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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | January 31, 2014
Drug dealers are lacing heroin with the potent painkiller fentanyl, creating a deadly cocktail that is killing unknowing users - sometimes within minutes of use. The drug combination has killed dozens of people in several states, prompting law enforcement and health officials to issue warnings about its danger. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Friday that 37 Marylanders had died since September of overdoses after taking the drug mixture. The deaths accounted for 12 percent of 318 overdose deaths in the past four months.
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NEWS
By Jean Marbella, The Baltimore Sun | June 27, 2014
An alarming spike in heroin and other drug overdose deaths in Maryland has prompted what the state's health secretary calls an "all hands on deck" effort to investigate and treat addiction. The number of drug- and alcohol-related deaths in Maryland rose to 858 in 2013 from 799 the previous year, according to data released by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on Friday. Much of the increase is due to heroin, particularly when it is laced with fentanyl, a powerful prescription painkiller used by cancer and other patients, now being illicitly manufactured in drug labs, said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the department's secretary.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2014
A rash of overdose deaths from heroin laced with a powerful synthetic opiate has drawn a high-profile reaction from law enforcement and public-health officials, who are scrambling to find the source of the drugs and warn addicts of the danger. Thirty-seven people in Maryland have died after using the fentanyl-laced heroin since September. The cases represented one-tenth of more than 300 reported drug overdoses in that time, according to state health officials. But a rising trend of heroin-linked fatalities has been on the radar for years.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2014
A rash of overdose deaths from heroin laced with a powerful synthetic opiate has drawn a high-profile reaction from law enforcement and public-health officials, who are scrambling to find the source of the drugs and warn addicts of the danger. Thirty-seven people in Maryland have died after using the fentanyl-laced heroin since September. The cases represented one-tenth of more than 300 reported drug overdoses in that time, according to state health officials. But a rising trend of heroin-linked fatalities has been on the radar for years.
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder Newspapers | February 17, 1993
In August, a rescue crew in Wichita, Kan., answered a 911 emergency call. A man named Joseph Martier had collapsed inside a dingy storage building at an isolated industrial park just outside town.Mr. Martier was unconscious from a drug overdose, but he recovered later at a Wichita hospital. It appeared to be just another drug-abuse episode -- except for the drug. It was fentanyl, a lethal "designer drug" that can be hundreds of times more potent than heroin.The near-death of Mr. Martier, 42, a Pittsburgh businessman now being held on drug charges, helped solve a lethal mystery that had vexed federal drug agents for a year.
NEWS
By Roger Twigg and Roger Twigg,Staff Writer | May 5, 1992
An alleged $6.5 million-a-week heroin ring blamed for interstate distribution of the potent opiate substitute fentanyl -- linked to 27 Maryland deaths -- has been shut down with the indictment of 41 people, local and federal authorities said yesterday.The people who died were heroin addicts who unknowingly purchased bags of fentanyl -- used in medical care as an efficient anesthetic -- and succumbed to respiratory distress, the authorities said.About 500 bags of lethal street-ready fentanyl, about 6 percent to 7 percent pure, were seized in March by Baltimore police.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,sun reporter | September 3, 2006
PHILADELPHIA -- The deaths came in an unexpected spring wave. At the medical examiner's office here, investigators counted 53 fatal overdoses between April and June alone, the lethal toll of heroin mixed with the potent painkiller fentanyl. In Detroit, 12 people died in a 24-hour period. In Chicago, where the same concoction has been linked to nearly 100 deaths this year, some dealers lured addicts by promising a version of the drug so powerful it was intended as a tranquilizer for large animals.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | May 29, 2003
A New Windsor woman received a two-year sentence yesterday for her role in the death of her 27-year-old nephew, who overdosed last year after the eating the gel from a pain medication patch that is sometimes abused for its heroin-like effect. Regina Raye Kesselring, 47, of the 300 block of Main St. was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter and two years for drug distribution by Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. The judge then suspended all but two years. While pleading guilty to the crimes at a hearing in December, Kesselring acknowledged that she sold a Duragesic patch containing the painkiller fentanyl to her nephew, Steven E. Spivey, for $50. Kesselring, who takes a variety of medications and receives medical disability payments, had been prescribed Duragesic patches by a Westminster doctor, according to court records.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | May 29, 2003
A New Windsor woman received a two-year sentence yesterday for her role in the death of her 27-year-old nephew, who overdosed last year after eating the gel from a pain medication patch that is sometimes abused for its heroin-like effect. Regina Raye Kesselring, 47, of the 300 block of Main St. was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter and two years for drug distribution by Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. The judge then suspended all but two years. While pleading guilty to the crimes at a hearing in December, Kesselring acknowledged that she sold a Duragesic patch containing the painkiller fentanyl to her nephew, Steven E. Spivey, for $50. Kesselring, who takes a variety of medications and receives medical disability payments, had been prescribed Duragesic patches by a Westminster doctor, according to court records.
NEWS
By Roger Twigg and Roger Twigg,Staff Writer | May 5, 1992
An alleged $6.5 million-a-week heroin ring blamed for interstate distribution of the potent opiate substitute fentanyl -- linked to 27 Maryland deaths -- has been shut down with the indictment of 41 people, local and federal authorities said yesterday.The people who died were heroin addicts who unknowingly purchased bags of fentanyl -- used in medical care as an efficient anesthetic -- and succumbed to respiratory distress, the authorities said.About 500 bags of lethal street-ready fentanyl, about 6 percent to 7 percent pure, were seized in March by Baltimore police.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan and Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2014
Law enforcement agencies across Maryland have launched a joint investigation to find the source of a deadly variant of heroin that has claimed dozens of lives in recent months and sent outreach workers scrambling to warn addicts. Authorities say the powerful mixture of heroin and the synthetic opiate fentanyl has also turned up in New England, New York and Pennsylvania. In Maryland, they say, they have been caught off guard by the scale of the problem. For months, health workers, drug users and police have caught glimpses of the cocktail and the damage it has caused.
NEWS
February 3, 2014
The death this weekend of acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent drug overdose has left his fans and colleagues in the film industry devastated by the loss of a great talent at so young an age. Mr. Hoffman was 46 when he was found dead in his New York apartment Sunday with a hypodermic needle stuck in his arm and packets of what appeared to be heroin nearby. His tragedy was a reminder that heroin addiction has many faces, from the rich and famous to people of severely limited means.
NEWS
February 3, 2014
The death this weekend of acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent drug overdose has left his fans and colleagues in the film industry devastated by the loss of a great talent at so young an age. Mr. Hoffman was 46 when he was found dead in his New York apartment Sunday with a hypodermic needle stuck in his arm and packets of what appeared to be heroin nearby. His tragedy was a reminder that heroin addiction has many faces, from the rich and famous to people of severely limited means.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | January 31, 2014
Drug dealers are lacing heroin with the potent painkiller fentanyl, creating a deadly cocktail that is killing unknowing users - sometimes within minutes of use. The drug combination has killed dozens of people in several states, prompting law enforcement and health officials to issue warnings about its danger. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Friday that 37 Marylanders had died since September of overdoses after taking the drug mixture. The deaths accounted for 12 percent of 318 overdose deaths in the past four months.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2012
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a Columbia-based medical staffing agency claiming it acted negligently in 2008 by hiring and placing a medical technician who allegedly went on to expose the plaintiffs to hepatitis C. The lawsuit also says the firm and UPMC Presbyterian, the Pittsburgh hospital where the technician allegedly came in contact with the plaintiffs, knew he had put patients at risk by stealing narcotics but never informed...
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,sun reporter | September 3, 2006
PHILADELPHIA -- The deaths came in an unexpected spring wave. At the medical examiner's office here, investigators counted 53 fatal overdoses between April and June alone, the lethal toll of heroin mixed with the potent painkiller fentanyl. In Detroit, 12 people died in a 24-hour period. In Chicago, where the same concoction has been linked to nearly 100 deaths this year, some dealers lured addicts by promising a version of the drug so powerful it was intended as a tranquilizer for large animals.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | October 31, 2002
MOSCOW - Russia acknowledged yesterday that it pumped an aerosol version of the powerful painkiller Fentanyl into a Moscow theater to end a hostage crisis Saturday, breaking a four-day silence on the drug's identity that had drawn increasing criticism in the United States and Europe. Russia's health minister, Yuri L. Shevchenko, identified the gas as the civilian death toll from the 57-hour hostage siege rose by two to 120. All but two of the victims apparently died from effects of the Fentanyl derivative.
NEWS
By Roger Twigg and Roger Twigg,Staff Writer | April 10, 1992
A deadly designer drug that's much more powerful than morphine is making its way from New York to Maryland through an "extremely well-developed heroin pipeline," according to a federal drug official.The illicit drug -- a variation of legally manufactured fentanyl citrate -- has been linked to 22 Maryland deaths since Jan. 25. Anthony J. Senneca, a Drug Enforcement Administration XTC spokesman, said it is likely that the illicit fentanyl was produced in a clandestine lab in New York.Speaking to a group of law enforcement officials in Hagerstown on Wednesday, Mr. Senneca said production of the illicit drug offers "phenomenal profits for a chemist who wants to be a millionaire."
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | May 29, 2003
A New Windsor woman received a two-year sentence yesterday for her role in the death of her 27-year-old nephew, who overdosed last year after the eating the gel from a pain medication patch that is sometimes abused for its heroin-like effect. Regina Raye Kesselring, 47, of the 300 block of Main St. was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter and two years for drug distribution by Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. The judge then suspended all but two years. While pleading guilty to the crimes at a hearing in December, Kesselring acknowledged that she sold a Duragesic patch containing the painkiller fentanyl to her nephew, Steven E. Spivey, for $50. Kesselring, who takes a variety of medications and receives medical disability payments, had been prescribed Duragesic patches by a Westminster doctor, according to court records.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | May 29, 2003
A New Windsor woman received a two-year sentence yesterday for her role in the death of her 27-year-old nephew, who overdosed last year after eating the gel from a pain medication patch that is sometimes abused for its heroin-like effect. Regina Raye Kesselring, 47, of the 300 block of Main St. was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter and two years for drug distribution by Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. The judge then suspended all but two years. While pleading guilty to the crimes at a hearing in December, Kesselring acknowledged that she sold a Duragesic patch containing the painkiller fentanyl to her nephew, Steven E. Spivey, for $50. Kesselring, who takes a variety of medications and receives medical disability payments, had been prescribed Duragesic patches by a Westminster doctor, according to court records.
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