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Chris’s story is so powerful. Watch this video and hear his story. Turning Point Center saved him from a life of addiction.

 

China Bans Fentanyl

Finally, the Chinese government recently moved to ban the manufacture and sale of fentanyl. Foxnews.com reports that, “China announced Wednesday night that it will ban carfentanil, furanyl fentanyl, acrylfentanyl and valeryl fentanyl from being manufactured there – a move that U.S. officials at the federal and state levels say is significant and likely to be felt in communities across the country.” (foxnews.com)

The report indicates that China is the source of the bulk of the fentanyl that is ruining so many lives in the US—killing more than 700 people each year. Fox reports that fentanyl is “50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. People whose skin accidently has come in contact with it have become addicted. U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officials see tighter fentanyl controls by China as a game-changer. When it got tougher about regulating 100 synthetic chemicals in 2015, the global supply of those substances plummeted, some as much as 60 percent, according to the DEA.” (foxnews.com)

Although the US has been begging China to ban fentanyl for a long time, they have waited and the effects have been disastrous. During the last few years, more and more dealers found profits could increase generously by cutting fentanyl with their drugs and the deadly substance has aggravated the opioid crisis in the U.S.

Again, fox reported that, “dealers discovered in the last two or so years that vast profits could be made by cutting fentanyl into illicit drugs. In fiscal year 2014, U.S. authorities seized just 8.1 pounds of fentanyl. By the first half of last year, they seized 295 pounds, according to Customs and Border Protection data. Overdose rates have been skyrocketing.” (foxnews.com)

Fox also provides a shocking summary of the statistics and effects of fentanyl recently in their report. They state that “in 2016, the U.S. lost more than 52,000 — enough to fill a major league baseball stadium — to drug overdose, 33,000 of which were from opioids. About 10 years ago, gun-related deaths outnumbered opioid-related death by more than 5-to-1. Today, more people die from opioid-related deaths than from gun homicides and traffic accidents combined. On an average day, 144 people in the U.S. die from a drug overdose, the majority are from pharmaceutical opioids or heroin or fentanyl and every day, nearly 600 people try heroin for the first time.” (foxnews.com)

Thus, China’s move to ban fentanyl production is an extremely positive one, and many people, some who haven’t ever been impacted by this substance, stand to benefit for the ban.

 

Sources: Foxnews.com, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Memory and Addiction

A recent study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience by Washington State University researchers. They indicated that found a mechanism in the brain that enables memory in the process of drug addiction. This is important because the discovery opens a new area of research geared at discovering a therapy that could alter or stop this mechanism in addiction; making drug addiction less addictive.

Turning off the tool that creates these powerful memories will hopefully lessen the impact and content of the memory – thereby decreasing the motivation for relapse and addiction. Memories associated with drug use definitely drive the impulses behind drug addiction. The brain reinforces memories, and in so doing, gives them emotional weight. The result of the memories being reinforced is a perfect list of what guides and directs the basic decisions.

The NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) indicates that the amygdala, a part of the brain’s limbic system, which is critical for memory and responsible for evoking emotions, becomes active and a craving for drugs is triggered when an addicted individual thinks about, sees, or hears about drugs.

They indicate, “This craving demands the drug immediately. Rational thoughts are dismissed by the uncontrollable desire for drugs. At this point, a basic change has occurred in the brain. The person is no longer in control. This changed brain makes it almost impossible for drug addicts to stay drug-free without professional help. Because addiction is a brain disease.”

In the WSU study they found that their processes did not erase the drug memory completely, but perhaps diminished its emotional power. Hopefully, Learning how to hone in on emotional strength in memories and what allows for them will hopefully, ultimately, lead to information that can allow for control over these memories. This type of finding could help end the vicious cycles of drug abuse and addiction.

Sources: sciencedaily.com, wsu.edu, nida.gov

 

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