What to Look for When Trying to Find an Opiate Addict?

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on What to Look for When Trying to Find an Opiate Addict?
Dec 142017
 

When you are trying to lookout for an opiate addict, it might not be as hard as it seems. Unlike other addictions, opiate has this obvious vibe around the addicts. There are withdrawal symptoms as the addict has been trying to control or hasn’t had an opportunity to take his dose. This pushes them to the extent of social margins there is lack of responsibility towards anything and everything. When pain killers become candies, it’s time to take away the kid’s candy. There isn’t any specific way you can find out but you can keep an eye on your loved ones. Here’s a guide to understanding opiate addiction better.

  • Mood swings/ psychological symptoms:

The most obvious ones are the changes in behavioral pattern as they are easy to spot. Increased irritability, sudden depression or general anxiety are the basics. A person with opiate addiction can have many folds of psychological changes. Anxiety attacks are very prevalent and anti-anxiety tranquilizers don’t help; instead increase the need.

  • Physical symptoms:

These are another easily spottable symptoms. A person with a considerable amount of substance abuse, especially opiate addict is bound to undergo physical changes. There are changes like increased energy and heart rate, improved alertness, high blood pressure, decreased appetite, over arousal, sleeping disorder and hyper-vigilance. These are pretty harmful as not sleeping and eating can do long term damage which has a lasting effect. The drug cycle kills a man way before time. It effects the body in a bad way and the lasting effect does no good.

  • Behavioral Symptoms:

These are another kinds of symptoms though an addict at times can be great at hiding things. The lack of awareness and social stigma has made it almost impossible for a person to be able to open up about his issues. There are times when an addict is aware of his/her condition and needs help but the prejudices bind him from speaking up. Precisely why they introduced art therapy, so that a person gains confidence before being thrown in front of strangers. There are symptoms like avoiding social and personal responsibilities, the air of unease and always looking for something.

  • Overdose:

When you find a friend or a loved one trying to overdose a medicine or taking medicines that were not prescribed, it’s an alarm and you should take charge. The need to stop the pain and give your brain a certain high is where it all starts. And before a person can realize it, he’s totally in the jaws of opiate addiction. What feels right in the beginning is actually a signal that you need to seek help instead of overdosing.

There is a dire need to look into such matters as most of the times, its children and young adults who are involved. You can start with an intervention; followed by therapies and experts consultants. The most important thing is to help them through withdrawal as this is the time they are more likely to relapse. Lookout for people you care about and don’t leave them to deal with it alone.

 

 Posted by at 8:43 am

Reducing the Amount of Opioids in Homes

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Reducing the Amount of Opioids in Homes
Dec 112017
 
Opioid Pills

Opioid Pills

 

Opioid abuse and addiction can start in different ways, and one of these is the temptation that leftover opioids present.

With roughly billions of unused opioid prescriptions left in American medicine cabinets and sock drawers, individuals have easy access to these addictive drugs. Even holiday party attendees can raid these hiding places and get their fix.

Leftover opioids can also fuel drug use experimentation by teenage children. These can also serve as the gateway to dealing with opioids.

Although there are efforts to remove this health threat, it just isn’t enough.

The Problem with Take-Back Days

Twice a year, the Drug Enforcement Administration hosts prescription take-back days where anyone can drop off any amount and type of pills at designated locations with no questions asked.

The most recent event resulted in a net 456 tons of pills collected. Unfortunately, only a fraction of this volume is prescriptions that help reduce the risks of addiction and overdose.

Because the event is also spaced 6 months in between, patients and consumers will be able to get more prescription drugs. So there’s really no telling how much leftover opioids should have been collected.

Take-back days should be as routine as bottle and can recycling for the collection of excess medications to make an impact population-wide.

In 2010, Congress has passed a legislation that authorizes and requires opioid dispensaries to operate prescription drop-off locations for the whole year round. Unfortunately, the idea has yet to take off in a massive way.

Among the participating organizations, only 2.5% complied, as reported by the Government Accountability Office. North Dakota has the highest number of participating organizations at 32%.

What are the key barriers?

  • Safe-like maintenance of prescription drop-off container
  • Staff training on relevant regulations
  • Proper disposal of returned medication

All these will cost organizations money they may not have and most of them are unwilling to absorb the cost of prescription drop-off sites’ operation. Whether in the public or private sector, their response is the same.

CVS Health, however, took the opposite path as they volunteered to build 750 disposal kiosks in their pharmacies.

Forcing Manufacturers to Participate

Opioid manufacturers earn revenues by the billions. Some of them may even have played a part in starting the opioid epidemic. So why not tap into their deep pockets for supporting prescription returns, especially opioids?

The government can make it mandatory for these manufacturers to offer incentives to consumers and patients for every bottle of pills returned to drop-off locations. This could be just what the United States needs to reduce, if not completely eliminate, leftover opioids and opioid addiction.

It can also be the key to starting a habit that is automatic and prevalent like can and bottle recycling.

It happened to bottle recycling, after all.

What started out as cash deposit incentives for recycling bottles has now become a widespread habit and one that is done voluntarily.

Considering the public health risks that opioid addiction poses on the addict and the people around them, doubling the efforts to collect leftover opioids in homes should be a priority.

 

 

 Posted by at 11:37 am

Kratom Herbal Supplement for Heroin Addiction Could Also be Addicting

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Kratom Herbal Supplement for Heroin Addiction Could Also be Addicting
Nov 242017
 
Kratom capsules

Kratom capsules

 

Kratom has been hailed as a natural, miracle cure for heroin addiction, providing a means for those addicted to heroin a real path towards releasing themselves from the hold that the drug puts on its victims. However, kratom has also been called highly addictive as well and some believe that it is simply trading one deadly addiction for another.

Kratom is not only used to help break people from heroin addiction, but also as a party drug and to dampen or take the edge off pain. It’s cheap at $5 for two-grams which constitutes a single dose. Kratom is considered a hot drug for health nuts because it is herbal and hip by those who love to party. There are different types of kratom depending on the strain and potency, one of which promises to help keep you focused and alert.

Developed from a plant in Southeast Asia, kratom has become highly popular in smoke shops and cafes where it has been billed as a safe, herbal product. The herb itself is legal in 43 states, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is wrestling with whether to keep the status of kratom as safe or label it as dangerous. Currently, it is billed by the feds as a “drug of concern”. There is no timeline to when the FDA will make a final decision, so until that happens the hands of the federal government are tied.

The way kratom is being sold off the shelves in an indication that the herbal product has highly addicting properties as many are purchasing it in bulk. In addition, several deaths in the New York City area alone have been directly linked to kratom. From thoughts of suicide to heart palpitations, seizures, bleeding in the lungs, psychosis, and more, kratom has shown to have a deadly side.

The DEA has officially listed the number of deaths directly related to kratom from 2014 to 2016 as 15 nationwide which all things considered is quite low, but the drug itself has become quite popular over the past year which means that the number of people dying from kratom will almost certainly rise. This is especially true for those who have used the substance to kick their heroin habit. There are former heroin users who report that kratom has taken away the withdrawal symptoms of leaving heroin while helping them feel normal. However, it has also been described as taking away one drug for another which only keeps the addiction in place.

More disconcerting is that since there is no ban or regulations on kratom by the FDA and in 43 states, it is legal to serve to minors. Since kratom has only recently become a popular substance, it will be some time before the full effects of whether it is relatively benign or create far worse issues will be known. What can be said is that kratom is highly popular with those who use it and most see no reason to regulate the substance.

Reference

http://nypost.com/2017/11/11/supplement-to-cure-heroin-addiction-could-be-addicting-too/

 Posted by at 2:29 pm

Opioid Epidemic Getting Worse not Better

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Opioid Epidemic Getting Worse not Better
Oct 162017
 

U. S. public health officials have said that the opioid epidemic is not getting any better.

Testifying at a Senate hearing, Dr. Debra Houry, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and other public health officials said that opioid addiction in America has taken a turn for the worse. In addition, official said that addressing the issue is beyond the scope of any particular agency.

The director of the National Institutes for Health, Dr Francis Collins added that they “need all hands on deck.”

The hearing was the first in a series to be held before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. It was attended by officials from the four federal health agencies, who delivered their assessment of the opioid epidemic.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who heads the committee, said that the opioid crisis is “tearing our communities apart, tearing families apart, and posing an enormous challenge to health providers and law enforcement officials.”

According to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services administration, more than 11 million people in America misused prescription drugs in 2016. Of that number, one million used heroin while 2.1 million suffered from an opioid disorder caused by prescription opioids and heroin.

Officials at the Senate hearing also raised the alarm over the still increasing deaths due to drug overdose, particularly those that involved fentanyl which was made illicitly, as well as other similar potent synthetic opioids.

The officials said that opioid overdose has been the cause of death of more than 300,000 Americans since 2000. In 2016, drug overdose deaths numbered at least 64,000, according to preliminary date. That figure is the highest ever recorded in a single year in the US.

Drug Abuse Treatment

Public health officials at the Senate hearing mentioned the steps taken by federal agencies to combat the problem. A number of programs have been implemented to improve access to treatment and to mobilize resources in order to increase availability and quality of long-term recovery. There are also programs that target high-risk individuals such as women who are pregnant and those who are in jail and prison.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration award close to $46 million in grants in September to programs located in 22 states to help first responders and those who directly work with high-risk individuals.

But despite the number of programs available and the money received, Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine says that the needed progress is still nowhere in sight.

According to public health officials, much more needs to be done, especially when it comes to prevention and opioid over-prescription.

Dr Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said that most people become opioid addicts after being treated with the drug for a medical condition. As such, steps have been taken by the agency to improve how medical providers are educated on the risks and benefits of prescribing opioids.

Dr Collins of the National Institutes of Health also said that alternative treatments like acupuncture should also be emphasized.

The Senate Committee will next hear from state officials next month on what they have been doing and what they need to fight opioid addiction.

 

 Posted by at 3:20 pm

Cocaine Addiction Could be Zapped Away by Magnetic Pulses

 Cocaine Addiction  Comments Off on Cocaine Addiction Could be Zapped Away by Magnetic Pulses
Sep 062017
 

In 2012, Luca Rossi tried to kill himself by hanging in Perugia, Italy. He tied the belt from a wardrobe and was choking when his fiancee walked in. He struggled to safety, and in his mind was defeated even in his last act.

Luca Rossi had everything from a medical career, future plans, to a supportive family. However, he was addicted to crack cocaine. His habit developed after medical school, and at that point in life, he felt he could control it. In just a few short weeks, the drug started to control him. He was compromised but had no control over his actions. Accordingly to Rossi, cocaine fills you with emptiness and pushes you towards suicide. However, he was unable to give up his monthly $3’500 habit. When he found out his fiancee was pregnant, he started to smoke more.

In April 2013, Rossi’s father came across an article published by NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) in Baltimore. The study was conducted on crack cocaine addicted rats, who were shocked to help reduce their addiction. The study was lead by Antonello Bonci and Billy Chen who suggested that there was a part of the human brain, when zapped could help lose cocaine addiction. The article explained how TMS is a noninvasive method, will do the job.

Rossi’s father grabbed his son and took him to Luigi Galimberti, who is a well-known Italian addiction physician in Padua. He handed him the article and asked him to help his son. Since then the center and the world research labs have accumulated a lot more on TMS, and its effect on addicts. TMS is not a new addition to the world of medicine, but it is new in the drug addiction territory.

In the beginning, he tried to treat Rossi using antidepressants, psychotherapy, and anti-anxiety drugs. However, nothing worked and Rossi gave up on the Padua clinic. After that his use of cocaine exceeded, but in 4 months Gallimberti acquired a TMS device and trained himself and his staff to use it. He even cured two cocaine addicts and found Rossi on the brink of fatherhood, and on the edge of self-destruction. The clinic asked him to come in, and just after his first session, Rossi reported a change. He felt like he has never taken drugs, and was finally alive.

However, Rossi’s fiancee asked countless questions and told Rossi she did not believe the treatment worked. Which is why he dropped out, but returned just 2 days after his daughter’s birth. This time he stayed at the clinic for 6 months and received a complete session. Till this day, she has not used again. He did not get married to his then fiancee, but has a healthy relationship with their daughter. He added that he finally has a clarity, and is able to live his life.

This and a number of other success stories have encouraged more research in this area, but it is not completely mapped down. There is a lot more that needs to be done, and research on. Even then there are many that have been able to get a second chance with the help of TMS.

 

 Posted by at 10:17 am

Yaba Addiction Destroying Young People

 Drug Addiction  Comments Off on Yaba Addiction Destroying Young People
Aug 172017
 

Oishee Rahman from Bangladesh was addicted to yaba. In 2013, at 17 years of age, she committed a horrendous crime.

Concerned about the state of their daughter, Rahman’s parents not only confined her to their Dhaka apartment but also took away her phone. Angry at the treatment, Rahman put sedatives in her parents’ coffee. Once asleep, she then took a kitchen knife and stabbed them to death.

Rahman locked her younger brother in the bathroom then asked a friend to pick her up. Later, she turned herself in and confessed to the crime. She was sentenced to death in 2015, but that was commuted to life in prison in June 2017 on account of her age and mental health.

In Bangladesh, many are already anxious about yaba use among the young. A 2014 report by the Department of Narcotic Control found that 88% of drug users were below 40 years of age. A study in the city of Sylhet in 2017 found that 55% between the ages of 22 to 29 were drug users.

Rahman’s case caused many to claim that the drug twisted her mind.

What is Yaba?

Yaba looks like candy tablets and come in different flavors and bright colors. Its components are methamphetamine, caffeine, and other non-active bulking agents. Taking the drug creates a really high level of rushing energy, one of the reasons many use it to stay up late into the night.

The drug first appeared among the elites of Bangladesh, the very group that many in the country aspire to be like. According to the (DNC), yaba “became a symbol of smartness, fashion and aristocracy.”

The R7 is the most popular yaba pill in Bangladesh, and according to the Dhaka Tribune, it can cost up to 900 taka ($11). However, it is not the most expensive, that goes to the “Controller” which can cost up to 2,000 taka ($25). The cheapest option, called “Pink Champa”, costs around 300 taka ($3.7).

Why Did it Flourish in Bangladesh?

The exact cause can’t be pinpointed due to the lack of data, but a few reasons can be surmised. For one, Bangladesh has certain characteristics that make it an attractive place for organized crime.

Drug gangs in the neighboring country of Myanmar switched from making heroin to yaba in the late 90s because it didn’t depend on opium harvests, which could be unreliable, and the small attractive package made it easier to smuggle.

When the borders in China and Thailand were tightened, the gangs looked for a new route, and Bangladesh proved to be a good option. The country has busy ports and penetrable borders; it also helped that it was a lucrative market itself.

Bangladesh also shares a border with Myanmar’s Rakhine state, site of the Rohingya refugee crisis. With rising corruption, the area is proving extremely difficult to police.

Is there a Way to Help Yaba Addicts?

According to the DNC, there are five treatment centers run by the government. In 2015, the World Health Organization reported that there are also 68 private institutions in the country.

While these institutions do provide the help addicts need, many of those who sought treatment have also relapsed.

Rehab is definitely a solution to yaba addiction, but it is not the only answer to being sober. A former yaba addict cites the support of his family as a major factor in his recovery. He also adds that addicts also “have to want to give up.”

 

 Posted by at 1:35 pm

Rehab at Home for Teens with Addictions

 Addiction Awareness, Addiction Rehab  Comments Off on Rehab at Home for Teens with Addictions
Jul 252017
 

Is it possible to treat teens with addictions at home, the very place they struggle to stay sober? A Connecticut-based company called Aware Recovery Center has proved that it does. Of those who sought treatment with the Aware program, 64% completed it and 72% have stayed in treatment or are abstinent. The latter figure is more than double (35%) the success rate of 30-day traditional outpatient rehabilitation programs that don’t provide follow-up care.

NBC’s Nightly News with Lester Holt featured a segment on eighteen-year-old Emily Gendreau, whose battle with drug addiction led to much trouble and trips to rehab centers.

In 2016, suffering from a difficult breakup and a loss of a family member, Emily turned to prescription killers, which were left over from a surgery she had. She eventually graduated to using heroin. Her life began spiraling out of control: losing friends and money, getting arrested, and being expelled from school – all this by the time she was in senior high.

Emily knew she hit rock bottom when she was caught using heroin in school by the principal. It was then that she realized she needed help.

A six-day detox at the Arms Acers rehab facility in upstate New York was followed by a stay for 89 days at Newport Academy, a treatment center specializing in teen addiction in Bethlehem, Connecticut.

Just like others with addictions, it was the returning home and post-rehab life that made Emily anxious. There, she would be exposed to addiction triggers, including parties and friends who were drug users. To cope with this, she turned to Aware for help.

Aware is a 52-week, in-home rehabilitation program providing around-the-clock treatment for patients, including support from a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation team comprised of an addiction psychiatrist, a case manager, a family therapist, a nurse coach, a primary care doctor, as well as peer support and 12-step meetings. Participants of the program can also be provided with GPS tracking, medication-assisted treatment, and urine screening if they choose.

Just because the symptoms are in control doesn’t mean addiction has disappeared. Addiction is a chronic illness and someone who is prematurely discharged from a rehab program has an increased risk of using again when back in their old environment.

The Aware model makes sure that those recovering from addictions don’t get tempted to use even when in a familiar environment. A representative from the program will visit the home to look for issues that could trigger a relapse then provide solutions.

In Emily’s case, Aware taught her a technique called “riding the wave,” which lets the patient have the cravings should they feel like taking drugs or alcohol which they then let go of.

Aware also set up a meeting with Emily’s guidance counselor and principal at school to help her avoid triggers. This included allowing her to go to the nurse’s office rather than use the school bathrooms.

The out-of-pocket cost of the Aware program is $38,000 a year. This sum looks costly but it is roughly equal to what will be spent on one month inpatient treatment.

 

 Posted by at 2:00 pm

Why People Should Not Use the Term ‘Addict’ on Anyone

 Addiction Awareness  Comments Off on Why People Should Not Use the Term ‘Addict’ on Anyone
Jun 282017
 

While it might not mean anything to most people, the term “addict”, especially when used to identify a person who has an addiction to drugs, is a demoralizing word.  Since time immemorial, there are people who have the notion that it is alright to refer to someone as an “addict” when in truth, this is indeed a derogatory term and can be hurtful.

The Associated Press (AP) had the same sentiments that the word “addict” should not be used as a noun anymore. This was included in the latest edition of the popular AP Stylebook, the English grammar and usage guide created by American journalists and is widely used globally.

According to the style guide, it is recommended to use phrases, such as “people with heroin addiction” or “he used drugs”. This is emphasize the disease is not the person and vice-versa.

Why is it improper to call someone an “addict”?

There are several reasons behind the term “addict” being derogatory. Perhaps, the most obvious one would be because when a person has an addiction to drugs or a particular drug like painkillers, this means that he has a medical disorder indicated by compulsive use of drugs even if there will be unfavorable effects like impairment.

If the “person-first” approach is used on people with mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorders, why is it any different from using this language to a person with heroin addiction?

Another debatable topic is on the use of the term “dependence” and “addiction”. This is also included in the new edition of the AP Stylebook in which journalists are encouraged not to treat these two words as synonymous to each other.

As stated earlier, addiction is indicated by a compulsion to take a drug and this can lead to impairment as well as bad consequences. Dependence means that a person who is prescribed a drug to treat or manage a medical condition needs to take the medication to function normally. Failure to take the drug can lead to withdrawal symptoms but this does not mean that this person is addicted to the medication.

This is also the reason why “substance dependence” was removed as the diagnosis for addiction from the DSM, psychiatry’s diagnostic manual since it implied that the two have the same meaning.

Treatment on People Referred to as “Addicts”

When journalists and newspapers use terms like “addicted babies” for those who have mothers taking opioid drugs while pregnant, this can lead to abuse and neglect from caregivers and other people who have this misconception. The ones who suffer are the infants who have nothing to do with taking drugs.

Also, not being able to separate the terms “dependence” and “addiction” can lead to a person not given the right medical treatment. Worse, proper treatment needed, such as, opioid therapy can be discontinued on patients who are not addicted to the painkiller but only dependent on the medication.

If more people are taught about the inappropriateness of referring to someone as an “addict”, individuals who have an addiction to drugs will not only be treated the way any person deserves. This will also make people realize that addiction is a medical disorder just like other illnesses and treat those who have this with respect.

 

 Posted by at 2:37 pm

Gray Death Is The Latest Opioid Of Concern

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Gray Death Is The Latest Opioid Of Concern
May 152017
 

The opioid epidemic is on the rise and is showing no signs of stopping, yet another player has joined the game and is making it even more dangerous: Gray Death.

Its name sounds ominous, but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at the drug itself. It looks a lot like concrete mix at first glance, and its texture ranges from a fine powder to hard and chunky pieces. However, “Gray Death” will seem appropriate once you hear that the drug has been blamed for around 50 overdoses in Georgia in the past three months.

 

What’s in the Mix?

Gray Death isn’t just one type of substance; rather, it’s a mix of several well-known drugs like heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil, which is used to tranquilize elephants, tigers, and other large animals. According to Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, fentanyl is “50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine”, while carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than morphine.

Gray Death also contains a kind of drug called U-47700. Also known as “U4” and “Pink”, it’s a synthetic opioid that’s considered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as one of the most dangerous drugs in the country.

Users get Gray Death into their bodies by snorting, smoking, swallowing, or injecting it. Because of the mix of substances it contains, Gray Death is much more potent than heroin, which means that users don’t only get a stronger high — they also have higher chances of overdosing on it and losing their lives.

What makes the drug even more dangerous is that users don’t know exactly what substances are in the mix and what their concentrations are. This makes it too easy for people to overdose, especially those who take Gray Death in large amounts and/or use it along with other types of drugs. Another thing that makes Gray Death incredibly dangerous: because of its potency, it can be easily absorbed by the skin. So, even simply touching the concrete-like drug can put users at risk.

Thankfully, the DEA has not noticed a “national proliferation” of Gray Death; currently, it’s still limited to Ohio and Georgia as well as the Gulf Coast. However, just like with any other drug, it can make its way to the rest of the U.S. in the next few months.

 

New Trends

The Gray Death is the latest addition to the growing trend of mixing opioids with other drugs to create deadly cocktails. A version of Gray Death sans U-47700 was first detected by the authorities in 2012 in Atlanta and later made its way to Cincinnati, Chicago, San Diego, and other cities.

In certain communities, users are mixing fentanyl with cocaine and other non-opioid drugs. Other combinations include heroin and fentanyl-class drugs, which are then mixed with HTC, methamphetamine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other non-opioids.

What’s dangerous about this is that not all users are aware that they’re getting a mix. Some users, for example, think they’re buying plain heroin, when in fact many sellers are now selling heroin that’s laced with a more powerful form of fentanyl called 3-methylfentanyl. With this potent combination, users become even more at risk for overdose and even death.

 

 Posted by at 1:37 pm

Philippine President Duterte Says Bullets Better Than Drug Rehab

 Drug Addiction, News  Comments Off on Philippine President Duterte Says Bullets Better Than Drug Rehab
Apr 112017
 

Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, has slammed the European Union for criticizing his bloody war against drugs and suggesting that drug rehabilitation is the right solution.

There have been 8,000 drug-related killings since Duterte became the country’s president in June 2016. The police have assumed responsibility for more than 2,500 of these deaths, which isn’t surprising since Duterte encourages police officers to shoot if they feel their safety is threatened. He has stated in many interviews that he stands behind the authorities, noting that he will “accept the consequences” for officers who have killed drug offenders who resisted arrest.

Police insist that the remaining 5,500 or so killings were made drug gangs who wanted to silence their members and/or sought revenge for unpaid goods. However, many local and foreign human rights groups believe that the police were behind these mysterious deaths.

The rising extrajudicial death toll has prompted the EU, which is one of the country’s largest trading partners and provides it with tariff benefits, to step in. The Union proposed a health-based approach to the Philippines’ drug problem and promised to provide financial aid for drug rehabilitation projects. The bloc stated its support for the fight against drugs but asked the Philippine government to focus on drug barons and trafficking networks instead of targeting small-scale drug users. It also showed concern for the safety of senator Leila de Lima, who is one of the president’s most outspoken critics and has received serious backlash because of it.

Duterte did not agree with the proposal from the European Union and was angered by it. During an event with the Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, he called EU lawmakers “sons of bitches” and stated that he did not need the Union and the drug rehabilitation programs it recommended.

Duterte believes that people can enter rehab clinics, be given their choice of drugs (e.g. marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine), and walk out. This, in turn, means that Filipinos can “go there and consume every chemical until kingdom come, until they are crazy”, which makes them inclined to commit crimes like rape and homicide.

The Philippine president points out that the European Union should not complain about the bloodshed that was brought about by his war on drugs, considering that millions of Europeans have died in the last two world wars. He urges the EU to trace their history and remember that they “also washed [their] hands with blood”.

His allies echo his sentiments. Philippine senate president Aquilino Pimentel accused the EU of trying to micromanage the country’s internal affairs. Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo that the bloc should “mind their own business” and not “interfere with the judicial processes” of the country.

During his campaign, Duterte’s main message was that he would wage war on drugs if he would be made president and that he would make the country drug-free within the first six months of his presidency. Half a year after he ascended into office, he asked for an “extension” of another six months, revealing that he initially did not recognize just how big the country’s drug problem was and that he needed more time to solve it.

 

 Posted by at 2:16 pm