back to article I'll torpedo Tor weirdos, US AG storms: Feds have 'already infiltrated' darknet drug souks

The US Attorney General has set up a task force of FBI agents and tech nerds to further smoke out online peddlers of illegal opioids. The team, dubbed the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement, aka J-CODE, will be sent out to a dozen American cities that have hotspots of opioid abuse to work out where the gear is coming …

  1. DNTP Silver badge

    The biggest troublemakers are not on the darknet

    They are sitting in doctor's offices, with lots of prescription pads and a shaky grasp of medical ethics, and kickbacks from drug companies to do their distribution dirtywork- effectively, to prescribe overstrength drugs and get users patients addicted.

    They are meeting with representatives mostly from a specific political party over $500 lunches, talking up the need to prosecute a tiny percentage of darknet sales to distract from their company somehow finding a market for millions of high strength painkiller pills in a town of less than 3,000 people.

    They are lobbying for their companies in DC, emphasizing that the darknet is so dangerous, their company is willing to contribute money towards the election of anyone who promises to fight it.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: The biggest troublemakers are not on the darknet

      Spot on.

      "opioids kill more than 90 Americans every day through overdoses"

      How many of those opioids were prescribed? And how many of those were actually necessary? It' an extension of pill-popping culture that Big Pharma pushes down on doctors. Got a fever? Have an antibiotic, who cares if it's bacterial or viral? Fidgety child? Give them Ritalin, when probably all they need is to cut down their sugar intake. And on, and on.

      Modern medicine has made amazing strides against serious illnesses, but let's not forget what an amazing immune system humans have, and how effective it is against minor illnesses if we just leave it alone instead of overloading it with more unneeded pills. So many times a doctor, ether for me or my family have as first instinct to prescribe medication, and after we push back and ask if it's really necessary, the answer is no. So many ailments can be taken care of by our immune system, just needing rest, high fluid intake, good diet, etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The biggest troublemakers are not on the darknet

      And just to prove others think the same:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/nyregion/nyc-de-blasio-opioid-lawsuit.html

    3. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: The biggest troublemakers are not on the darknet

      You'd have to wonder how much street dealer addiction actually started out as prescribed addiction. As you state, they hand them out like sweeties but at some point need to turn off the supply. Then the visibly shady dudes take over.

      The problem as I see it with people dealing in drugs, weapons etc on the darknet is that at some point your transaction makes it back into the real world, most likely for the physical delivery but possibly for the payment if you weren't really careful about the trail the coins left.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The biggest troublemakers are not on the darknet

        Thing is, this kind of contraband is relatively difficult to detect because it's (a) small, (b) nonmetallic, and (c) able to be run through routes that evade customs or even home-grown. Basically, finding small drug shipment that take illicit routes to their delivery is a case of needles in haystacks. Same for the payments if they don't use shells and other covert payment systems.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Single provider health care

    As I understand the "opioid crisis", most of the supply is from prescription medication making its way to the streets. Some medical practitioners are fast and easy with handing out scripts, scripts are forged, people are robbed &c. So much of it is legitimately manufactured drugs.

    So, fixing up the insane way that health insurance is provided in the US of A would do a lot to assist the authorities to track prescription medications. Yes, this is not very sexy and exciting - the kids working on this won't be able to go to parties to boast that they are "leet hackors" on the darknet - but it is much more effective and much much cheaper. It would also remove the temptations that present themselves on the darknet.

    So Jeff Sessions should be campaigning for a Single Provider Healthcare. This would be good for his boss - he could dismantle the compromised mess of "Obama Care" and deliver a much cheaper and more effective public health solution to the US.

    1. Lysenko Silver badge

      Re: Single provider health care

      So, fixing up the insane way that health insurance is provided in the US of A would do a lot to assist the authorities to track prescription medications. Yes, this is not very sexy and exciting popular with purchasers of politicians a.k.a. "donors"

      FTFY. This is just poodles taking out some competition on behalf of their owners. If people are selling drugs online, whether on Tor or simply from Canada, it is obvious that cash that could be used for vital healthcare priorities like executive bonuses and bribing GPs is being diverted for other purposes. That needs to be stopped.

      The real reason US opioid prescription outstrips other countries is that Americans suffer more backache from gazing up in stupefied wonder at the magnificence of every aspect of their incomparably perfected society; particularly their outstandingly responsive and well-stocked pharmacies.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Single provider health care

      "So Jeff Sessions should be campaigning for a Single Provider Healthcare. This would be good for his boss"

      Yeah, except that anyone in the US advocating Single Provider Healthcare is basically labelled a communist. That's the exact reason Obamacare, for all it's evident merits, ended up being so messy - the mess is coming from compromises thrown to Republicans

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Single provider health care

      "Jeff Sessions should be campaigning for a Single Provider Healthcare. "

      A Service for the Health of the Nation ?

      Maybe call it something like the SHN?

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Single provider health care

      NO. NO gummint run 'health care'. NO. just NO.

      It would enforce "mediocrity for all", except for the super-elite, who will always "get theirs".

      The problem with high costs isn't evil corporations sucking money away from sick people. THAT is an emotion-bomb generated by those who want to manipulate people into accepting gummint-run "health care".

      the single biggest problem with high medical costs are HIGH TORT SETTLEMENTS for various sueballs that are regularly thrown at the medical industry, INCLUDING TV advertisements for class-actions against companies that (through no obvious negligence) had FDA approval for things that were later found to be a problem [thus, sueballs]. CAPPING tort settlements to significantly SMALLER values would address this, lowering malpractice insurance costs, and thereby lowering hospital and treatment costs, as well as preventing hospitals and doctors from doing "cover my ass" tests and procedures that otherwise would NEVER be done [with costs benig passed on to the patient and health insurance companies].

      Saying "gummint will pay for it all" is ABSOLUTELY! FORNICATING! CLUELESS!!! Instead, a TRUE free market, with cross-state (and even international) competition, serious tort reform, serious insurance reform [including the abolishing of state-based monopolies on insurance providers], and "merit based" health insurance rates, are the only way to go.

      [reducing costs is the BEST way to lower prices, and if you want to reduce COSTS, keep GUMMINT out of it, LIMIT tort settlements, increase 'burden of proof' for tort claims, yotta yotta and make sure COMPETITION has a free and clear path and a level playing field]

      1. TheDillinquent
        Trollface

        Re: Single provider health care

        Its that f***ing russian troll again!

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Single provider health care

        But the market can't always work in the medical field. They have something of a captive audience here. Think EMERGENCIES...

  3. PiltdownMan
    Pint

    Just like Prohibition did for alcohol use! Good luck with that...

    "The J-CODE team will help us continue to shut down the online marketplaces that drug traffickers use and ultimately that will help us reduce addiction and overdoses across the nation."

    Pint Obvs!

    1. jmch Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Just like Prohibition did for alcohol use! Good luck with that...

      It's curious that Republicans who are supposedly anti-government and pro-personal responsibility are so determined to police what people put into their bodies of their own free will in their own time and in the privacy of their homes.

      1. Lysenko Silver badge

        Re: Just like Prohibition did for alcohol use! Good luck with that...

        It's curious that Republicans who are supposedly anti-government and pro-personal responsibility are so determined to police what people put into their bodies of their own free will in their own time and in the privacy of their homes.

        It's perfectly simple: riffing off the Ten Commandments, the function of "authority" (i.e. government) is to impose and enforce restrictions, particularly where "sin" is concerned. On the other hand, the (optional) hippy, socialist stuff about "Love thy neighbour..." refers to personal charity (preferably via Pastor Tammy Lee Snakejuggler) and is not a valid activity for a public body.

        That's why the sex acts you engage in are government business (SIN!!!), but the welfare of any resulting children (post-birth) is an entirely private (sector) matter.

      2. phuzz Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Just like Prohibition did for alcohol use! Good luck with that...

        The Republicans are also the pro-business party, and if opioids are being sold on the streets, then that means drug dealers are making profits that should really be going to the poor, blameless drug companies.

        Sessions is just making sure that the less well off (the aforementioned, poor, destitute, drug companies) get their slice of the profit of selling addictive drugs to the public.

        Won't somebody please think of the corporations!

  4. DCFusor Silver badge

    Addiction from doctors

    But the deaths are from the street drugs the addicts can afford and still get after the docs cut them off. Nasty setup here, especially with cheap Fentanyl and others replacing the safer(!) street drug versions.

    Sessions appears to need something to do so it won't be so obvious how hard he's running from all the partisan-driven corruption in his dept whipped up by crazy people, it'd seem. No way anyone really wants that hot potato as it's going to be career ending no matter how it turns out, and that's anathema to a real beaurocrat - nothing is more important than that pension.

    Of course the docs prescribe this stuff because it's allowed, which is because Big Pharma convinced the FDA etc that it was OK - even if anyone with any sense knows better (brown envelope maybe?), and after all, grandma's pension is dependent on profits from her pension fund, which is heavily invested in Big Pharma and so on - if you try to trace blame, there's plenty to go around and it's not pretty at all. If some stock doesn't make money, grandma's mutual fund sells it because grandma really needs that better grade of cat food. So do we blame her?

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: Addiction from doctors

      Fentanyl is a perfectly safe and useful medication, if taken as prescribed by a Doctor for a condition that requires it.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Addiction from doctors

        Trouble is, fentanyl is one of the strongest opioids, and I believe the strongest one can perscribe to a human. To appreciate its potency, say on a potency scale where the common morphine and hydrocodone are 1, heroin runs from 2-5. Fentanyl is 50-100, and let's not get started on carfentanyl (which scales at 10,000), which is ONLY legal to use on large animals like bears (No joke. You can die from respiratory arrest simply from touching a drop of the stuff).

        IOW, if your situation requires a continuous regimen of fentanyl, one must live a live worse than hell.

        That said, fentanyl is also a common target of drug thieves and illegal chemists due precisely to that potency. Potent opioids are both easier to transport and heavily in demand, and not just in North America (China has the problem, too).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The War on Drugs hasn't failed

    It's successfully allowed a militarized police force onto the streets, and the locking up of poor black people for the profit of corporations. In this way, the 1% are winning.

    1. DNTP Silver badge

      Re: The War on Drugs hasn't failed

      And in many ways, that's exactly what this newest darknet enforcement initiative is really meant to accomplish. The "drug warriors" don't give a damn about drug abuse as a health or criminal or social issue; but it's a great platform for them to normalize the destruction of online privacy.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cooperation

    "The J-CODE team will primarily focus on domestic sellers, unless it can get cooperation from other nations."

    Maybe they can get cooperation from Honduras' national police chief.

  7. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

    I would think that from a Social Politics point of view regarding Illicit or Legal Drug Marketplaces, that it should be the perogative of the Attorney General AND Surgeon General TO COOPERATE AT A FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL and do a BASIC research program and an accompanying long-term study (4 years+) of WHY Americans in general WANT to medicate themselves into a general stupor thus allowing such drug marketing and general addiction to arise.

    YES! I know many patients are using because of actual physical pain from general or specific medical complications and ailments BUT I think there is an underlying "Belly-of-the-Beast" social aspect to this widespread drug use of ALL kinds. Nobody has really asked and answered the basic questions of:

    1) Why are Americans in so much psychological and/or physical pain

    that it requires you to self-medicate?

    - i.e. were you abused at home, school and/or work and require more-specific mental health services?

    - i.e. were you in a car accident or were otherwise severely medically injured

    that resulted in extreme levels of pain that cannot be easily alleviated?

    2) Is there a workplace aspect where not enough time is given to recover

    from basic physical ailments thus giving rise to general opiate use?

    - i.e. is a solution such as creating a paid and medically MONITORED form of

    national short duration Sick Leave that is like Unemployment Insurance viable?

    - i.e. Are basic financial needs getting in the way of a viable long-term recovery?

    - What workplace programs can be initiated that allows workers to fully recover

    yet gives employers some relief from excessive employee absenteeism?

    3) Is there excessive "local social persuasion" or general over-marketing of either legal

    or illicit drugs such that Americans are being sucked into use of said items.

    - i.e. What sort of psychological resistance programs can be started to get youth

    and adults to resist and/or defend themselves against such social programming?

    Does Just Say NO need to be revived on a widespread national basis?

    - Is TV or general Media or specific parts of the internet creating or showing such marketing?

    - Can or should those specific parts be regulated and how?

    4) Are there specific physical issues with the human body itself that are causing or allowing

    more and more Americans to fall susceptible to drug use and addictions?

    - i.e. what SPECIFIC brain or neuro-chemical receptors are causing addictions?

    - What ethnotypes or genotypes are more or less susceptible to specific drugs or classes of drugs?

    - Why are those receptors there in the first place? Which ones make

    it more likely that a given population or geno-type is susceptible to addiction?

    - Are there viable medical/physical counteractives to such receptors that either

    tone down or eliminate such addiction-causing activities?

    - What immediate lifestyle and/or environmental variables are there that will affect addiction

    behaviour or the basic strength of any given drug addiction? How can they be mitigated?

    5) What aspects of the American Legal System and Medical System are exacerbating addiction behaviour?

    - Are the legal penalties such that they cause perverse incentives for drug addiction continuation?

    - Are the criminally convicted having such a rod put on their backs by sentencing and/or punishment

    terms that there is no hope of breaking the addiction cycle? i.e.

    i.e. Cant get employment due to harsh legal sentencing terms or overlong police record-keeping.

    - is too much policing the problem?

    - is too much concentration of illicit drug dealers within prison/jail systems

    allowing ad-hoc marketing networks to form thus creating actual demand and supply?

    6) What physical aspects of American Rural and/or Urban communities are giving rise

    to concentrations of drug use and addiction behaviour?

    - Is there too much or too little affordable public housing in a given area?

    - Are financially or socially-defined population groups concentrating in specific locales

    that allow addiction or drug marketing to arise or be continued?

    - What are the specific physical or social attractors that bring in more and more

    like-minded people that are susceptible to drug use or drug production?

    - Are there natural environmental or human-built physical obstacles within communities

    that are causing areas of high drug use or production to arise or continue?

    - How can those obstacles be removed or mitigated affordably?

    - Are there specific types or combinations of street-layout, common area lighting,

    policing outreach facilities and/or religious worship or charity-based groups that

    giving rise to an "Addictions Industry" or "Keep-em-All-Poor-and-Addicted" mentality?

    Are those community service groups actually part of the problem?

    - Should those services or groups be withdrawn from a given area

    and/or how can their unanticipated negative effects be mitigated?

    ALL THESE basic questions have NOT been asked and answered in a scientifically SOUND and methodically researched manner! Until we ask the BASIC questions of WHY and HOW humans physically or psychologically use drugs and WHY and HOW they get addicted amongst a large statistically significant sample group, we will NEVER be able to offer any series of small or large steps to reduce or even eliminate physical addiction and its detrimental behaviours in humans.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      "WHY Americans in general WANT to medicate themselves into a general stupor"

      Uh, no. 'Americans in general' do not WANT to medicate themselves into a general stupor. That's just ridiculous.

      A _SMALL_ _NUMBER_ of people do that. if they can't get their fix through a prescription [which maybe is how they got addicted in the first place], then they get it illegally.

      I'm all for making every kind of drug legal via prescriptions, and giving doctors the responsibility and discretion for monitoring their patients. But I don't think it's a good idea for things _LIKE_ opiates to be generally available without a prescription, just like abusing antibiotics [the ABuse of which causes resistant strains of bacteria to develop] should be prevented by putting a doctor in charge of how the medicine is put to use.

      But you can't just legalize everything because you perceive that the majority of Americans are drugging themselves into a stupor already, and buying their fixes through the dark net.

      And if a prescription is required, and the drugs are sold without them, that's a violation of the law, and should be investigated by the FBI or other law enforcement, and people arrested, convicted, jailed for doing so.

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    ""...and ultimately that will help us reduce addiction and overdoses across the nation.”

    Err..no, it won't reduce addiction or overdoses. All it will do is raise the price of the street drugs and in turn create a few gang wars among those who can control the supply. Get the addicts clean if you can, or (this will sound cold but I've known a few addicts) let them die. That is the only solution, preferably help them get clean would be the choice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So are you willing to pass this fate to your own relative if you find he or she has gone beyond the point of no return, even if under religious, legal, or moral obligations never to kill under any circumstances?

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Half the solution

      If you kill or cure all the addicts today that will create a financial incentive to produce more addicts tomorrow. The DEA were set up to deal with suspiciously large drug orders from small towns. Congress fixed that last year. 3 senators and 44 congressman did not take hefty campaign contributions from drug companies, so I have confidence that no effective solution will be tolerated for years.

  9. 7teven 4ect

    Distraction

    Dying of overdose? How comfortable. The war on drugs makes it impossible for most of the non-American world to obtain these essential painkillers.

    Legalise the lot.

    1. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: Distraction

      Indeed. Better a thousand addicts get cheap fixes than one person suffers from treatable pain.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Distraction

        Oh? What do you do with the widows and orphans of these addicts when they inevitably overdose? When it comes to people, no solution is simple if you want to remain humane.

  10. Andy 97

    One can only imagine the unmasking of these villains by Jeff Sessions and the accompanying “and i would’ve gotten away with it too if it hadn’t been for that meddling Jeff Sessions”.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Meh

      "One can only imagine the unmasking of these villains by Jeff Sessions"

      And then realise it's more likely for this to be done by a large cartoon dog.

  11. Hawkeye Pierce

    Always suspicious...

    Maybe I'm being naive, but whenever I hear such a statement as "We have already infiltrated their networks, and we are determined to bring them to justice", I have to think "then why have you just announced that in public?"

    Surely if you are determined to bring them to justice, you'd keep quiet about it whilst you go about bringing them to justice, rather than give everyone the heads-up, giving them a chance to disperse to other mediums and/or use better encryption/safeguards/etc.

    Public statements such as that are either false, or are predominantly being made to appeal to some section of the voting population or to the person's boss... (or indeed all three).

  12. Richard Jones 1

    I do not live in the USA, though I have visited in the past so my experience is only based elsewhere. I suspect that there is scant understanding of the causes of drug dependency or the pathways to such dependency. I have been prescribed tramadol for severe back problems, I found it useless for the spinal nerve pain and, what's more I found it had no effect on mood, euphoria, or anything else either. However, others did find it controlled pain and that the side effects were very enjoyable. This helped me to understand the need to manage the use of similar powerful drugs. The only family 'member' for whom unrestricted access was considered reasonable though even that was in accordance with the vet's prescription was the dog dying of cancer and whose closing days were clearly eased. He consumed his final meal with the obvious relish that only a Labrador can show, and later that night had multiple seizures from 3am onward as the brain tumours extinguished his life. So, I am well aware of (a) the ease with which some people can slide into addiction, t(b) he great help powerful drugs can provide to some living creatures, including humans and (c) the need for supplies to be managed.

    It appears blindingly obvious that excess supplies in the USA drugs supply chain are a serious pump primer, if not the main spigot for the consumption of such drugs in far from therapeutic quantities. Though I live across the pond I too can detect the odour of hypocrisy and dishonesty hanging over the USA supply chain. Blame others before blaming themselves is always a good politician's mantra.

    Two foot notes, I suspect that no supply chain is perfect and I have concerns that the free availability of such substances here fuelling problems. I have also known those who die from the abuse of dangerous substances and the collateral deaths they cause. One such collateral death was a classmate of my 7 year old daughter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Anyone who has been prescribed Fentanyl or Oxycodone would laugh at your pathetic Tramadol.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Oxycodone is small potatoes. It's only 50% stronger than morphine. Now, Fentanyl I'll give you, and if you add Buprenorphine to the list, that's OK, too.

  13. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    so much....

    For living better through chemistry.

    It's also such a shame that the push back against the American pharmaceutical industry also results in needless suffering and goes to countries unrelated (think unimunised kids falling I'll because their parents don't want them to have the MMR jab because of mistrust).

  14. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

    Permissiveness has gone too far

    I'd like to see all those advocating drug use to be locked up as well as those who abuse and deal in drugs.

    1. 7teven 4ect

      Re: Permissiveness has gone too far

      Nah, let's just abuse each other for using tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, yerba mate

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Permissiveness has gone too far

        "let's just abuse each other for using tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, yerba"

        /me notices tobacco wasn't in the list. then again, it's funnier your way.

        there's a lot to be said about freedom. and a small amount of regulation. but a conservative libertarian position would be to allow EVERYTHING with a prescription, and as many things as is reasonable without one.

        Some opiates are addictive with only a single dose. NOT requiring a prescription for those, assuming they save lives and/or prevent debilitating pain, would be irresponsible. And if there's no actual PENALTY, what's to stop people from ignoring the prescription requirement?

    2. TheDillinquent
      Pint

      Re: Permissiveness has gone too far

      "I'd like to see all those advocating drug use to be locked up as well as those who abuse and deal in drugs.

      If you got your way you and a few Mormons would be the only people NOT locked up. In case you didn't know (which wouldn't surprise me) here is a list of some commonly used (currently) legal drugs:-

      Alcohol

      Nicotine

      Caffene

      Cocoa

      Asprin

      Paracetemol

      Sugar

      Ritalin

      St.John's Wort

      There are more but I'm bored with pointing out the bleeding obvious to idiots now.

  15. Milton Silver badge

    Starter for 10?

    In identifying the sources of those billions of "legal" opioids, I can help the noble, diligent and honourable Mr Sessions out, so that he can start with well-known drug peddlers.

    They seem to have gang monickers such as Purdue, Johnson&Johnson, Insys, Amgen, Mylan, Depomed. There many others, but this will hopefully get the ball rolling.

    In the criminal investigator's spirit of Follow The Money, he may find it useful to figure out why every year hundreds of millions of dollars from these organisations find their way to politicians just like him via donations, junkets, campaign contributions and lobbying.

    I'm always glad to be of help, especially to reeking hypocrites.

  16. chivo243 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Legal Pushers

    The Pusher - he's been around for ages...

    You know I've smoked a lot of grass

    O' Lord, I've popped a lot of pills

    But I never touched nothin'

    That my spirit could kill

    You know, I've seen a lot of people walkin' 'round

    With tombstones in their eyes

    But the pusher don't care

    Ah, if you live or if you die

    God damn, The Pusher

    God damn, I say The Pusher

    I said God damn, God damn The Pusher man

    You know the dealer, the dealer is a man

    With the love grass in his hand

    Oh but the pusher is a monster

    Good God, he's not a natural man

    The dealer for a nickel

    Lord, will sell you lots of sweet dreams

    Ah, but the pusher ruin your body

    Lord, he'll leave your, he'll leave your mind to scream

    God damn, The Pusher

    God damn, God damn the Pusher

    I said God damn, God, God damn The Pusher man

    Well, now if I were the president of this land

    You know, I'd declare total war on The Pusher man

    I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he'd run

    Yes I'd kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun

    God damn The Pusher

    Gad damn The Pusher

    I said God damn, God damn The Pusher man

  17. Toilet Duk

    Why not arrest the CIA, the biggest drug-trafficker on Earth?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sovereign immunity.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pfffftt 90 deaths a day, who cares

    90 deaths a day, who cares. Deaths by automobile are over 3000 per day in the US.

    All they want is to see their name on TV.

  19. Alistair Silver badge

    Hmm.

    Fentanyl. Miraculous stuff -- full on gall bladder infection and full of stones, I was writhing around on the kitchen floor at 3 in the morning. One quick ultrasound in Emerg and the young fella whacked me with a round of that stuff and said come back in the morning for a full exam, you'll want to have that out. Slept like an infant and went back 5 hours later, got pumped full of antibiotics for 18 hours and a day after that it was over and done with. I think the Fentanyl wore off about 13 or 15 hours after they'd given it to me, but by then the antibiotics had got to work. (It cost me a dozen muffins and a 10 pack of coffees for the nurses station on the way out ...)

    I abso*lutely* understand just *how* addictive that stuff could be to a human. I also know two people with degenerative nerve issues that are pretty much on it permanently and I can see just what sort of good it does for them.

    The bulk of 'street' Percs/Codein/fentanyl/opiod of choice in *this* neck of the woods appears to be coming from household break ins. And the stuff you can get from the 'dark web' appears to be coming from folks working in a pair of large warehouses in the united states. In Virginia. Very close to certain government facilities. Something about Vets.

    Long and short of it - the numbers are just stupid in my books, chasing down 'druggies on the dark web' is headline grabbing clickbait. Sessions would be far better off working on ohhhh.... Corruption in political offices, and perhaps, corporate tax evasion, and maybe even fuel supply monopolies, or governmental fraud, and why the military costs so much....

    1. Bear

      Re: Hmm.

      Absolutely agree with you 100%. My father had a degenerative disease and was in a lot of pain. He was prescribed fentanyl for ease of administration (tablet under the tongue). There was little chance of him forming a habit because he was one of these ultra-stoic people, and only took it when most other people would have been delirious with pain. The doses were not high, but did provide relief.

  20. OffBeatMammal

    The "war on drugs" isn't about making America "safer". It's always been about two things - since 1971 when Nixon used it as a way to criminalize the poor and those who he felt opposed him; protect the bottom line of the drug companies (who, as the article points out, are one of the biggest problems).

    Having lived for some years in a State where Marijuana is legal (and which seems to get particular ire from the evil elf Sessions) and seen the good that de-stigmatized, legalized, licensed, revenue producing access brought to help people manage medical conditions ranging from chronic pain to depression and anxiety I live in hope that one day a rational discussion can be had by lawmakers. But while they are bought and sold and trade their beliefs to lobbyists I suspect it'll never happen

  21. DeKrow

    The Middle Men are the Problem!

    We'll go after the middle men!

    They're making profits that we can't tax, therefore they're a disposable resource for the scoring of political favour. We can't go after upper management because they're essentially our bosses and are thought leaders in the structure of our way of life.

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