is thinking, we should make college illegal because it causes drug addiction. This is sarcasm by the way.
    The truth is, the addiction and overdose issues will never get any better until these moronic government agencies start stopping the illegal drugs before they find our streets. The President needs to confront both the Canadian and Mexican governments and tell them that the illegal drug trade coming from their country’s must stop. Our president needs to tell them that if they can’t stop the drug smuggling from their side, that our military will come into their country’s and stop it ourselves. The DEA has been useless in stopping cartels and the illegal drug trade, so just maybe our BIG GREEN MILITARY MACHINE should step in and do the job right. As a matter of fact, the DEA and even the INS needs to be disbanded and all these worthless agents need to be fired because they all sucks at their jobs.

  18. Doc Anonymous at 8:19 pm

    The DEA says there were 435.000 heroin users in the US in 2014, but UN researchers state there are about 1,000,000…..more than double the number coined by the DEA. Perhaps the DEA does not want to admit that the problem is as bad as the UN states. After all that many heroin users would just show in graphic detail that the DEA war on pain patients has been an utter failure when it comes to stopping the flow of heroin.

    Here is a link to an article about the UN study:

    https://www.rt.com/usa/347935-us-heroin-use-un/

  19. Terri Lewis PhD at 5:51 pm

    The DEA’s influence on health policy is a serious public health threat. Worse, we have greatly failed to arm the American public and public servants with critical thinking skills, mastery of problem solving analytics, and innoculation from undue influences exerted by money.

  20. Jean Price at 4:40 pm

    Red…what I can’t figure out is WHY the DEA and CDC keep getting away with this deceit! How is there no one in government OR within their organization who realizes this? Or if they do, how can they just ignore it? In a world where everything is questioned…why isn’t this being questioned? And exposed more than just from us?

    It is creating more frustration and stress for those in pain, and anger and hopelessness! Because no matter how hard we try, we can’t control,this monster! I have just spent the third month in a row without pain meds for four or five days…..due to changes in strength and dosing frequency, insurance appeals, pharmacy supply, and strict date restrictions in getting prescriptions filled! I did everything I was supposed to do…yet the problems were things out of my control. I think this is where a lot of our anger comes from. Not only do two and two not make four…but the real answer is beyond our best efforts….and our control, even if we could answer it! Surely some watchdog group knows of this…but I’m not seeing any group efforts other than ours….the people who live with it everyday! Why?!

  21. Sandra at 1:31 pm

    How do they have time to go after people on with pain. So your job. Stop drugs from coming into our country.what is wrong with the DEA. They have forgot what their job is. Go back to work.
    I just have to shake my head as to who the DEA is, what is your job !,,,!

  22. Janet at 11:02 am

    The DEA is a serious health problem.

  23. Carla Cheshire at 9:51 am

    I’m about ready to emigrate to Portugal. Maybe we can start an ex-pats chronic pain community where we can receive our medication and live in an environment where we aren’t treated as criminals.

    One question: How can doctors who have treated people in chronic pain for years with opioids just stop, cut the patients off and not help them get through the horrific withdrawal period? Isn’t this against the oath they take to heal and do no harm? What are these people supposed to do? This is no joke. It is serious business. I believe many patients won’t make it through the withdrawal and choose suicide. I’m wondering if that isn’t the goal of the CDC. I would appreciate an article on this topic as it has been totally neglected in this narrative.

  24. Catherine at 9:50 am

    I am a current pain patient. I want to make something clear, I am not addicted to my medication! I can leave it any time due to the fact that if I have an alternative treatment I do just fine!! I am researching these alternatives because of the fact that the FDA and DEA are trying to say that prescription pain medicine is the cause of all overdoses. This is as ludicrous as guns are responsible for ISIS!!! I am in pain due to Perscriptions antibiotics! Levaquin has caused an atom bomb type reaction that has affected my neurological system, organs and even brain lesions! How am I supposed to function without pain medication? I didn’t do anything to cause this situation, my doctors did. They knew that there were reasons not to give me Levaquin but ignored them. The pharmaceutical companies knew that these side effects were there but haven’t reported them to this very day! PLEASE STOP trying to blame the pills when it’s the people using them and their decisions!!

  25. scott michaels at 9:39 am

    The Dea partially created this epidemic. Qhile they are so busy worrying about our necessary pain medication and trying to blame pain medication for the heroin epidemic, they Opened the flood gates. THE DEA SHOULD BE DISBANNED. THEY HAVE FAILED FOR DECADES TO STOP ILLEGAL DRGS FROM CROSSING THE BOARDER. I STEAD OF RAIDING POPPY FIELDS AND BURNING DOWN HEROIN MANUFACTURERING FACILITIES, THEY HAVE BEEN MAKING SURE GRADMA DOESNT TAKE AN EXTRA VICODIN. LETS JUST PUT THE MARINES IN CHARGE OF ILLEGAL DRUGS CROSSING THE BOARDER. THEY COULD CALL IT TERRORISM AND ATTACK ALL THE DRUG LORDS IN MEXICO, COLUMBIA, afgmanistan ETC. IF THE GOVTS DONT LIKE OUR MEANS THEN WE STOP SENDING ANY AND ALL AID. I BLAME OBAMA BECAUSE HE IS SO OUT IF TOUCH WITH REALITY ITS NOT FUNNY. HE ALLOWED TO USE OUR TAX DOLLARS TO ATTACK OUR OWN CITIZENS THAT LIVE WITH CHRONIC PAIN INSTEAD OF FOCUSING ON THE REAL DRUG IMPORTERS.. PAIN PILL MANUFACTURERS ARE REGULATORED, PATIENTS ARE IN A DATA BASE THAT IGNORES ALL PRIVACY LAWS AND THEY PAY TAXES. CARTELLS JUST PROFIT OFF THE SALES OF HEROIN AND DONT CARE HOW MANY PEOPLE DIE. GOOD JOB GUYS.

  26. Joan Hamm at 9:27 am

    Please go after the drug dealers who are creating and continuing the problem. Do not go after the poor people who have horrible pain diseases. I have rsd/Crps. Do research you will quickly see this disease is a living hell but the meds to ease the pain allows us with the disease to function. Scientists who did extensive studies have now realized this RSD/CRPS has to be noticed as a disease without meds can pain as bad as if not worse than Cancer patients. Please recognize this disease on your list of diseases to be allowed to be on meds not reduced due to we will be calling 911 screaming in pain. The meds we with this disease don’t ask for increases especially when we have it at a control of pain level. I don’t want to die sooner than I should because you are playing with a severe pain disease treatments. In my time that I feel well enough to I do good for others volunteering in politics to better our country.. I knitted around 300 baby sweaters and donated to charities and give them free to pregnant women. I meet on my errands. I volunteer at church food banks etc. This is what I do for the last 6 years. Without the proper meds I am on I would have died a screaming horrible death five years ago. I never used Oxycontin but when my time comes I don’t want to be abused dying screaming in pain either to stay on the meds now or something stronger so I can die a peaceful pain helped death if necessary. Please contact Jim Broatch in Connecticut. He spends his life studying this horrible disease. Google RSD/CRPS his site will pop up. I don’t want to die screaming in pain when I can get help to die a respectable death. That goes for all patients who have this disease and each day thru education more and more people are discovered then given. Meds to ease their pain and live the best lives they can.. Many who help others the best way they can. Allow people not to worry about being abused and to allow these RSD/CRPS people die with dignity able to talk to loved ones etc. With the help with meds. I don’t know what Heroin or other drugs you mentioned are but these meds may be needed to allow people die with dignity. They may not need these meds but must be kept on the meds that have helped them get relief. Thank you. Let me know if there is anything I can do but you need to listen to this comment. Education on this disease is severely important due to many people suffer from it.. You can easily get it. Sincerely Joan Hamm

  27. Leigh A Peltier at 9:24 am

    Thank you Red for pointing that out. As a chronic pain person who has had access to vicodin since 1998 and never ever abused it, I’m not going to be made to feel guilty that my opioid’s are contributing to others addictions. The chronically challenged group that I am in aren’t the problem here but sadly may become the victims. I keep my fingers crossed that we will be heard.

  28. MichaelL at 9:00 am

    Watching MSM, I would be under the impression that the black market Fentanyl is the drug that is killing “heroin” addicts. Heroin, by the chemical name, diacetyl-morphine, is a much weaker opiate. The black market opiate abusers are the ones having the problems. Make Naloxone more available and that problem could be better managed, as well!

  29. Richard A "Red" Lawhern at 8:45 am

    The DEA statement is at best an exaggeration and at worst outright fraud. Heroin deaths are indeed increasing, and some heroin abusers first encounter opioids after stealing them from a legitimate patient. But the problem with prescription opioids is not created by chronic pain patients becoming addicts and it won’t be solved by denying them effective treatment for their pain. Neuroscience journalist Maia Slavavitz has quite insight-fully demolished the DEA argument once again in the following article: https://www.vice.com/read/how-the-war-on-drugs-is-hurting-chronic-pain-patients-716

    Regards, Red