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

Fake heroin more lethal than the real drug

 News  Comments Off on Fake heroin more lethal than the real drug
Mar 262015

In Glasgow, Scotland criminals are being more creative with their drugs. They have found a way to cook up a new substance that is much cheaper but still gives the same high that heroin brings. And they are not afraid of selling this newly created product to the drug addicts in the city.

A bag is sold at £10 and contains fake heroin with a purity of around 4%. Junkies who purchase the items believe that they are getting the real deal, but in fact they are getting a much more riskier substance than the actual drug.

Even if they manage to get the same high when using fake heroin, it still doesn’t erase the fact that each bag they get of the synthetic opioid has various chemical combinations whose effects are totally unpredictable.

According to a drugs worker who supports addicts in Glasgow, “Drug dealing is about making money.” Dealers want to sell the cheapest products in order to get maximum profit. This is why if they can add something cheap to the product, they will do it – without bothering to check the consequences. Even if they don’t know a thing about what substance they’re using, they simply don’t care because it’s all about making money.

When the formula of a substance is tweaked, chemists can create several variations of a drug. Most of the time, they are a much stronger version of the original one. As a result, these substances become a lot more harder to regulate.

In addition, the newly created drug can trigger unknown side-effects and can increase the risk of overdose. Although the police in Glasgow are trying to stay on-top of the synthetic drugs, new ones are created just as compounds are made illegal.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), an EU drugs agency, stated: “Among the public health concerns highlighted in the report are new synthetic opioids – often highly potent and sold as heroin to unsuspecting users – posing a high risk of overdose.

The EMCDDA added that three of the five opioids found in 2014 were from a family of drugs called fentanyls which have been linked to hundreds of deaths in Europe, as well as in the US.

EMCDDA director Wolfgang Götz mentioned that substances like fake heroin pose a challenge for health professionals. He said that the challenges lie with how fast these synthetic drugs appear and the lack of information with regards to their effects and how it could harm people.

The heroin market in Glasgow has been severely thrown into disarray after an elite squad of officers were able to perform a crackdown on their operations. As a result, desperate drug dealers have been topping up their products with legal highs. The problem is that these legal highs are just as deadly as hard drugs or even more severe.

Glasgow police are also looking into a case of heroin contaminated with botulism – a fatal illness that causes paralysis of the arms, legs and the muscles that control breathing – that was buried by a dealer while he was locked up in jail. When he was released, he dug up his stash and started selling them.


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 Posted by at 2:27 pm
Oct 152012

I went back and forth in my head about whether or not to blog about this. And then I decided that since an Atlanta news outlet had already talked about illegal drugs for sale on the Internet, (on the Internet and elsewhere) with video and text description that basically the cat was already out of the bag.

The 11Alive News crew has discovered how easy it is to buy prescription medication and non-prescription illicit drugs online with the help of Craigslist. This is a problem that needs publicity so that it can be addressed. Just like Craigslist used to publish adult ads and finally took those down, similar filters should also be in place with regard to drugs.

Besides addicts seeking drugs for their own use, there are also others seeking prescription medication for a variety of reasons. And counterfeit medications is a big issue here. For instance, when you buy from an anonymous source, how to you know what you’re getting is authentic and won’t hurt your health?

Like I said, the cat is already out of the bag. Write your lawmakers so they will take notice and take action.

 Posted by at 4:39 pm

Colombia’s Queen of Cocaine Killed

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Sep 042012

Griselda Blanco, 69, was also known in Colombia as the “Queen of Cocaine.” Blanco was killed by two gunshot wounds at close range.

According to CNN, “Witnesses heard the roar of a motorcycle and two gunshots Monday afternoon, Medellin police spokesman Diego Chavarria said. By the time authorities arrived at the scene in Belen, a residential neighborhood in Medellin, they found Blanco lying on the ground in a pool of blood.

“Blanco, also known as ‘the godmother’ and ‘mafia’s mother,’ gained notoriety in the 1970s and ’80s when, authorities say, she was responsible for shipping multi-ton shipments of cocaine from Colombia to Miami. She was also the mastermind, investigators say, of countless murders. She was also linked to drug lord Pablo Escobar.”

Florida authorities estimate Blanco was involved in at least 40 murders in Miami, Queens and Broward County.

 Posted by at 3:44 pm

Cocaine Vaccine Picking Up Steam

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Jun 112012

As wacky as it may sound a cocaine vaccine is in the works and is actually more science than it is science fiction. Now this caught my attention:

“Addicts unable to kick a cocaine habit could one day be vaccinated against cocaine and see proof with a molecular imaging technique that shows how the vaccine prompts antibodies to whisk away the drug before it can reach the brain, say researchers at SNM’s 59th Annual Meeting.”

As is generally known, especially to addicts, cocaine is a highly addictive drug that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the neurotransmitter dopamine, which signals pleasure and reward.

According to, “The investigative vaccine, dubbed dAd5GNE and developed by Ronald Crystal, M.D., professor and chairman of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, worksby combining a cocaine-like molecule with part of the common cold virus. Once inside the body, the immune system recognizes the viral particles, which then send out antibodies that bind cocaine in blood and prevent cocaine from entering the brain. The vaccine thereby prevents interaction with dopamine transporters and eliminates an addict’s ability to get high from cocaine.”

So, with modern medicine there is hope even for those who seem to be hopeless addicted right now.

 Posted by at 2:45 pm
Aug 152011

This website and blog focuses primarily on drug and alcohol addiction and rehab as a means to recover from these addictions. I would like to take a short break from this focus to point out that there are other kinds of addictions worth noting. Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard about eating disorders and gambling addictions which can have severe consequences.

But, there are a couple of news items this week regarding other addictions that I think that we as a society need to take note of and take action to resolve. The first news article that caught my eye this week was how frequent tanning bed users may be addicted since the UV rays stimulate the same “reward” parts of the brain as other addictions.

The New York Times did a good job in laying out how a recent study tracked results. According to the Times, “The frequent tanners agreed to be injected with a radioisotope that allowed researchers to monitor how tanning affected their brain activity … Brain images later showed that during regular tanning sessions, when the study subjects were exposed to UV rays, several key areas of the brain lighted up. Among those areas were the dorsal striatum, the left anterior insula and part of the orbitofrontal cortex – all areas that have been implicated in addiction. But when the UV light was filtered out, those areas of the brain showed far less activity.”

Now, on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Times has come out with a story about the sign of the times that states that some people are so addicted to technology, they would rather give up caffeine, chocolate or even alcohol rather than their cell phones.

I find this alarming since in 2009, around 448,000 people in the U. S. were injured because of distracted driving (talking or texting) using cell phones. In the same year, two times as many people were killed on the road because of alcohol impairment than distracted driving. But, just 5 years before this alcohol-related deaths beat cell phone deaths 10 to 1.

So, yes, drugs and alcohol can create significant addictions with dire consequences. We also need to be mindful of other addictions that can also cause great harm to self and others, especially if we decide as a society to take no action.

 Posted by at 8:53 am

Zanny the Nanny Xanax and Addiction

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Jun 222011

In the Casey Anthony trial that is happening now, we were introduced to “Zanny the Nanny” which is what Ms. Anthony called her fictitious babysitter. Anthony also called her babysitter Zenaida and said Zanny was short for that.

But, anyone who has been around the drug and alcohol field for a while will recognize that Zanny is also a nickname for the prescription drug Xanax. There are also many street drugs that have been given common nicknames and even marijuana is sometimes called by a human name Mary Jane.

Many years ago the Rolling Stones performed a song called “Mother’s Little Helper” which is about a woman using prescription drugs to help her make it through the day.

The Casey Anthony case is a little different in that Zanny, the mother’s little helper was alleged to have been used on Anthony’s daughter instead of herself. The chemical chloroform has also been implicated as an anesthetic that may have been used in this case.

In the Casey Anthony case the drug and alcohol abuse or addiction issues have not been yet fully addressed. It will be interesting in the weeks to come how chemicals, prescription or otherwise, has played a role in this trial.

 Posted by at 5:09 pm
Jan 172010

A lot of people like to see celebrities trip and fall. Some take pleasure out of jealously while others feel more connected to the celebrity as a human being rather than a persona. I’m not mentioning Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab to promote the TV show. I’m mentioning it because it shows some of the human frailties that bind us all and make us all vulnerable to addiction.

One of the celebrities on the show, Dennis Rodman is the poster boy for denial. He was voted off Donald Trump’s The Apprentice TV Show after being confronted by TV star Jesse James, about Rodman’s problem with alcohol addiction. Rodman denied the problem.

On the first episode of Celebrity Rehab, Rodman said he was sent there because of court order and that he didn’t have an addiction problem. According to TMZ, on the same day as the premiere of Celebrity Rehab, Rodman was tossed out of an Orange County, CA restaurant for bad behavior after drinking vodka.

Ex Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss was ostracized by friends and family after her conviction and prison sentence. She now lives in the desert with only a bunch of parrots to keep her company. She uses drugs to keep the deep loneliness at bay.

And then there is child TV star turned adult Mackenzie Phillips who has recently revealed an adult incestual relationship with her father that started in childhood. Sexual abuse at any time in one’s life makes a person vulnerable to drug or alcohol abuse.

There is a page on the main website about famous addicts that was put up not to shame celebrities but to give hope to the non celebrities. Addiction crosses all races, socio-economic classes and affects all people everywhere. It can also make one feel very isolated and lonely.

Knowing that celebrities struggle with addiction like everyone else can help a little with this loneliness. And finding a peer group struggling with the same issues as oneself is also helpful in overcoming and managing one’s addictions.

 Posted by at 8:19 am
Dec 112009

In a joint effort between Mexican and U. S. law enforcement agencies a 900-foot tunnel was found connecting Tijuana, Mexico to Otay Mesa, California. Officials said that one of the Mexican drug cartels was most likely responsible and had paid upwards of $1 million USD to construct the tunnel.

The tunnel started inside a warehouse in a bathroom which had its false floor held up by a hydraulic jack. From there the tunnel went 100 feet underground and efforts were made to dampen the sound of the drilling. The tunnel was equipped with electricity, lights, landline phones and ventilation.

Law enforcement officers detected the tunnel before the rest of it was built and it emerged in Otay Mesa. Officials estimate the tunnel started three years ago and was near completion. They also estimate that it was to be used for trafficking drugs and weapons and not people.

 Posted by at 4:16 pm
Sep 232009

Basic meth recipes are making it easier for addicts to continue their habits. This news comes from the Polk County Sheriff’s office in Florida. According to the report, even after the laws were tightened in 2006, putting some of the basic ingredients behind the counter, those who have a will for the drug still have a way.

According to the Sheriff’s office, those who want to use basic meth recipes can buy their supplies from Wal-Mart and Walgreens. The amounts are smaller than could be made pre-2006, but this do-it-yourself approach has many concerned.

Besides the addiction aspect of cooking the basic recipes for meth, the process itself can be quite explosive. Another aspect that is alarming is that in this Florida county more meth labs have been busted this year than any other year, albeit the labs are smaller.

This just goes to show how addictive methamphetamines can be. These addicts will go to any length possible to keep their habits going, risking their health by ingesting caustic chemicals and setting themselves up for explosions and fire, using the smallest amounts possible that they can get their hands upon.

 Posted by at 3:07 pm