News

Stanford student died from accidental fentanyl overdose, coroner confirms

Overdose is part of 'uptick' in county over the past year, as communities across the nation continue to grapple with rise of counterfeit drugs

A Stanford University sophomore found unresponsive in a campus fraternity house in January died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful narcotic, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office confirmed on Tuesday.

The confirmation comes amid reports of accidental fentanyl overdoses on college campuses across the country and an uptick in overdoses in Santa Clara County.

Eitan Michael Weiner, the son of a university professor and Stanford associate vice president, was found by paramedics inside the Theta Delta Chi fraternity house on Jan. 17. The coroner's office said his cause of death was fentanyl toxicity and the manner of death was accidental.

Later that day, the Stanford Department of Public Safety issued a warning to the campus community about counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl that have been smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. The legally required warning provided information about fentanyl, including signs and symptoms of overdose.

In a "critical" message to students in late January, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole shared information from three administrators about "counterfeit prescription painkillers that look like Percocet and OxyContin, but contain fentanyl." Local law enforce­ment agencies have seized a large number of counterfeit 30-milligram Percocet pills containing fentanyl, wrote Ralph Castro, associate dean and director of the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education, Mona Hicks, senior associate vice provost and dean of students, and Jim Jacobs, associate vice provost and executive director of Vaden Health Center. (The university did not make the administrators available for an interview.)

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"As many of you know, young people are dying in record numbers after consuming drugs containing fentanyl. We need your help determining how we can keep Stanford students safe," they wrote.

Neither the Department of Public Safety nor the administrators' statement made a connection to Weiner's death.

Weiner's parents, Amir Weiner, an associate professor of history, and Julia Erwin-Weiner, an associate vice president for medical center development and former senior associate dean for external relations of Stanford Law School, did not respond to an interview request for this story.

"We are deeply concerned by Eitan's cause of death," the university said in a statement. "We are increasing our drug and alcohol prevention and education programs, enhancing screening and assessment of students who have engaged in substance abuse, and working with national experts in college substance abuse to develop a comprehensive plan to promote and support student health and well-being."

More powerful than morphine

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Fentanyl is an opioid drug that is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Exposure to even amounts the size of crumbs can cause overdose or death, according to a health advisory issued by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department in September. The advisory was specifically directed to schools, after-school programs, parent and teacher organizations and other organizations that serve young adults because two teenagers died from fentanyl overdoses in the county in 2019.

There were 27 fentanyl-related deaths in Santa Clara County in 2019, including the 15- and 16-year-olds, according to the public health department — and that number could continue to rise because some cases from last year remain open. Some of the deaths were due to overdoses on fentanyl alone or in combination with alcohol or other drugs. Several of the deaths had been linked to fake pills that are made to look like 30-milligram oxycodone prescription pills but contain fentanyl, the county said. There was a "strong uptick" in fatal overdoses in August 2019, according to the county District Attorney's Narcotics Unit.

"People who took these pills thinking they were taking oxycodone were unaware that they were taking lethal doses of fentanyl," the county said.

The pills are circular, light blue to light green in color and have an "M" inside a square stamped on one side and a "30" stamped on the other side, according to the District Attorney's Office. They are called "M30s" or "blues" because of the stamps and color.

Fake pills are not prescribed, stolen or resold by or from verified pharmaceutical companies, and there is no connection between their appearance and their ingredients, Public Health Director Dr. Sara Cody wrote in a September update.

"No one should take a pill that was not obtained directly from a pharmacy," she wrote. "Pills given by a friend or bought from others also should not be taken. Doing so could have deadly consequences."

Nationally, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, which include fentanyl (though not methadone), increased almost 47% from 2016 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Reports from law enforcement indicate this increase may be due to illegally or illicitly made fentanyl: seizures of fentanyl increased by nearly sevenfold from 2012 to 2014, according to the CDC.

How Santa Clara County is responding

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and multiple law enforcement agencies across the county have seized large quantities of fake 30-milligram Percocet pills that contain fentanyl as their sole active ingredient, according to the county.

Prosecutions in Santa Clara County surged in 2019, Brian Buckelew, supervising deputy district attorney of the District Attorney's Office Narcotics Unit, said in an email on Tuesday. His office prosecuted a few dozen defendants for selling fentanyl in 2019, and local county law enforcement agencies seized more than 10,000 fake-pharmaceutical fentanyl pills in 2019, including in Palo Alto, he said.

The District Attorney's Office also conducts fatal overdose reviews in fentanyl cases to try to identify supply sources and criminal liability for those who sell or furnish to someone who fatally overdoses. (The San Mateo County District Attorney's office on Monday sentenced a drug dealer in a fentanyl overdose case to three years in county jail and over three years of mandatory court supervision.)

The "great majority" of fentanyl-laced pills in Santa Clara County are manufactured in Mexico, Buckelew said. His unit also sees fake Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and other opiates and benzodiazepines that contain fentanyl. Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies and the narcotics unit have also seen fentanyl in powder cocaine and methamphetamine.

The drugs containing fentanyl are "killing people across the country in alarming rates," he wrote.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has told Buckelew that in a special laboratory that tests the amount of active ingredients in fake drugs, 26% of pills come back positive for fentanyl in fatal dosages — more than 2 milligrams of fentanyl per pill.

The District Attorney's Office is also working with the Public Health Department and other agencies to create a rapid response team for the issue. The county also joined a statewide initiative by the California Health Care Foundation, which formed the California Opioid Safety Network, to address the problem. In 2015, the county started the Santa Clara County Opioid Overdose Prevention Project to improve strategies for prevention, treatment and education related to opioid abuse.

Signs and symptoms of fentanyl overdose may include nodding off, falling asleep in class, droopy eyes, pinpoint pupils, appearing "zoned out," barely being able to stay awake and constipation, the county said. A person who has these symptoms from stress or sleep deprivation will be able to wake up, the county said, while a person who has overdosed will not.

Naloxone, which is also known by its brand name, Narcan, can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The state allows pharmacists to prescribe naloxone without a prescription and pharmacists are required to provide counseling and education for anyone trying to obtain naloxone. First responders serving Stanford also carry Narcan.

The Santa Clara County Opioid Overdose Prevention Project also offers free naloxone training and kits every Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. at three locations:

• Central Valley Clinic, 2425 Enborg Lane, San Jose.

• Alexian Health Clinic, 2101 Alexian Drive, Suite B, San Jose.

• South County Clinic, 90 Highland Ave., Building J, San Martin.

Stanford: Community is 'at-risk'

Earlier this month, Stanford's undergraduate student government considered but ultimately tabled a resolution asking the university to put Narcan kits in student residences, which some colleges across the country have started to do in response to the opioid epidemic.

Stanford has directed students to drop counterfeit drugs off, with no questions asked, at public disposal locations for controlled substances that can be found through this link. (Stanford's ZIP Code is 94305.)

University leadership warned students against using test strips to check for fentanyl in drugs.

"These tests won't tell you how much nor how strong the fentanyl is. Even worse: The testing process can result in enough fentanyl absorption to hurt or kill someone," the administrators wrote in January.

"Our community continues to be at-risk for acute alcohol and drug related harms," they said. "Alcohol, marijuana, hallucinogens and vaping products are examples of drugs that create student emergencies every week at Stanford. At this moment, we must confront this dangerous concern head on."

They pointed to initiatives Stanford has launched in response, including adding an online educational module on prescription drugs, hosting forums with students about drug use and improving student drug screening.

They invited anyone interested in addressing this issue at Stanford to contact Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students Mona Hicks at [email protected]

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate Weiner's death, according to Stanford.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 408-808-4500 or the Sheriff's Office Investigative Services anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431.

Reporter Sue Dremann contributed to this story.

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Stanford student died from accidental fentanyl overdose, coroner confirms

Overdose is part of 'uptick' in county over the past year, as communities across the nation continue to grapple with rise of counterfeit drugs

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Feb 26, 2020, 9:37 am
Updated: Thu, Feb 27, 2020, 12:06 pm

A Stanford University sophomore found unresponsive in a campus fraternity house in January died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful narcotic, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office confirmed on Tuesday.

The confirmation comes amid reports of accidental fentanyl overdoses on college campuses across the country and an uptick in overdoses in Santa Clara County.

Eitan Michael Weiner, the son of a university professor and Stanford associate vice president, was found by paramedics inside the Theta Delta Chi fraternity house on Jan. 17. The coroner's office said his cause of death was fentanyl toxicity and the manner of death was accidental.

Later that day, the Stanford Department of Public Safety issued a warning to the campus community about counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl that have been smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. The legally required warning provided information about fentanyl, including signs and symptoms of overdose.

In a "critical" message to students in late January, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole shared information from three administrators about "counterfeit prescription painkillers that look like Percocet and OxyContin, but contain fentanyl." Local law enforce­ment agencies have seized a large number of counterfeit 30-milligram Percocet pills containing fentanyl, wrote Ralph Castro, associate dean and director of the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education, Mona Hicks, senior associate vice provost and dean of students, and Jim Jacobs, associate vice provost and executive director of Vaden Health Center. (The university did not make the administrators available for an interview.)

"As many of you know, young people are dying in record numbers after consuming drugs containing fentanyl. We need your help determining how we can keep Stanford students safe," they wrote.

Neither the Department of Public Safety nor the administrators' statement made a connection to Weiner's death.

Weiner's parents, Amir Weiner, an associate professor of history, and Julia Erwin-Weiner, an associate vice president for medical center development and former senior associate dean for external relations of Stanford Law School, did not respond to an interview request for this story.

"We are deeply concerned by Eitan's cause of death," the university said in a statement. "We are increasing our drug and alcohol prevention and education programs, enhancing screening and assessment of students who have engaged in substance abuse, and working with national experts in college substance abuse to develop a comprehensive plan to promote and support student health and well-being."

More powerful than morphine

Fentanyl is an opioid drug that is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Exposure to even amounts the size of crumbs can cause overdose or death, according to a health advisory issued by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department in September. The advisory was specifically directed to schools, after-school programs, parent and teacher organizations and other organizations that serve young adults because two teenagers died from fentanyl overdoses in the county in 2019.

There were 27 fentanyl-related deaths in Santa Clara County in 2019, including the 15- and 16-year-olds, according to the public health department — and that number could continue to rise because some cases from last year remain open. Some of the deaths were due to overdoses on fentanyl alone or in combination with alcohol or other drugs. Several of the deaths had been linked to fake pills that are made to look like 30-milligram oxycodone prescription pills but contain fentanyl, the county said. There was a "strong uptick" in fatal overdoses in August 2019, according to the county District Attorney's Narcotics Unit.

"People who took these pills thinking they were taking oxycodone were unaware that they were taking lethal doses of fentanyl," the county said.

The pills are circular, light blue to light green in color and have an "M" inside a square stamped on one side and a "30" stamped on the other side, according to the District Attorney's Office. They are called "M30s" or "blues" because of the stamps and color.

Fake pills are not prescribed, stolen or resold by or from verified pharmaceutical companies, and there is no connection between their appearance and their ingredients, Public Health Director Dr. Sara Cody wrote in a September update.

"No one should take a pill that was not obtained directly from a pharmacy," she wrote. "Pills given by a friend or bought from others also should not be taken. Doing so could have deadly consequences."

Nationally, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, which include fentanyl (though not methadone), increased almost 47% from 2016 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Reports from law enforcement indicate this increase may be due to illegally or illicitly made fentanyl: seizures of fentanyl increased by nearly sevenfold from 2012 to 2014, according to the CDC.

How Santa Clara County is responding

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and multiple law enforcement agencies across the county have seized large quantities of fake 30-milligram Percocet pills that contain fentanyl as their sole active ingredient, according to the county.

Prosecutions in Santa Clara County surged in 2019, Brian Buckelew, supervising deputy district attorney of the District Attorney's Office Narcotics Unit, said in an email on Tuesday. His office prosecuted a few dozen defendants for selling fentanyl in 2019, and local county law enforcement agencies seized more than 10,000 fake-pharmaceutical fentanyl pills in 2019, including in Palo Alto, he said.

The District Attorney's Office also conducts fatal overdose reviews in fentanyl cases to try to identify supply sources and criminal liability for those who sell or furnish to someone who fatally overdoses. (The San Mateo County District Attorney's office on Monday sentenced a drug dealer in a fentanyl overdose case to three years in county jail and over three years of mandatory court supervision.)

The "great majority" of fentanyl-laced pills in Santa Clara County are manufactured in Mexico, Buckelew said. His unit also sees fake Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and other opiates and benzodiazepines that contain fentanyl. Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies and the narcotics unit have also seen fentanyl in powder cocaine and methamphetamine.

The drugs containing fentanyl are "killing people across the country in alarming rates," he wrote.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has told Buckelew that in a special laboratory that tests the amount of active ingredients in fake drugs, 26% of pills come back positive for fentanyl in fatal dosages — more than 2 milligrams of fentanyl per pill.

The District Attorney's Office is also working with the Public Health Department and other agencies to create a rapid response team for the issue. The county also joined a statewide initiative by the California Health Care Foundation, which formed the California Opioid Safety Network, to address the problem. In 2015, the county started the Santa Clara County Opioid Overdose Prevention Project to improve strategies for prevention, treatment and education related to opioid abuse.

Signs and symptoms of fentanyl overdose may include nodding off, falling asleep in class, droopy eyes, pinpoint pupils, appearing "zoned out," barely being able to stay awake and constipation, the county said. A person who has these symptoms from stress or sleep deprivation will be able to wake up, the county said, while a person who has overdosed will not.

Naloxone, which is also known by its brand name, Narcan, can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The state allows pharmacists to prescribe naloxone without a prescription and pharmacists are required to provide counseling and education for anyone trying to obtain naloxone. First responders serving Stanford also carry Narcan.

The Santa Clara County Opioid Overdose Prevention Project also offers free naloxone training and kits every Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. at three locations:

• Central Valley Clinic, 2425 Enborg Lane, San Jose.

• Alexian Health Clinic, 2101 Alexian Drive, Suite B, San Jose.

• South County Clinic, 90 Highland Ave., Building J, San Martin.

Stanford: Community is 'at-risk'

Earlier this month, Stanford's undergraduate student government considered but ultimately tabled a resolution asking the university to put Narcan kits in student residences, which some colleges across the country have started to do in response to the opioid epidemic.

Stanford has directed students to drop counterfeit drugs off, with no questions asked, at public disposal locations for controlled substances that can be found through this link. (Stanford's ZIP Code is 94305.)

University leadership warned students against using test strips to check for fentanyl in drugs.

"These tests won't tell you how much nor how strong the fentanyl is. Even worse: The testing process can result in enough fentanyl absorption to hurt or kill someone," the administrators wrote in January.

"Our community continues to be at-risk for acute alcohol and drug related harms," they said. "Alcohol, marijuana, hallucinogens and vaping products are examples of drugs that create student emergencies every week at Stanford. At this moment, we must confront this dangerous concern head on."

They pointed to initiatives Stanford has launched in response, including adding an online educational module on prescription drugs, hosting forums with students about drug use and improving student drug screening.

They invited anyone interested in addressing this issue at Stanford to contact Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students Mona Hicks at [email protected]

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate Weiner's death, according to Stanford.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 408-808-4500 or the Sheriff's Office Investigative Services anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431.

Reporter Sue Dremann contributed to this story.

Comments

Back in the Day
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2020 at 12:02 pm
Back in the Day, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2020 at 12:02 pm
11 people like this

Back in the 60s-80s, drugs were safer. Most college students tried pot and cocaine but nowadays with drugs laced with Fentanyl? Don't touch it, you never know!


Risk
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2020 at 12:20 pm
Risk, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2020 at 12:20 pm
8 people like this

Oh brother. LSD? (don't touch it...)

Kids today are way less likely to feel pressure to do drugs than back in the 60s to 80s. And there was nothing like Narcan and education about it back then.

I would like to know why someone who had so much going for them thought it was a good idea to take such a thing today. I hope it wasn't a pain situation the student got talked into taking something for (trusting a fellow student).


Reader
another community
on Feb 26, 2020 at 12:26 pm
Reader, another community
on Feb 26, 2020 at 12:26 pm
19 people like this

“ Earlier this month, Stanford's undergraduate student government considered but ultimately tabled a resolution asking the university to put Narcan kits in student residences.”

Why did the student government table the Narcan resolution?


Yeah
Palo Alto High School
on Feb 26, 2020 at 12:50 pm
Yeah, Palo Alto High School
on Feb 26, 2020 at 12:50 pm
9 people like this

Yeah, we all tried pot and cocaine back in college, they were “safe”. Only the wild ones and hippies tried LSD and hard drugs.

These kids need to be educated about the dangers and don’t expect the parents to educate them. This student obviously thought he’d be okay taking this drug. Paly can easily show a video during Advisory. Colleges can show it as part of an orientation event.


Birgit Calhoun
Los Altos
on Feb 26, 2020 at 12:57 pm
Birgit Calhoun, Los Altos
on Feb 26, 2020 at 12:57 pm
13 people like this

I was exposed to Fentanyl during a medical procedure. The procedure was stopped before it really started. The physician did his thing and then he said: "Stop!" I had no idea why. I was awake. I did not want to repeat the procedure another time. Then a nurse came and said: "Breathe, breathe!" I said : "I am breathing." Nobody told me why I should breathe. Nobody told me why things were stopped.

My husband told me later that my heartbeat had gone down to 20 beats/min. The doctor never told me that they used Fentanyl on me. I had to ask a friend whose wife was a nurse. Fentanyl slows down the heart. It is a very effective killer. In my case all this took only a minute. So beware. Fentanyl can be deadly in no time at all.


He may have thought it was a pharma pill
Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2020 at 1:11 pm
He may have thought it was a pharma pill, Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2020 at 1:11 pm
15 people like this

Many counterfeiters are making their own "Vicodin" tablets using fentanyl since it's cheaper and easier to get (from China on the black market).
I would be very interested to know WHERE he obtained whatever he took.
Was it someone in the frat house providing it? Another student selling it?
Buying it it on the street seems unlikely, but possible.

Knowingly taking fentanyl is not very common at all. It's simply not sold to the recreational user, but is the cheap/deadly ingredient for fake pharmaceutical pills that look like the real thing. Someone thinks they're taking a vicodin but it's a poorly measured fentanyl tablet, then that's it for the user. Tragic.


parent
Stanford
on Feb 26, 2020 at 1:35 pm
parent, Stanford
on Feb 26, 2020 at 1:35 pm
20 people like this

Police need to track down the drug dealers and prosecute them for murder. If the kids can find the dealers easily enough, then the police can too. If the dealers are other Stanford students, prosecute them just as harshly.


@ parent
Gunn High School
on Feb 26, 2020 at 2:24 pm
@ parent , Gunn High School
on Feb 26, 2020 at 2:24 pm
11 people like this

I agree, if the kids can find the dealers that easily why can’t the police? We have to stop the dealers and go higher from there.

I know that in San Jose high schools, for example, and I’m sure most of not all up here, it’s easy as pie to obtain these drugs. Not just college. We have to educate.


Dtnorth
Downtown North
on Feb 26, 2020 at 2:56 pm
Dtnorth, Downtown North
on Feb 26, 2020 at 2:56 pm
18 people like this

We had a friend who’s son died a couple of years ago. Maybe 25. Not a big drug user at all. Appeared to be a heart attack and they thought maybe he had a condition they did not know about. A full 6 months later it was determined to be a fentanyl overdose. Not a risky habitual drug user. It is a lot scarier out there then when we were kids in the 80’s.


GD The Pusher Man
Greenmeadow
on Feb 26, 2020 at 3:14 pm
GD The Pusher Man, Greenmeadow
on Feb 26, 2020 at 3:14 pm
15 people like this

>>> Police need to track down the drug dealers and prosecute them for murder. If the kids can find the dealers easily enough, then the police can too. If the dealers are other Stanford students, prosecute them just as harshly.

^^^Agreed. Life imprisonment for all drug dealers who's sales are related to an overdose.


Dan
Professorville
on Feb 26, 2020 at 8:13 pm
Dan, Professorville
on Feb 26, 2020 at 8:13 pm
16 people like this

Folks the most important thing you can do is talk with your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren etc about this. Forward them this story.
On the politics side, I would like to see this treated as an attack on the USA by China. The Chinese government knows damn well who is making the chemicals that are killing our kids, and they don't care.


Illuminato
another community
on Feb 26, 2020 at 9:10 pm
Illuminato, another community
on Feb 26, 2020 at 9:10 pm
5 people like this

Back in the 70's I went to a party and smoked some opium. I got extremely elated for a while, then came way down and got extremely depressed for a longer while. Never tried that again. I'm so glad they didn't have fentanyl back then.


Anonymous1
another community
on Feb 26, 2020 at 9:57 pm
Anonymous1, another community
on Feb 26, 2020 at 9:57 pm
7 people like this

So sad I am sorry for all the family.


Jerry
Menlo Park
on Feb 26, 2020 at 10:00 pm
Jerry, Menlo Park
on Feb 26, 2020 at 10:00 pm
16 people like this

Reply to Dan’s Comment “ On the politics side, I would like to see this treated as an attack on the USA by China. The Chinese government knows damn well who is making the chemicals that are killing our kids, and they don't care.”

Did you even finish reading the article? It clearly says most of these are manufactured in Mexico. Trump supporter?


Jacob
Stanford
on Feb 26, 2020 at 10:12 pm
Jacob, Stanford
on Feb 26, 2020 at 10:12 pm
15 people like this

Kids today couldn't read a whole article. It says the pills are manufactured in Mexico


Think before you speak
Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 5:25 am
Think before you speak, Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 5:25 am
15 people like this

Hey Jerry,

Consider checking facts and questioning what you read rather than just blindly taking it as fact. I suspect the manufacture and transport of the drug are conflated In the above quote you cited. Try typing “fentanyl from China” into any search engine. The top result will be something like this, detailing the transport of fentanyl (and its constituents for what fentanyl is produced in Mexico) from China into the US through Mexico:

Web Link

Or try the top result if you type “where is fentanyl produced”:

Web Link


Dan
Professorville
on Feb 27, 2020 at 8:26 am
Dan, Professorville
on Feb 27, 2020 at 8:26 am
23 people like this

@Jerry the fentanyl that is killing our kids and young adults and the homeless in SF as well as precursors for fentanyl and many other awful drugs like meth are being created in massive bulk in China. The counterfeit pills described in the article are being processed and packed up in Central America and Mexico by transnational drug gangs such as MS13 who also smuggle them into the US. The chemicals from China are a lot cheaper than sourcing coca powder from Central America, or opium base from Asia, so there is more profit to be made for the gangs by using Chinese chemicals. The Chinese chemicals also happen to be a lot deadlier. And the Chinese government doesn't care. Mexico is a different issue, there we are at serious risk of a failed state - and the drug gangs are currently winning their internal war against the Mexican government. That's why I mentioned China and not Mexico above - China could actually do something about it if they wanted to...


Captain (ret.) James Parker USN
Barron Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 9:59 am
Captain (ret.) James Parker USN, Barron Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 9:59 am
22 people like this

>>> And the Chinese government doesn't care....- China could actually do something about it if they wanted to.

^^^ Because there is too much money to be made whether legally or illegally.

While most of the pharmaceutical fentanyl is manufactured in China, nothing is stopping them from producing additional quantities 'on the side' & then having it shipped & distributed via Mexican drug cartels into the United States.

It's same thing with cell phones being manufactured in China. Once the OEM contracts are fulfilled,there's nothing stopping these sweatshop factories to create even more as they have both the cheap labor, proprietary technical specifications & the raw materials to do so.

Though these cell phones cannot be marketed in the United States, they can be sold THROUGHOUT China for about $50.00-$80.00 which is about the equivalent of $800.00 to $1000.00 for someone making 25 cents an hour.

Multiply $50.00 times a billion & you get the picture...economically.

It's all relative and the Chinese are cashing in whether it's smartphones or fentanyl.

Dan is 100% correct...don't confuse the distribution channels with the actual manufacturer!


Recent Stanford Alum
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 27, 2020 at 10:26 am
Recent Stanford Alum, Old Palo Alto
on Feb 27, 2020 at 10:26 am
10 people like this

During my time at Stanford, I was impressed by the role that Peer Health Educators (PHEs) play as part of dorm staff. Each on-campus residence that I lived in had one (although, now that I think about it, I can't speak for whether the Greek houses operate under the same structure). PHEs are students who take a full course for credit to train on student health issues and commit to ongoing education, host events for their residents related to campus health and safety issues, including everything from flu shots to high-risk alcohol use to safe sex. In my experience, they were a welcome supplement to the role that RAs played in dorm life, and they especially stressed that they were safe and confidential resources for students - so important when it comes to sensitive health and substance use issues.

While I'm sure worries over the coronavirus are keeping campus PHEs busy, these competent staffers seem like the perfect candidates to equip with Narcan and also to act as safe recipients of no-questions-asked surrender of drugs or pills. It's a lot of responsibility to put on undergrad students, but it's also a much more direct and embedded means of response than the current "drug drop" spots on campus. I don't know why the student government tabled their Narcan resolution, but it's worth noting that even had it passed, the only power the ASSU has is to request that the University take action on the issue. It's time for the grown ups in the room - University administrators, the faculty senate, etc. - to take decisive action here.


Jerry
Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 11:50 am
Jerry, Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 11:50 am
3 people like this

@Dan "The chemicals from China are a lot cheaper than sourcing coca powder from Central America, or opium base from Asia, so there is more profit to be made for the gangs by using Chinese chemicals."

Let's think about what could help to improve the current situation. As you have mentioned above, there are multiple sources where the pill manufacturer in Mexico could get the constituents from. So what would happen if China stops exporting these constituents to Mexico? They could just import them from another country, albeit at a higher price. Nothing will prevent the smugglers to continue their business.


Dan
Professorville
on Feb 27, 2020 at 12:36 pm
Dan, Professorville
on Feb 27, 2020 at 12:36 pm
7 people like this

@Jerry - I think you may not have done much research or reading on this topic. Literally 99% of the world's manufacturing capacity for illicit fentanyl, meth and other synthetic opiod raw materials and precursors is in China. Final synthesis happens in many countries including Mexico and China.

If it precursors stop coming from China there are no other at scale sources. And if other countries tried to develop advanced illicit drug precursor labs (India for example has the infrastructure to do so, but not the culture), they are vastly easier to interdict than companies with China are...


Jerry
Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 1:49 pm
Jerry, Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 1:49 pm
3 people like this

@Dan. To be honest, I couldn't get the number "99%" for illegal pharmaceutical constituents. The closest one I got on the Internet is around 60%.

And I don't think China is the ONLY country that has the capability to mass produce illicit pharmaceutical ingredients. China took a dominant role in this market because they won the price war. If China left the competition, with a continuing demand and high profitibility(20X the raw material price) there will be more drug labs built elsewhere on this planet.

In the meanwhile, there are other alternative preventive measures such as stricter border and customs control, or simply harsh penalties for drug dealing.


Oh Well
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:17 pm
Oh Well, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:17 pm
6 people like this

> You say this..."Nothing will prevent the smugglers to continue their business."

and then you say that...

>> "In the meanwhile, there are other alternative preventive measures such as stricter border and customs control, or simply harsh penalties for drug dealing."

^^^ Gee...that approach has really been effective.

Are the Chinese manufacturers & Mexican distributors winning the war on drugs?


Jerry
Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:31 pm
Jerry, Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:31 pm
1 person likes this

@Oh Well. I said "Nothing will prevent the smugglers to continue their business." if the drug precursors come from a different country. And just to let you know, drug dealing is often sentenced to death penalty in some countries including China


Oh Well
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:36 pm
Oh Well, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:36 pm
9 people like this

>> And just to let you know, drug dealing is often sentenced to death penalty in some countries including China.

As it should be.

This one area of punishment where the Taliban excels.


Jerry
Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 3:45 pm
Jerry, Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 3:45 pm
4 people like this

I’m not saying that we should adopt death penalty for drug dealing. But 3 years in prison is definitely not enough to prevent them from taking a risk


Captain (ret.) James Parker USN
Barron Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 4:09 pm
Captain (ret.) James Parker USN, Barron Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 4:09 pm
10 people like this

>>> I’m not saying that we should adopt death penalty for drug dealing. But 3 years in prison is definitely not enough to prevent them from taking a risk

^^^ Then how about 15 years incarceration (with no parole) for each selling conviction & lifetime imprisonment for each associated death resulting from an illicit sale?


Jerry
Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 4:19 pm
Jerry, Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 4:19 pm
6 people like this

@Captain (ret.) James Parker USN. Death resulting from overdose should be sentenced as harshly as murder, if not more so. That's my point.


Paly Grad Mom
Palo Alto High School
on Feb 27, 2020 at 4:21 pm
Paly Grad Mom , Palo Alto High School
on Feb 27, 2020 at 4:21 pm
12 people like this

As a parent of a college student who I know uses drugs, I know this started with several local doctors who started him on medication for ADHD, which I never felt he had. These medications are amphetamines and closely associated with meth.
The medications made him worse, but he never stopped using them, or finding a way to get it out of local doctors. Then these kids need to find a way to come down to sleep, so they need sleeping medications.
All this started in middle school in Palo Alto.
And the tests at CHC which were recommended by PAUSD, were ridiculous, stressful, costly (requiring payment in many thousands at the time of testing).
He's in graduate school now, and headed to medical school.
When I saw him at breaks throughout college, the drugs had changed his brain chemistry so much, that we no longer recognize him as someone we know.
There is no real feel of emotion or empathy in him, and he barely remembers anything that happened from 7th grade onward.
We lost our son to drugs. His degrees and high grades do not erase the damage done to his brain.
We would have rather had a happy animated creative adult child, than what drugs have turned him into.


Michael
Barron Park
on Mar 5, 2020 at 1:47 pm
Michael, Barron Park
on Mar 5, 2020 at 1:47 pm
2 people like this

No is asking the correct questions here. It's the same old simple-minded "We need to prosecute!" more heavily. Has this EVER worked? no. We need to de-criminalize opiates. also, the picture showing the 30/M's or "blues" are called Roxicets. Whoever wrote this doesn't know anything about drugs and certainly didn't do their diligence. The fact that Stanford barred having Narcan on hand is asinine. Typical American mindset, completely clueless and in DEEP denial about the extent of addiction. The question we need to start asking is WHY, why do people want to take opiates? Benzo's (Valium, Xanax, "bars') What do they get from it? Why aren't people all hysterical over the fact that far more people die from alcohol everyday than all drugs combined and its legal? How does locking people up for using a substance curtail the use? It doesn't. Its just a way for third party to make money (privatized prisons/ the legal system) The REASOn the black market is booming right now is becuase we've gone after the pharmaceuticals , the legit pills and so the black market scoops up all the people who used to have legitimate scripts, and many are legitimate pain patients. But becuase opiates are DEMONIZED we have this kid of total unnecessary hysteria around particular substance. As far as people saying the 80's were safer (cocaine is heavy? Alcohol isnt heavy? m brother died from alcohol, take my word, its the HEAVIEST and dying from it is brutal) But because it's legal we are expected to learn how to drink. Well, the same could be said for opiate products, they were used for thousands of years and were legal in this country until 1914 and there wasn't the problems with them that we see now. Prohibition doesn't work. Everyone should read "Chasing The Scream"


COLD TURKEY Is The Only Way
Barron Park
on Mar 5, 2020 at 3:31 pm
COLD TURKEY Is The Only Way, Barron Park
on Mar 5, 2020 at 3:31 pm
6 people like this

>>> "We need to de-criminalize opiates."

^^ Seriously? Other than a time specific Rx from an MD?


>>> "The question we need to start asking is WHY, why do people want to take opiates?"

^^ Because they are unhappy people & dissatisfied with their lives.

If people only drank or used drugs when they were actually feeling GOOD to begin with, there would be far less addiction issues & related criminal activity.

Some individuals have a predisposition towards substance abuse & they will turn to whatever is available or within reach.

These people (aka addicts) need to be institutionalized & CUT-OFF from their drug addictions. There are many inmates in county jail who have been arrested for drug dealing and/or possession...meth is a popular bust nowadays. When they no longer have access to these drugs, they adapt by doing without...watching TV, sleeping and looking forward to the next crappy meal served up in these facilities.

Once released, they look for a score because once an addict, always an addict & the same goes for tobacco. There is no smoking in jail but upon release, the first thing many released inmates seek is bumming a smoke from someone or looking for a place that sells cigarettes. Nicotine is an addiction as well & most addicts lack the willpower or desire to quit...which is why we have a re-occuring problem with drugs & related criminal activity.

Nice people do not do meth...simple as that.

Only wealthy celebrities can afford these vices & expensive rehab resorts. For the atypical street addict...lock them up indefinitely!



COLD TURKEY Is The Only Way
Barron Park
on Mar 5, 2020 at 3:33 pm
COLD TURKEY Is The Only Way, Barron Park
on Mar 5, 2020 at 3:33 pm
6 people like this

>>> "He's in graduate school now, and headed to medical school.
When I saw him at breaks throughout college, the drugs had changed his brain chemistry so much, that we no longer recognize him as someone we know."

>>>" There is no real feel of emotion or empathy in him, and he barely remembers anything that happened from 7th grade onward.
We lost our son to drugs. His degrees and high grades do not erase the damage done to his brain."

^^^And he is going to be a doctor...as in MD?

Seriously?


A Meth-Head MD?
Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2020 at 2:49 pm
A Meth-Head MD? , Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2020 at 2:49 pm
5 people like this

quote: "He's in graduate school now, and headed to medical school.
When I saw him at breaks throughout college, the drugs had changed his brain chemistry so much, that we no longer recognize him as someone we know."

Oh great. Another future MD with substance abuse issues. How
irresponsible & reckless to even consider it.

Even with rehab...no assurances.


michael
Barron Park
on Mar 7, 2020 at 8:55 am
michael, Barron Park
on Mar 7, 2020 at 8:55 am
2 people like this

@Cold turkey is the only way" Your response is pitiful. Your "insight" into addiction is so ignorant I'd laugh but yours is the reason we are in this situation. First of all "once n addict , always an addict" isn't true, there are millions of people who have quit drugs and gone on to successful lives. And, if what you said were true then "once an alcoholic always an alcoholic" "once a porn addict always a porn addict" and on down the line. Even your title "Cold turkey is the only way makes NO sense. Cold turkey is the only way for what? You never even address your title. Learn how to write coherently. Cold turkey has to do with withdrawal, has nothing to do with staying clean.

Countries like Portugal have decriminalized opiates and the crime around it has gone WAAY down because the profit margin isn't there, and usage has gone down too. Seems counter-intuitive to Americans but don't take my word, do some research.There's a few countries that have either legalized it or de-criminilized it and the same effect has happened. Your smug answer about "lock them up indefinitely" becuase addicts can't afford rehabs is about the most stupid thing I've ever heard. It costs 70,000 a year to lock up people. So, what you're saying is instead of having reasonably priced rehabs for "street addicts" you'd rather spend 70,000 a year "indefinitely" this would cost billions and billions. People like you need to hurry up and age out and pass on. You're attitude is grotesque, ignorant, pathetic and more importantly, hasn't worked. I suspect you have a family member who is an addict because your bitterness clearly motivates your harsh and unempathtetic view of addiction.


A Meth-Head MD?
Barron Park
on Mar 7, 2020 at 11:50 am
A Meth-Head MD?, Barron Park
on Mar 7, 2020 at 11:50 am
8 people like this

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