Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Stories of Pain: Legal Drugs, Lethal Outcomes

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 |

Borderland Beat
 
As heroin and cocaine use  has steadily diminished, heroin had a tiny rise in 2011, but by far is the one of the less used drugs, and legal marijuana increases, cartels may take the path of Asian traffickers by producing and trafficking knock-off pharmaceuticals.  Their competition will be physicians that operate legal "pain clinics".  Drugwar experts are calling RX drugs The New Frontier of The Drugwar .  

 The most favored RX drug for non medical use has become Oxycontin.  Oxycontin is a potent drug that is much like heroin, "heroin made in a lab".  This post will outline the lethal capabilities of the drug even while under the "care" of a physician, one can imagine the horror of  it becoming a full fledged cartel product manufactured in mass and flooding the streets of America and other countries.  Overdose deaths of Oxycontin are by far more clearly defined than other drugs for example heroin, which because of "cutting" or "milling" where the dealer will add substances or even other drugs into the drug one never knows exactly what or the quanity of each component.  This process has wide variant in the product and cutting with something like quinine in of its self can cause death.  With Oxycontin the majority used by Americans are from regulated legal labs, but look for that to change as more drugtraffickers forge into the market.

Below is a personal story followed by  an LA Times article of other stories in  the danger of this legal RX drug.....Paz, Chivis
Chaz La Brey: A grandmothers memories displayed on her refrigerator
Danny was not yet 25 years of age when he slipped and fell off a roof breaking his back. He needed immediate surgery to stabilize his back.  When he was released from the hospital, he was sent home with a prescription of Oxycontin for pain.
 
That evening he was in excruciating pain, and asked his girlfriend to bring the Oxy, he took 1 tablet.  He became very impatient when after 30 min the pain medication had not given him relief. 
He ingested a second tablet. 
Soon visiting friends at Danny’s home could hear loud snoring, they joked and laughed about it, one pal taped the snoring to tease him about later.  They had no idea that the snoring was a sign he was dying, that the snoring was a reaction to the fluid filling his lungs.
Two hours later, the snoring stopped.
Danny was dead from an overdose of Oxycontin.  Just like that.  I have no knowledge if Danny's frustration motivated him to help the pain by adding "something" else.  All I know is that he was dead, and the coroners report states an overdose of oxycodone is the cause.
.
Later his girlfriend was adamant when explaining that they were not advise about the danger of the drug, or that it was as lethal as heroin,  they were not told the tablets were “LA” tablets, meaning long acting. 
 
Danny was my cousins first born son,  Danny was my second cousin.  He called me “Tia” or “Auntie Chivis”, as all the second generation cousins refer to me as.  It was a tragic death, made more so by the fact he did not live to wed his long time girlfriend, or to know she was pregnant. The baby, a boy, is now 2.
I will never understand why physicians crossed the threshold creating a new protocol in prescribing Oxycontin for pain derived from issues other than that for which was intended, that being late stage terminal cancer. 
Oxycontin is a killer, and often the supplier is a physician known as a “pain clinic doctor”, prescribing massive amounts of pain medication to addicts or people wanting them for non medical reasons.
And it is all perfectly legal.  

But, there is a need and place for pain medications.  We do not want a society that refuses to help a patient suffering real pain, however when our nation's number of drug deaths out number traffic accidents,  something is very wrong.

In the video from LA Times at the bottom, one doctor states "If I have one regret in practicing pain management, it is the fact that it is an avenue for a patient to kill themselves"
After posting the “New Drugwar Frontier” post, someone gave me a copy of the November 11th article in the LA Times titled “Legal Drugs, Deadly Outcomes”.  The article in full is posted below.
 Legal Drugs, Deadly Outcomes
 
Terry Smith collapsed face-down in a pool of his own vomit.
Lynn Blunt snored loudly as her lungs slowly filled with fluid.
Summer Ann Burdette was midway through a pear when she stopped breathing.
Larry Carmichael knocked over a lamp as he fell to the floor.
Jennifer Thurber was curled up in bed, pale and still, when her father found her.
Karl Finnila sat down on a curb to rest and never got up.
These six people died of drug overdoses within a span of 18 months. But according to coroners' records, that was not all they had in common. Bottles of prescription medications found at the scene of each death bore the name of the same doctor: Van H. Vu.
After Finnila died, coroner's investigators called Vu to learn about his patient's medical history and why he had given him prescriptions for powerful medications, including the painkiller hydrocodone.
Investigators left half a dozen messages. Vu never called back, coroner's records state.
Over the next four years, 10 more of his patients died of overdoses, the records show. In nine of those cases, painkillers Vu had prescribed for them were found at the scene.
 Vu, a pain specialist in Huntington Beach, described himself as a conscientious, caring physician. He declined to comment on individual cases, citing confidentiality laws, but he said he treats many "very, very difficult patients" whose chronic pain is sometimes complicated by substance abuse and depression, anxiety or other mental illness.
 "Every single day, I try to do the best I can for every single patient," he said in an interview. "I can't control what they do once they leave my office."
 Prescription drug overdoses now claim more lives than heroin and cocaine combined, fueling a doubling of drug-related deaths in the United States over the last decade.
 Health and law enforcement officials seeking to curb the epidemic have focused on how OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and other potent pain and anxiety medications are obtained illegally, such as through pharmacy robberies or when teenagers raid their parents' medicine cabinets. Authorities have failed to recognize how often people overdose on medications prescribed for them by their doctors.
 A Los Angeles Times investigation has found that in nearly half of the accidental deaths from prescription drugs in four Southern California counties, the deceased had a doctor's prescription for at least one drug that caused or contributed to the death.
Reporters identified a total of 3,733 deaths from prescription drugs from 2006 through 2011 in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and San Diego counties.
Alex Clyborn: a gifted athletic and eagle scout,
 "if it can happen to us it can happen to anyone:,  says his mother pictured at top
An examination of coroners' records found that:
In 1,762 of those cases — 47% — drugs for which the deceased had a prescription were the sole cause or a contributing cause of death.
A small cadre of doctors was associated with a disproportionate number of those fatal overdoses. Seventy-one — 0.1% of all practicing doctors in the four counties — wrote prescriptions for drugs that caused or contributed to 298 deaths. That is 17% of the total linked to doctors' prescriptions.
 
Each of those 71 physicians prescribed drugs to three or more patients who died.
Four of the doctors — including Vu — had 10 or more patients who fatally overdosed.
Vu had the highest total: 16.
 
Experts said the findings challenge the prevailing view of what is driving the surge in overdose deaths and should prompt closer scrutiny of doctors and their prescribing practices.
"The data you have is something that's going to shock everybody," said Dr. Jorge F. Carreon, a former member of the Medical Board of California.

Carreon, a South Gate physician whose term on the board ended in July, said he had long suspected that doctors' prescriptions were contributing to the increase in overdoses. The Times' analysis, he said, showed that it was "worse than what I thought."
 President Obama's drug czar, R. Gil Kerlikowske, said of the findings: "Do I think this has the potential to change the game in the way it's being looked at and being addressed, both at the state and federal level? Yes, I do."
In its review of prescription drug fatalities, The Times examined cause-of-death findings, toxicology reports and other information in county coroners' files, including lists of prescription medications found at death scenes. Those lists typically identify the prescribing doctor.
The deaths often stemmed from multiple drugs, sometimes prescribed by more than one physician. In some cases, the deceased mixed alcohol or illicit drugs with prescription medications.
 Medical experts say that even one overdose death should prompt a doctor to conduct a thorough review of his or her prescribing.

Dr Vu of Huntington Beach
 "Personally, it would be a big, big deal," said Dr. Peter Przekop, a pain and addiction specialist at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage and an assistant professor at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. "I would certainly want to stop using those medications until I knew what was going on." 
The 71 doctors with three or more fatal overdoses among their patients are primarily pain specialists, general practitioners and psychiatrists. Almost all work alone, without the peer scrutiny that is standard in hospitals, group practices and HMOs.
 



Four of them have been convicted of drug offenses in connection with their prescriptions. A fifth is awaiting trial on charges of second-degree murder in the overdose deaths of three patients.
The rest have never faced criminal prosecution over their practice of medicine, and most — including Vu — have spotless records with the Medical Board of California, which licenses and oversees physicians.
 Dr. Lynn Webster, president-elect of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, said many physicians lack an appreciation of how easily patients with chronic pain can become addicted to their medications, and how dangerous those drugs can be.
 "It leads them down a path that can be very harmful, and that's what physicians have to watch for," said Webster, who practices in Salt Lake City.
 He said physicians who prescribe pain medications have a duty to screen patients for risk factors for addiction and then watch them closely to prevent abuse.
 
                   Below is an interview of the "pain doctors" of Orange County
video
 
In interviews, several of the 71 Southern California doctors with multiple patient deaths described themselves as compassionate caregivers who try to ease the suffering of those in pain.
Vu and others said they follow recommended practices to deter drug abuse, including requiring patients to sign "pain management contracts" in which they agree to take their medications as directed and not obtain more from other doctors.

Some of the 71 doctors said overdose victims caused their own deaths by ignoring instructions on the safe use of medications. Some said family members of the deceased bore responsibility too for failing to intervene. Some also faulted health insurers, saying that reduced payments to physicians have made it difficult to spend the time to monitor patients adequately.
 
These doctors' 298 patients who died of overdoses ranged in age from 21 to 79. The median age was 48.
 
Many had histories of mental illness or addiction, including previous overdoses or stints in drug treatment. Others did not start out as high-risk patients. They were middle-aged adults — teachers, nurses and police officers — with bad backs, injured knees and other non-life-threatening conditions.
Lynn Blunt was a 46-year-old mother of four who suffered from degenerative disc disease. Despite the pain, she was careful not to exceed the recommended dosage of her medications, said her husband, Lonnie. She wanted to remain alert enough to care for her two youngest children, girls ages 14 and 11, he said.

The condition eventually crippled Blunt, leaving her dependent on a cane and unable to continue working as a U.S. customs inspector. She saw a series of doctors, eventually ending up at Vu's California Pain Center.
 
According to coroner's records, Vu prescribed skin patches containing fentanyl, a pain reliever 100 times more powerful than morphine.
 
On Sept. 7, 2006, coroner's records show, Blunt went to Vu's clinic to receive an epidural injection of an unspecified medication for her pain. A day later, she was found dead in her family's apartment in Downey.
Blunt overdosed on multiple drugs prescribed by Vu and two other doctors, coroner's records show. High levels of fentanyl were found in her system.
Blunt had been looking forward to a planned trip to the East Coast to visit one of her two grown children, her husband said.
"We followed the prescriptions," he said. "Something didn't mix well.
Vu, a native of Vietnam, was 11 when he and his family immigrated to the U.S. as refugees just before the fall of Saigon in 1975. They settled in Seattle.
 
As a high school student, he volunteered at a clinic for low-income families and was impressed, he said, by the selflessness of physicians serving "people who really needed help."
 
He earned undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Washington and served a residency in anesthesiology at USC. He is board-certified in that field and in pain medicine.
 
"I pretty much achieved the dream come true that America affords," said Vu, 49, who lives with his wife and four children on Christiana Bay in Huntington Beach.

Lynn Blunt was a 46-year-old mother of four who suffered from degenerative disc disease. Despite the pain, she was careful not to exceed the recommended dosage of her medications, said her husband, Lonnie. She wanted to remain alert enough to care for her two youngest children, girls ages 14 and 11, he said.

The condition eventually crippled Blunt, leaving her dependent on a cane and unable to continue working as a U.S. customs inspector. She saw a series of doctors, eventually ending up at Vu's California Pain Center.

According to coroner's records, Vu prescribed skin patches containing fentanyl, a pain reliever 100 times more powerful than morphine.

On Sept. 7, 2006, coroner's records show, Blunt went to Vu's clinic to receive an epidural injection of an unspecified medication for her pain. A day later, she was found dead in her family's apartment in Downey.

Blunt overdosed on multiple drugs prescribed by Vu and two other doctors, coroner's records show. High levels of fentanyl were found in her system.

Blunt had been looking forward to a planned trip to the East Coast to visit one of her two grown children, her husband said.

"We followed the prescriptions," he said. "Something didn't mix well."

Vu, a native of Vietnam, was 11 when he and his family immigrated to the U.S. as refugees just before the fall of Saigon in 1975. They settled in Seattle.
As a high school student, he volunteered at a clinic for low-income families and was impressed, he said, by the selflessness of physicians serving "people who really needed help."

He earned undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Washington and served a residency in anesthesiology at USC. He is board-certified in that field and in pain medicine.

"I pretty much achieved the dream come true that America affords," said Vu, 49, who lives with his wife and four children on Christiana Bay in Huntington Beach.

Vu said most of his patients are referred by other doctors, who turn to him as "a last resort" for those who have been battling pain for years. Many patients come to him already dependent on narcotics, he said.
 
Vu said he conducts routine urine tests to make sure they take their medications as prescribed and do not use illegal drugs. He said he regularly uses a state-run prescription monitoring program to see whether any of his patients are also obtaining drugs from other doctors.

"I am doing the best I can in this very difficult field," he said. "I consider myself to be one of the best. But we have limits."

He said any patient death from an overdose was unacceptable, but added that he has treated thousands of patients successfully with the same drugs.

"Are we willing to trade that?" he asked. "Are we willing to withhold pain medications from everyone?"

Vu said he was unaware of many of his patients' deaths until Times reporters contacted him. He called the information "eye-opening."

"I'm a physician," Vu said. "I feel terrible when somebody loses their life. I'm the one who should be prolonging life, so I'm saddened by that."

Asked whether he could have taken steps to prevent any of the deaths, Vu paused.

"No," he said, finally. "I don't think so."

Larry Carmichael was a problem drinker who got sober through Alcoholics Anonymous. A doting single father, he coached his son's T-ball team and passed on his love of surfing and fishing.

Carmichael worked as a carpet layer until a car accident left him with debilitating back pain, recalled his son, Dan. He went from one doctor to another in search of relief, and eventually became Vu's patient.

By 2007, Carmichael "had a high tolerance and was known to take too many pills for his pain," coroner's records state. Renee Allen, Carmichael's girlfriend, said she encouraged him to see if he could live without the medications, and to find another doctor.

"I'm not going to sit around and watch you die," she recalled telling him.

But Carmichael kept taking pills. In the months before he died, Carmichael twice passed out, his son said.

"He needed real help," Dan said.
Click to enlarge
On March 7, 2007, Carmichael filled prescriptions from Vu for half a dozen pain and anxiety medications, including morphine, according to coroner's records.

After Carmichael failed to return phone calls for two days, Dan went to his father's apartment in Lake Forest and found him dead. He was 51.

Dan grabbed his father's prescription bottles and smashed them against a wall, sending pills flying around the room, according to a report by a coroner's investigator.

The coroner concluded that Carmichael died of an accidental overdose of morphine.

For decades, prescriptions for narcotic painkillers were limited largely to cancer patients and others with terminal illnesses. The prevailing view was that the risk of addiction outweighed any benefit for the great majority of patients whose conditions were not life-threatening.

Today, narcotic painkillers are among the most popular prescription drugs in the U.S.

The seeds of this turnabout were planted in the late 1980s, when influential physicians argued in medical journals that it was inhumane to ignore suffering in non-cancer patients.

This new perspective coincided with efforts by drug makers to win approval for formulations of narcotics intended to ease moderate pain.

Pharmaceutical companies launched sales campaigns that downplayed the risks of addiction and overdoses and promoted the benefits of pain relief.

In 2001, Congress declared the start of the Decade of Pain Control and Research. Medical boards across the country encouraged physicians to assess and treat pain in all patients. In 2007, California lawmakers expanded the scope of pain relief, making it legal for doctors to prescribe narcotics to addicts, so long as the purpose was to treat pain and not simply feed a habit.

The use of painkillers quadrupled between 1999 and 2010. Doctors write about 300 million prescriptions a year for painkillers. That is enough for every adult American to be medicated around the clock for a month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hydrocodone became the most commonly prescribed drug in the U.S., eclipsing the leading antibiotics and cholesterol medications.

Older pain drugs — including morphine, codeine and Dilaudid — found new life outside hospital wards, while new ones such as fentanyl and Opana were brought to market. OxyContin, a chemical cousin of heroin, had sales of more than $1 billion within a few years of its introduction.

Narcotic pain relievers now cause or contribute to nearly 3 out of 4 prescription drug overdoses and about 15,500 deaths each year, according to the CDC. For every death, 32 people are treated in emergency rooms for nonfatal overdoses.

Although the death toll has received considerable attention, the medical board and law enforcement agencies in California have not mined coroners' files, as The Times did, to identify doctors whose patients overdosed on drugs they prescribed.

Nor have officials tried to take advantage of detailed information that pharmacies provide to the state attorney general's office, listing the kinds and quantities of drugs prescribed, by which doctors and for which patients.

The Controlled Substances Utilization Review and Evaluation System was designed to help doctors learn whether any of their patients were seeking drugs from other physicians too.

The system could also be used to identify doctors who write large numbers of prescriptions for commonly abused drugs. The CDC has urged state authorities to use such programs to identify not only doctor-shopping patients but the physicians who cater to them. In California, authorities do neither.

Karl Finnila had a long record of drug arrests by the time he became Vu's patient. He was bipolar, had attempted suicide and had overdosed several times, according to coroner's records and his sister Sally, a tax accountant in Irvine.
 
Finnila, the oldest son of a Mattel Inc. executive, had been addicted to prescription drugs since he was a teenager, his sister said. He had been in and out of mental hospitals and was unable to hold a job.

He would lose touch with his family. But every so often, Sally would find him, take him to lunch and buy him a new pair of shoes and socks.

On June 29, 2007, Finnila was discharged from a hospital in Orange County, according to Carol Spetzman, a friend and caregiver. He had been treated there for a drug overdose, his sister said.

That same day, he filled prescriptions from Vu for hydrocodone and carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant, at a pharmacy down the hall from the doctor's office, coroner's records show.

Finnila then checked into a sober-living home in Westminster. After dinner, he went for a walk, sat down on a curb and died, coroner's records state.

The cause was "combined effects" of hydrocodone, carisoprodol and seven other medications prescribed by Vu and other doctors. He was 43.
Jennifer Thurber had been coping with pain for much of her life by the time she came under Vu's care.

Thurber's childhood was marred by a painful stomach condition that caused severe indigestion. She had corrective surgery when she was 11, but a car accident seven years later brought the problem back.

She was prescribed various medications for the pain and eventually began abusing them, according to her father, Charles, an Orange County sheriff's deputy.

Thurber obtained drugs through various doctors. On May 21, 2007, she filled prescriptions for morphine and methadone written by Vu.

Two days later, her father climbed the stairs of the family's Fountain Valley home and pushed open the door of her bedroom to ask her to get ready for dinner.

He found his daughter in bed, pale and motionless. Blood trailed from her nose. He laid her on the floor and attempted CPR.

Thurber died of an overdose of multiple drugs prescribed by Vu and two other doctors, coroner's records show.
 Morphine and methadone were among the drugs. She was 22.
"That was my birthday," her father recalled, his voice wavering. He said he blames himself for not seeing the signs of drug abuse sooner and for not paying closer attention to her doctors and what they were prescribing
"At the time," he said, "we thought they were trying to help her.

Source: LA Times

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39 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reading my email, re:this story. It's spot on and so sad. These stories have to be told. If I did not read the LA TIMES, never would have seen it. Many thanks from Texas God bless you, BB, and the many victims/innocents everywhere. This by far is worse than the 70's. Parents need to understand 85% of the time, they are the problem. Every kid I work with started out by getting their parents painkillers,which then leads to the less expensive heroin. Same with kids om Addrell, gateway to meth. Between the pharmaceutical companies and cartels, these kidd are screwed. My heart breaks daily. Once again my appreciation goes out to BB.

Anonymous said...

Sra Chivis: This is very good work. I will have to read it several times. --un vato

John said...

I am more concerned with the cartels making REAL oxycodone rather than knock-off versions. A friend of mine, who unfortunately OD'ed on oxycodone and fentanyl in 2010, used to be able to get raw pharmaceuticals from someone who worked in a generic drug manufacturer in China. Note this was done all via the internet -- the two had never met in person. He got raw alprazolam (raw "Xanax"), where an amount the size of Lincoln's head on a penny (meaning just that miniscule amount of powder to fill the size of the head on Lincoln on the US penny) was enough to send 4/5 people who tried it to the hospital or jail because of their severe intoxication.

It was straight alprazolam powder, no fillers or binders that they have to put in to press pills. That shit was so potent he never got it again. It was far too dangerous if we would have let other people get their hands on it who may not be bothered that it was "too powerful."

I can only imagine the damage that could be done if they started putting out raw oxycodone powder like that. I'm sure it can't be that hard to obtain -- like the guy in the China generic factory, it only takes one rogue employee to get the shit off the factory floor and into the hands of internet buyers. I don't know if generics are manufactured in Mexico, but if my friend who lived in a town of less than 100,000 people in rural Indiana can obtain it off the internet, I can only imagine the resources the cartels have.

On another note, I never realized you were actually a female, Chivis?

Anonymous said...

This article is dumb. If people choose to off themselves with pills it is their own business. If not pills it would be a rope, bridge or the front of a bus.

Chivis said...

John

"real Oxy" or Name brand pharmaceuticals, can only be deemed such if they are made by the drug company which created it. They have an exclusive license for several years and the cost is very high, this is how companies recoup their research and development cost and make money on developing new drugs.

After the license expires, generic drug mfg flood the market with a like product in which the main ingredients are a like to the name brand.

Then there are the knockoffs- the phony illegally manufactured drugs. They look like the “real thing” but are made in clandestine labs/sites and distributed. Often those on the internet are these illegal look alike drug.

Those knock off drugs are very, very dangerous adding the component of having no regulation to the inherent nature of the drug …anything or any strength can be swallowed, it is like playing Russian roulette.

Mfg plants in Asia that are constructed to mfg other products such as rat poison are used to produce the knockoff drugs. Traces of arsenic and other unwanted chemicals are found in testing these drugs.

It is my opinion that Zetas and CDS will go into this element of street drugs.

Take Guatemala, Zs have a strong hold in over 75% of the “departments” (like counties) Sinaloa also has a good presence in the south and part of the long Mexican south border (largely unguarded).

It would be easy to see how a fragile, the impoverished country would give little resistance to Narcos setting up shop and pumping out pharmaceuticals and trafficking the product to the massive market of the United States. I could envision it being so overtly done in Guate that they conduct the business much like a legitimate business, even advertising for help, etc.

And, yes I am :)

Chivis said...

I don't read LAT much either, my time is spent looking for articles in Mexican media. Havana and I were talking about this yesterday, thinking we know readers come to us for stuff they would not be able to read otherwise. In facgt A reader wrote to me after I posted an article by WSJ calling me complacent and lazy.

In this case, my physican knows what I do (BB) and brought the paper in for me on Monday. He said "forget the other drugs, and marijuana will be legal as it should be, but this is not where the drugwar is headed, it is where the drugwar IS."

Chivis said...

12:42

Boy this sure went over your head

Anonymous said...

It sure did fly over his head this is an important post. Pendejo think of this as the physician being the drug supplier to the addict and insurances and even welfare medical care insurance such as medi-cal and also disability insurance picking up the cost in keeping the addicts supplied.

Anonymous said...

The heroin market is fucked right now,prices went really high for half decent shit,hence people started steppin all over it,and it aint come back.
If they aint buying decent amounts,they get shit before they even fuck with it,then they mess with it and it goes on and on,same with white,the powders have gone shit thru a mixture of scarcity and greed.Unless there is a glut,the market wont drive quality back up.So people turn to all this kind of shit,,

Anonymous said...

1:28.Are you on heroin right now?? You seem to know way too much about it. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Chavis for this timely report. It scares me more thinking the Asisans, Chinese and Mexican cartels are involved, pushing unregulated prescriptions and MDA's and heroin. I thought the 70's were bad. How freaking naive I am.Thanks to all!!!

Anonymous said...

maybe the president of Merk should be hunted down like a cartel boss.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:28
stop talkin shit like you know.

Anonymous said...

The thing to remember always is that there are people who need need and use these drugs responsibly. I have known people with MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis who relied at times on painkillers for a decent quality of life. That's not to say more can't be done to prevent misuse, but there needs to be a balance.

Bones said...

I live in Newport beach and am a recovering oxycontin addict. I have gotten pills from Dr Vu. It was as easy as walking in, making up a story about a car accident (with nothing to back it up), and walking out with a prescription. I would get a monthly prescription for sixty 80mg oxys, 120 10mg percasets, as well as somas & xanax. Every single one of his patients was a drug addict / drug dealer. It is an epidemic down here with dirty doctors. People trade referrals to dirty doctors in exchange for pills. Many people I know have died. Its crazy

Dan Kass said...

Most people dont know what theyre talking about when it comes to this, just like any other drug. Like any other drug, ive been through every stage, and seen every side of the fence. This is the most recent.. Well the 30mg pills of oxy. Everyone could get loratabs, percs, xanax.. now its just the 30mg. I've had quite a few friends die from it, but NEVER from just Oxy. ALWAYS was mixed, either oxy and xanax, or methadone and xanax. Always an opiate, and benzo mixed. So OD'ing off of oxy is pretty damn hard, not to say it doesnt happen, but its rare. It's the biggest problem we had over in FL, where i lived all my life. It has completely taken over the town im from. We have a crazy number of pregnant girls who are taking these all the way thru pregnancy, because the docs wont dare try to ween them off of it, in fear of injuring the child. That was a pretty crazy thing to see first hand. A pregnant girl shooting oxys. What a first class parent. Anyways, people usually dont kill themselves on these on purpose, its mostly accidental overdoses. But when they do OD, it's cause they took way to many, and they knew they were, but the high for them is so good, theyll take that chance everyday. And like the doc said, you cant take away 1000's of patients med away because a select few abused them. And a lot of ppl who do get these painkillers are getting benzos for anxiety etc, so its a fine line between them being functional and ODing. And about MX having fakes? Theres people in my town with a press making fake ones right now, dont have to worry about MX, theyre making 40,000 a day. Ingredients? Street chalk, tylenol. MAYBE a little bit of opiate if they feel generous enough. I've been to MX and it cost me (with no script) $10 a [eice for Oxy 80mgs right out of the pharmacy. I know people who are bringing them in by the gallon ziploc because theyre smaller, cheaper, and produce a profit margine that rivals coke... This article is behind the times... It's already happening..

Dan Kass said...

Something I forgot. An addict is an addict. It doesnt matter if he gets it from the pharmacy or the street. They WILL get it. And by any means necessary. They have done all these things in FL and for what? it hasnt made a difference as much as i can see, everyone i know is still addicted, everyone I know are still going to thier visits, and selling them..

DD said...

Chivis. Your stories are always informative and well written, but this one is by far the best one you have done.

DD

Anonymous said...

Newport kooks, beat it! River Jetties belongs to HB! Just kiddin...:)

Chivis said...

3:11..

can you tell me the price of Oxy for the qty you got and percocet? I think percocet's beginning strength is 2.5mg or 5mg. Or did insurance cover yours? and on the street? congratulations on your sobriety..Paz

Anonymous said...

That was very sad. Just lost a friend to drugs. The photos are poignant. Well done.

Anonymous said...

They accidently took more than were suppose to probably unaware that they'd overdose I dont think they wanted to kill themselves just the pain.

Anonymous said...

looks like the road to hell.
if marijuana doesn't kick you off on the road to trying other even more harmful drugs it will be prescription drugs.
legal and illegal drugs watch out it could be the end of you or a loved one.
and yes i know first hand having lost loved ones who started with beer and pot then moved up to other drugs and finally death.

Anonymous said...

Chivis, with all due respect, pain is something that you have to experiencie to understand how misserable your life can get. I have 3 herniated disks, bottom vertebrae and I am an oxycontin user. I started with vicoding, and when I was tkaing up to 12 tablets per day, my doctor switched me to Oxys. 3/day 15mg. Right now I only use one per day, depending on the pain, it is a chronic pain, and it makes your life miserable. Sometimes Not even 4 pills per day will alleviate the pain, and that's when you have to diet, exercise and take anti-inflammatory. To say or hint that only terminal patients need this type of drug is not correct, you are miss-informed. I have tried, over the counter medications to no avail. I have tried codeine, and it is not strong enough. I live on the border, and they don't sell any more Oxy or vics in Mexico, they do sell Temgesic a very strong and powerful narcotic which I will not use unless I need to, unless the prescription from my Oxy stops. If you follow instructions, you will be fine, if you don't you won't. I do not wish to get surgery due to the many tragic stories that I have heard, I am trying with diet to loose weight as this helps at times, others it doesn't. I have bad days and I have worst days, there are no more good days for the moment. Chronic pain in any part of your body is not good.

Anonymous said...

November 21, 2012 2:27 PM
"stop talkin shit like you know"
Does it sound as though i know?I read everything off the internet,amazing what you can find out,like them dirty drug dealers mix it with manitol,you gotta wear a mask they said,and even some oils so it can run better,i don't know what they mean by that,but thats what it said.You can even buy little hydraulic presses that brick it up into key sizes,Crazy aint it,i read all this from some crazy site?Enough said

Anonymous said...

that shit is scarry.couple weeks ago i had a really bad pain in my right ear i couldnt even sleep. my dad had some oxycodone left, from when he broke his ribs in an accident,so i knew it was to kill pain i took 2 it work so good i slept like a baby, when i wook up the side efects were so bad i end up in the hospital,it was hard to breath,dizzy and a bad stomachache, I almost past out.the doctor said it was cuz of the pills i took. i couldnt understand y it was so hard to breath and she explain how those pills were compare to illegal drugs.thank god nothing else happend and that i dint take the other one i was thinking on taking.

Anonymous said...

Go OXY! Wait till some cartel chemical badass finds a way to mix the shit with crystal or something cool that will REALLY fuck some shit up! Ataquense pinches gueros que al cabo que no les gusta!

Anonymous said...

November 21, 2012 2:10 PM
"1:28.Are you on heroin right now?? You seem to know way too much about it. Just saying"
No brah,just like you,know different people who do different things to make money,they aint gonna get a job in an office,know what i mean,much as they would like to.Dude,make your own mind up,dont listen to shit,some of these guys are good guys to you know,its just another living,familys,cars,bills,all the same,and some of them know whats right and wrong,jus sayin.

Chivis said...

@9:47PM

I can empathize with you more than you could possibly know. In a freak accident I broke my back in two places had 5 lumbar disk, 3 cervicle disk and 3 vertabrae wiped out. I lived in a spinal cord injury facility for months and had 5 surgeries. I was lucky I was a test guinea pig for FDA on a device and I went off all meds and have been mostly pain free for 20 years. EMail me and I will give you greater details.

But you are being unfair my friend, read what I wrote in the article after i wrote about my cousin Danny....I said "we do not want a society that refuses to help a person suffering from pain." but i stick with my opinion that should exclude oxy.

Now, about the surgery, it is safer and better than ever. I had 2 laminectomies for 5 disks. I tried everything first accupunture etc The longer you wait the hader it is for a cure. Get a nuero rather than orthopod for surgery. WHy not get medical MJ? try to get off the hard stuff that never has a good outcome nor a good quality of life. Good luck...Paz, Chivis

9:52..you are lucky to be alive. My cousin Danny slept like a baby also,,,the lungs stop functioning, first it is difficult to take in a deep breath,. then a person falls asleep and sometimes does not wake up. you may have had an allergy reaction as well.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:47. After a horrific car wreck, I too was in pain 24/7. After a year, I finally found a board cerfied nuero surgeon to do the surgery. Sure I was afraid bit I was not living, I was exsisting. I woke up from surgery and did not even need a post op.shot. I have not felt any pain in over 10 years. I know longer am a cripple and had 4 crushed lumbar discs. There is nothing to fear but fear itself. I know many who have gone through the same surgery and are doing great. God bless and my prayers are with you.A friend in Houston.

Dan Kass said...

I got it like this (30mg Oxy): Off of the street from dealers with no mx ties, coming from pharmacy-20 for 18 a peice, 40 and up for 15 a peice. From person that needed a sponsor (person who pays for doc visit or pharmacy when patient cant) 10-15 a peice for any number of pills. From person bringing it across the border: 6-10 a peice because of connections, they were usually doing it for 15=18 a pc. Xanax for singles from anyone(2mg):$5,if you sponsor:$2. and perks are what im prescribed, 90 for $100. The oxys are AT MOST $6 a pc at the pharmacy. Most of the time they run about $2-$4. Now, 3 years ago they ran at the very most, $10. After the pharmacys came online, and doc shopping started to be cracked down upon, they never became more scarce, but the price increased to $25 a pc for anything amount under 20. Sometimes 30 a pc. The price has never changed at the pharmacy execpt mom and pop shops where they can price gouge and get away with it. See the profit margin? Its not hard to be able to get rid of 50-100 of them in a single day, 2-6 at a time. That fact alone will make it so it's on thier list of priorities right along with heroin, meth, and coke. When they get thier bricks, and not talkin weed, theyre getting gallon ziplocs full of 30mg and 2mg xanax.. Oh, one more thing before i bore you to death, the police got tricky with how they charge you, and if you have over 4g worth of pills on you, you get charged with trafficking in heroin. Not possession without RX, not anything else. Trafficking. And here that carries a 15 year minimum madatory sentence. My best friend is doing 15 right now because of it. I think each 30mg weighs about .5g..so it doesnt take much at all..if you have any other questions please ask

Anonymous said...

Chavis,thanks for sharing your story. I am happy your surgery was successful as mine was. As for oxys, you are spot on. This drug should only be used in a hospital setting. I feel great empathy for those who have rea pain but oxys.are not the answer. The addiction rate is offf the charts. As for those who believe it's a magic cure all, they are 1 pill from not waking up. The Dr.s and pharmaceutical companies who push this and roxys etc.should have the Justice dept.on them. Anyone remember qualludes???? Taken off the market for the same problems. The haters are welcome to comment, I've seen enough people die from these drugs to last a lifetime. I'm freaking tired of all the excuses and b.s to excuse their "need" for these drugs. I'm also a cancer survivor. I.know of what I speak. Thanks again and medical mj is an option.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:55 PM
Fuck Off Culero,no queremos que tu mierda.
coño racista

Anonymous said...

Like I posted already cartels have been into the pharma biz for a long time it's only until really 2007 up to now that it's really become a widespread epidemic.

Chivis said...

Happy Thanksgiving Readers....


To the reader saying how he knows cartels have been in the RX business for years etc etc. That is not the point by far. Drug seizures in the US of off market RX is still very low, and that is one of the indicators of how prevalent trafficking is of a specific drug. It is very low. A big part of answering why is because obtaining RX drugs is still very easy to do so legally.
My contention is it will explode and Guate will be the hub for its production. Trafficking will be much less difficult and sales outlets new to cartels will be used.
Hey Readers: Happy Thanksgiving to BB Readers, may you enjoy your day, filled with turkey, football, time with family and friends and remembering things to be thankful for. Among my blessings is this wonderful project of Buggs that has grown to a level that I am sure even he could never have predicted. Reaching American readers is our goal; please tell a friend about us we need the information of the Mexican drugwar to be common knowledge. Paz, Chivis

To the reader saying how he knows cartels have been in the RX business for years etc etc. That is not the point by far. The point is the market is now at the level that it has to be the main production of drugs to stay in the drug business in the US. Drug seizures in the US of off market RX is still very low, and that is one of the indicators of how prevalent trafficking is of a specific drug. It is very low.

My contention is it will explode and Guate will be the hub for its production. Trafficking will be much less difficult and sales outlets new to cartels will be used.
I promise you constantly research the direction of the narco war, to suggest I don't is really not fair. I present research but also frequently go out on a limb in predictions. I am a business owner first and foremost and cartels are businesses first and foremost, the same theories are applicable in unlawful and lawful business structure. Opioids such as heroin and cocaine are used very little -comparatively- in the global market, cannabis trending toward legality, will result in a blow to the cartels marketing of these products. The decline is so severe the US stance as the world’s leading illegal drug user king has diminished so much it is in jeopardy of losing its title. But one only has to look at the RX market and assume that when the use of RX pain meds and sedative drugs is 80-90% of the world market that its use is largely for non-medical usage though under current law it is perfectly legal. One can also surmise this is the market cartels will capture.

@Joe Pacheco
I rec your comment and decided not to post because it is straying off an important topic. This is not about legit pain. Absolutely I have great empathy. Please remember this is an article about RX drugs, how it is taking center stage in the drugwar, the most likely possible progression of cartel involvement and the danger of oxy, which was created specifically and solely for later stage terminal cancer.

@Dan Kass
hey thank you! I was clueless

Anonymous said...

i know chivis. i dint know how lucky i was til i red this article and it did feel like i was gona die,its a horrible feeling not been able to breath and jst cuz of a stupid pill, i took the rest of the pills and flush them down the toilet where they belong thanks chivis this article maite change alot of ppl cuz i know u change my mind about this "pain killer" thanks again

Anonymous said...

Chivas. You are so needed as are all at BB.My daughter followed me into the substance abuse medical field. We each counsel at risk kids. It is heartbreaking daily.She recently started working in a Hispanic area in Texas. Pills are at the top drugs used by these teens. Most are homeless,pregnant,addicted anf have no family. It is a sad anf tragic situation for these kids, average age is 14. I recommend your site to help give her more insight. She then posted it m her Facebook page. The more we know, the better can serve these kids.Happy Thanksgiving to al.

Anonymous said...

Now this is what it's all about, shed light on this and no big pharma company can lobby against public outcry, the people still have the power and these are the silent killers of people who don't know the dangers...you do a bunch of coke from who-knows-where and with who-knows-what in it, and it is illegal, you know what ur getting into. But legal drugs that ur parents take or docs prescribe = silent killers

Anonymous said...

Good article chivis I just read it to my friends mom he just passed a fewdays ago from an oxycotin he was a young singer full of life who was taken from us way to young he also fell asleep and never woke back up the war on drugs should focus on oxytocin I mean I know marijuana is bad but who dies in there sleep from it thank you and I wish all you bb readers a happy thanksgiving

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