I wonder

Nine people died from fentanyl opioid overdoses in the Canadian city of Vancouver in just the past 24 hours, Mayor Gregor Robertson said Friday.

Perhaps this will play out like the crack cocaine epidemic did.

PJ O’Rourke has a doctor in one of his essays saying it will burn out naturally. Because the people who take it will be dead.

The problem with fentanyl being twofold. It’s very, very powerful. And the gap between a decent high and dead is not large. The two combine to make measurement of doses – and obviously it’s worse for an illegal product – difficult and thus lots of people die.

Don’t know much about chemistry

But this would seem to be a problem that cannot be solved:

The network often avoids efforts to stop it by trading not only in finished fentanyl but related products subject to little or no regulation in China or internationally. These include some copies of fentanyl known as analogs, as well as the chemical ingredients and pill presses used to produce the drug, according to the documents and interviews.

The China Food and Drug Administration declined to comment on the sale and production of fentanyl and referred questions to the Ministry of Public Security, which didn’t respond.

The problem that cannot be solved being that fentanyl is an entirely synthetic opioid.

Costing perhaps $800 for the chemicals to make a batch and fetching, as pills, some $800,000. A gross mark up of 1000 x (no, not 1,000%, sales are 1,000 x cost of raw materials).

Can’t see that trying to prevent this will work. And OK, so they’re calling for the precursors to be controlled. But it’s all entirely synthetic. So producers can just keep going on down the line if they feel so inclined. In theory at least you could start with a bunch of black pepper and some water and get there. Yes, OK, slightly hyperbolic but still.

Banning this shit just isn’t going to work.

People still aren’t getting this right

Shkreli, who hit the headlines last year after he hiked the price a life-saving drug often given to people with HIV or cancer from $13.50 to $750 a pill, is accused of defrauding investors in hedge funds he ran.

It’s not often given. There’s some 750 or so patients a year last I recall.

And the scandal here isn’t Shkreli, it’s the absurd FDA regulatory system which means he was able to game it as he did. It’s the FDA which needs the reform….

Well, no, he didn’t really, did he?

A man who smuggled £300,000 worth of cocaine through Gatwick Airport in a secret compartment in a suitcase has been jailed for six years.

Hudson Kenuet Rohan Prescod, from the Caribbean island of St Vincent, was stopped by Border Force officers last month, after arriving on a flight from St Lucia.

A sharp probe inserted into the base of a suitcase revealed a white paste substance, which later tested positive for cocaine.

More than 2kg of cocaine were found to be concealed within the false bottom of the suitcase.

It would be rather truer to say that A man who smuggled £300,000 worth of cocaine to Gatwick Airport in a secret compartment in a suitcase has been jailed for six years.

The pressures of academia

The other thing I hadn’t expected was the scale of the workload. The teaching commitment was high – about 10 contact hours per week (double what I had experienced before). During term time, I was spending the whole working week either teaching or preparing to teach, with no time for research.

Drove the poor dear to heroin it did. Admittedly, exposure to students for 10 hours a week might do that to me too but still, hardly a horrible workload is it?

And that is only in term time, what, 26 weeks a year even at the Polys?

Sharapova not taking coke shocker

Meldonium, which Sharapova said she had legally taken throughout her career, was placed on the banned list by the World Doping Anti-Agency (WADA) at the beginning of the year following “evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance”.

Some readers come over all lascivious at the thought of Ms. Sharapova. And why not: but would it enhance that reputation if she were a coke snorting party blonde?

Or just some performance enhancing stuff.

Err, performance enhancing, fnarr fnarr.

Facebook is cocaine!

Facebook addiction ‘activates same part of the brain as cocaine’

Internet addiction activates the same areas of the brain as drugs such as cocaine, but is much easier to quit, a study suggests

Or, as we might rewrite the story.

Things that humans enjoy doing light up the parts of human brains that register the things that humans enjoy doing.

Drug trials do their job

One person is brain dead and five others are seriously ill after taking part in a drug trial for an unnamed pharmaceutical firm at a clinic in north-west France.

But wait!

The ministry did not say what the new medicine was intended to be used for, but a source close to the case told AFP that the drug was a painkiller containing cannabinoids, an active ingredient found in cannabis plants.

Cannabinoids cause brain death? Well, doesn’t that explain a lot of the 1960s then?

Should have taken a larger dose

One thing you don’t generally expect at a homoeopathy conference is for any of the “medicines” to have drastic side effects.
So when 29 delegates at an alternative medicine seminar in Germany started staggering around the site, suffering from violent convulsions, delusions and hallucinations, police suspected foul play.
It now appears that what the intoxicated delegates had taken was not homoeopathic medicine, but instead a dangerous psychedelic drug.
Tests indicate they had all taken 2C-E, or Aquarust, an amphetamine that was banned in Germany in 2014.

I’m surprised this took this long

Border authorities say they have thwarted an attempt to smuggle nearly 30lb of heroin from Mexico to the United States for the first time.
Two California men pleaded guilty to using drones to airlift the drugs into the country on Wednesday.
It was the first drug seizure involving a drone along California’s border with Mexico, said Lauren Mack, spokeswoman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. She was unaware of any other drone-related seizure on the 1,954-mile divide between the two countries.
Jonathan Elias, 18, and Brayan Valle, 19, admitted in federal court Tuesday that they drove to a field in Calexico, California, in April to pick up a bag with 28.6 pounds of heroin that was sent across the border by drone.

Not that I am in the drugs business but if I were I would have been doing this for some years now…..and also funding research into long distance drones.