Author Archive | Mike Riggs

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In Wake of New HIV Cases, Northern Kentucky Public Health Officials Call for More Clean Needle Exchanges

Rick Reich tests a needle replacement vending machine at Trac-B Exchange April 13, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Users can receive two free kits per week. Photo credit: David Becker/ZUMA Press/NewscomPublic health officials in Kentucky are sounding the alarm about a brewing HIV problem in the northern part of the state, including a threefold increase […]

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Vermont’s U.S. Attorney Says Safe Injection Sites Encourage Illegal Drug Use. The Research Says She’s Wrong.

A nurse at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., holds a basket of clean supplies. Credit: Darryl Dyck/ZUMA Press/NewscomThe United States attorney with jurisdiction over Vermont announced this week that a proposal to introduce supervised injection facilities (SIFs) in the state would be illegal under federal law and would “encourage and normalize heroin […]

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Pressure Builds on Bureau of Prisons to Release Elderly and Sick Inmates

Warren Rossin required nearly a million dollars worth of medical care while incarcerated. He was initially denied compassionate release despite needing a pacemaker, a hip replacement, and eye surgery.A coalition of political advocacy groups, criminal justice reformers, and religious organizations sent a letter Thursday to Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Mark Inch asking him to […]

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Drug Users In D.C. Can Now Legally Test Their Dope for Fentanyl. Now How About Over-the-Counter Naloxonoe?

A fentanyl testing kit made by SirchieIn an emergency measure passed unanimously yesterday, the D.C. City Council voted to amend the Drug Paraphernalia Act of 1982 “to allow the use of testing kits for specified purposes.” Portable drug testing kits, in which a reagent solution changes color based on the presence of certain compounds, are […]

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New Mexico Study Suggests Medical Cannabis Helps Chronic Pain Patients Reduce Opioid Use

Medical marijuana. Photo credit: Coaster420/Wikimedia commonsChronic pain patients who enroll in New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program while using prescription opioids are likely to reduce their dosage of opioids and even to cease using opioids altogether, according to a new study from researchers at the University of New Mexico. Participants in the program also reported “improvements […]

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Pennsylvania Town Used Confidential Informant and Undercover Cops to Arrest a Man For Selling Bongs

Water pipes similar to those sold at Piper’s Smoke Shop. Credit: Hector Garcia/wikimedia commonsLimerick, Pennsylvania must be the safest town in America. That’s the only reason I can think of why police there used a confidential informant and undercover police officers to build a case against a head shop owner for selling the kinds of […]

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The Federal Government Is Trying to Ban Kratom (Again)

A year after the Drug Enforcement Administration attempted to ban the plant-based drug kratom, only to back down when users claimed it helped them with opioid withdrawal symptoms, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Monday that is has begun blocking the importation of kratom products. “To fulfill our public health obligations, we have […]

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We’ve Known for 40 Years How to Help Heroin Users

Methadone ads throughout Hong Kong inform heroin users about the availability of treatment. They were based on ads that appeared throughout NYC in the 1970s. Courtesy of Open Society Foundation.America’s current wave of heroin overdose deaths is not without precedent. Between 1969 and 1972, the number of heroin users in America doubled, and no place […]

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