An increasingly popular synthetic opioid known as Pink is being sold online, according to NBC News. Only four states—Florida, Ohio, Wyoming and Georgia—have banned the drug, also known as U-47700.
Pink is eight times stronger than heroin, the article notes. The drug, along with other synthetic opioids, is being shipped into the United States from China and other countries.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) told NBC News it is aware of confirmed deaths associated with the drug in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Last month the agency gave notice of its intent to classify the drug temporarily as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The temporary ban gives the DEA three years to research whether the drug should be permanently controlled.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued a warning to the public and law enforcement about the risks of the synthetic opioid carfentanil, ABC News reports. Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.
Carfentanil has been linked to a significant number of overdose deaths in various parts of the country, the DEA said.
“Carfentanil is surfacing in more and more communities,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in a news release. “We see it on the streets, often disguised as heroin. It is crazy dangerous. Synthetics such as fentanyl and carfentanil can kill you. I hope our first responders – and the public – will read and heed our health and safety warning. These men and women have remarkably difficult jobs and we need them to be well and healthy.”
Some health professionals say telemedicine could help fight the opioid epidemic, according to The Washington Post. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has directed $1.4 million to five pilot projects that will use video chat to connect patients with physicians who are trained in treating addiction.
Using telemedicine to treat addiction faces significant challenges, the article notes. Prescribing and monitoring addiction medications must be done “face to face, by a physician who has been licensed [by the Drug Enforcement Administration]. That’s a barrier,” said Richard Merkel, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Science at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
The university, which is part of the USDA initiative, will provide remote addiction and mental health treatment to 11 rural community health centers. The university is considering establishing regional centers where patients could go for addiction medications.
September is Recovery Month, a national observance to increase awareness and understanding of the disease of addiction. This month we’re honoring the millions of Americans in recovery – along with their families and loved ones.
Support from others is essential to recovery. Here are six easy and meaningful things you can do to celebrate Recovery Month and support someone in recovery:
- Send an e-Card.
For a person who has struggled with drugs or alcohol, each moment in recovery is a time to celebrate. Today, with our special edition eCards, you can donate and send an eCard to someone you love in recovery. Honor your loved one today >
- Read a Recovery Story.
We believe that stories unite those who have been touched by addiction and offer hope to others. Our vibrant community of nearly 2,000 people sharing their stories shows that recovery is possible. Visit Stories of Hope >
- Add a Comment & Share Love.
While you’re reading Stories of Hope, leave an encouraging comment to someone in recovery like Sofia, Justin and Jodi and those with an anniversary today. You can also “heart” a story, to share some love – just click on the heart. (Please note, you’ll have to be signed in.) Show some love >
- Share Your Story
Do you have a recovery story? Share it now and become part of our online recovery community. Be an inspiration. Your story could change someone else’s. Add your story >
- Learn About Recovery
Recovery is an ongoing, lifelong process, and requires continuing care and support from clinicians, peers and parents. Use this guide to better understand the role you can play in supporting a child in recovery. Visit Continuing Care >
- Help a Family by Making a Donation
Your financial support will provide families with the tools they need to take effective action for their child’s substance use and addiction. Consider a monthly gift of just $5. Make a difference now >
Thanks to our great, longstanding partner the Treatment Research Institute (TRI), a nonprofit translational research and policy organization, parents and families now have another website to help address teen substance use.
The Family Resource Center offers scientifically-informed and trusted resources to help parents and caring loved ones prevent drug or alcohol use, intervene early, find treatment and support adolescents and young adults in addiction recovery.
Included in the new site are many Partnership resources such as our Toll-Free Helpline, 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373), our Medication-Assistant Treatment resources for parents with a child with an opioid addiction, our Drug Guide for Parents and Medicine Abuse Project campaign.
We congratulate TRI on the launch of this comprehensive website to help families.
If you have a son or daughter starting college, you’ve probably procured dorm room bedding, textbooks and a meal plan. But have you prepared your student to handle anxiety and stress?
College students today often feel overwhelming academic and social pressure. A survey conducted by The JED Foundation, the Jordan Porco Foundation and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids found that half of first-year students said they felt stressed most or all of the time.
With help from Dr. Meredith Grossman, Clinical Psychologist, here are 7 simple techniques to help your college student better manage the stress and anxiety he or she may face in the year ahead.
1. BREATHE: “Teach them to manage their stress in a healthy way,” suggests Dr. Grossman. One great way is breathing with your stomach. Another good technique is noticing your breath by saying, ‘I am breathing in’ when you breath in and ‘I am breathing out’ when you breathe out. Make sure you are modeling this for them. Even if they roll their eyes, or say it is stupid, modeling is the most powerful form of learning, so be sure to model healthy ways to cope with stress. For an easy guide, she recommends the app “Stop, Breathe and Think.”
2. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: Mindfulness helps bring you out of your anxious thoughts and into the present moment. Dr. Grossman suggests two easy methods: “3×3” works by taking in your surroundings and noticing three things you hear, three things you feel and three things you see. Another is to look around you and notice something that starts with an A, a B, a C, etc. until you’ve completed the alphabet.
3. TEACH THEM “TLC”: TLC stands for “Talk to a Friend, Look for the Silver Lining and Change the Channel.” If your son or daughter is feeling anxious, he or she should talk to a friend/parent/counselor/teacher, then look for the silver lining (no matter how bad things are, there is always a silver lining or a way things could be worse) and then change the channel – which means find a positive distraction such as taking a walk, taking a shower or doing a mindful breathing exercise.
4. DEMONSTRATE “RID”: Another tool Dr. Grossman suggests is to RID yourself of anxiety by first “Renaming your thought” – remind yourself that you’re just having an anxious thought. Then Insist that YOU are in charge (not your anxious thought). Anxiety plays tricks on us and what we worry about rarely comes true. Then Defy your anxiety by doing the opposite of what your anxiety wants you to do. Anxiety wants you to avoid what you are afraid of. You need to do the opposite: Face your fear and you will overcome it.
5. ENCOURAGE GRATITUDE EXERCISES: Being grateful helps your child reframe her thoughts. Studies show that people who engage in the habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be happy and healthy. Gratitude exercises can be as simple as thinking of three things for which you’re grateful, sending a quick thank-you text to a friend or jotting down a couple reasons why you feel lucky.
6. TELL THEM TO SET ASIDE QUIET TIME: Encourage your teen to find a few minutes of alone time each day to relax, stretch or listen to music to reduce negative emotional states. Or encourage them to plan a weekly workout schedule. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise 3-5 times a week can help the mind and body handle stress.
7. MAKE SURE THEY ASK FOR HELP: Remind your son or daughter that it’s okay to ask for help – whether for academics, stress or mental health. Make sure your teen knows about campus health programs, mental health services and resources – and encourage him or her to seek help if needed. In addition, familiarize yourself with resources for parents and create a list of people you, as a parent, can reach out to on campus if you are concerned about your son or daughter’s health. If you’re worried about your child, consult with a therapist. If you are worried about your child’s drinking or drug use, please call our Parents Toll-Free Helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373) to speak with a trained and caring specialist.