Bay County’s opioid epidemic turns to fentanyl

For those of you who are unfamiliar with BAY COUNTY in FL.. it contains the infamous PANAMA CITY BEACH… historically has been referred to as the “Red Neck Rivera “. We have owned a condo at the beach since 1994, so we are pretty familiar with the area.

Most of the “problem people” live over in Panama City, FL … except during the spring break period a few years back, but after Fox news did a few nightly reports from the beach during spring break… things have changed as the bureaucrats have changed the course of spring break that has discouraged college kids from coming down.

Now, during the month of March … no alcohol is allowed on the beach by NO ONE.  Curfews have been put in place. Some of the grade-thru high schools in the adjacent states have went to having classes around the year … so there are several two week breaks several times a year.   So peak crowds are no longer spring break and June & July… the local bureaucrats are doing many things to make the beach more “family friend “

I find it rather funny that the cops reported the amount of fentanyl seized in milligrams ..as in 235,000 mgs.  If one converts that number into something that those in our population functions on.. like the pound system… it breaks down as such:

1000 mgs – one Gram… so 235,000 mgs is 235 Gms…  454 Gm = ONE POUND… so that massive 235,000 milligrams is equal to abt EIGHT OUNCES – about the weight of two McDonald 1/4 pound meat patties ( BEFORE COOKING).

More mis-statement of facts is that they claim that Fentanyl is 100 more potent than Morphine is probably true of the legal pharma grade Fentanyl Citrate, but what they seized was probably Fentanyl Acetate which is more likely about 25 times more potent than Morpine and they used graphics of legal pharma grade Fentanyl patches for a comparison.  Which has little to do with the plastic baggies of the real fentanyl that they showed what they really seized.

I don’t know and can’t find out what the density of Fentanyl power is, but suspect that the amount seized in this raid would fit in a pocket or purse.

Here is a interesting fact – which I have asked the pharmas before and they refused to answer – the box of the pharma grade Fentanyl patches states on it that each patch contains 2.66 mg of Fentanyl and since the patch is designed to “release” 25 mcg/hr X 72 hrs for a total of 1.8 mg.. so only about 2/3 of the Fentanyl in the patch is actually designed to be released… leaving ab 0.86 mgs in a “spent patch”.

 

 

Bay County’s opioid epidemic turns to fentanyl

https://www.mypanhandle.com/news/bay-countys-opioid-epidemic-turns-to-fentanyl/

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Removing a mountain of fentanyl from the streets is a major victory but it’s far from the last battle.

On May 13, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office seized 235,000 milligrams of fentanyl from the street. However, Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said the problem will return.

“It’s all like a roller coaster,” Ford said. “When we take off a major source of supply, which I would consider this a major source of supply, we see the trends die down for a period until somebody out there finds another source of supply somewhere, or a source of supply is able to reestablish in the area.”

At 100 times stronger than morphine, the lethal dose of fentanyl is a little as three milligrams.

“The addiction is so strong that the risk [of death] is worth it,” said Lieutenant Kevin Francis about addicts.

Officials said that with the introduction of fentanyl, they have seen an increase in drug seizures in size and amount, as well as an increase in overdoses. They added that they are mostly seeing it lacing other street drugs.

“Right now, the trend is to mix heroin and fentanyl to make it stronger,” Francis said.

This means people could be taking lethal doses of fentanyl unknowingly.

“In a situation where somebody bought what they thought was Xanax on the street could actually be a deadly dose of fentanyl,” Ford said.

Ford also said that they are also concerned with poorly mixed drugs. Because of the small lethal amount required of fentanyl, poorly mixed drugs could create hot spots of fentanyl within the main drug.

“The person may be thinking they’re getting a small normal dose of heroin,” Ford said, “but they could actually be pulling from the portion of the substance that has a lethal dose of fentanyl in it and that’s where we’re seeing our drug overdoses and deaths.”

By the end of 2016, Ford said the overdoses became so frequent that the BCSO deployed NARCAN to its deputies. NARCAN is a nasal spray that quickly reverses an opioid overdose and is harmless otherwi

se. It does not work on non-opiates like cocaine overdoses or alcohol poisoning and can sometimes be considered the first sign that an overdose was caused by fentanyl.

 

Ford said that they also administered special gloves to deputies because any absorption of fentanyl into the skin by touching could lead to an officer overdose.

graphic credit: Miabelle Salzano

The opioid epidemic in Bay County dates back to the late 1990s when OxyContin burst on the scene. Officials say that most of the drugs in Bay County come in from the southern border or are shipped in from China and travel through large cities like Atlanta. But since the coronavirus, most of the drug traffic has stopped.

Francis said that they have seen a shortage of most drugs since the pandemic. He added that drug runners usually try to mix themselves in with the general car traffic on the roads. But there has been a lack of travel since the shutdown.

“People are too paranoid to move anything,” he said.

Francis also said that prescription drugs like pills are easier to access and abuse than illegal drugs like meth. While fentanyl is illegal, it can be administered through a prescription and purchased at most pharmacies as gel patches to treat severe pain in cancer patients. Francis said that it’s possible to manufacture street fentanyl from these patches.

“It just seem like every wave that we see get a little bit worse,” Ford said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Responses

  1. Steve, here is a situation you might was to comment on as a pharmacist. It has to do with the conversion factor determining MMEs for a Fentanyl patch and the fact that (at least in my state) the wrong factor is being used.

    I have been using 75mcg/hr Fentanyl patches for some time now. Because of my metabolic rates, I was told to switch out the patch every 48 hours instead of every 72 hours. So for 30 days, my prescription would call for 15 patches. This worked OK for my pain. But now I am on a Forced Medication Reduction (FMR). The FMR is based on lowering my MME amount to some artificially set minimum limit. In trying to stop this draconian FMR, I discovered that my clinic and doctor was entering the Fentanyl MME amount 50% higher than it was supposed to be. The CDC compliant conversion tables on-line for converting Fentanyl amounts to MMEs is 2.4 times the Fentanyl dosage in mcg/hr. My clinic and doctor was using a conversion factor of 3.6 times the Fentanyl patch size. One time at the clinic, I had a “stand-in” doctor instead of my regular physician. She pulled out a hard copy of my PMDP (prescription drug monitoring program) and showed me how she back calculated the amount per prescription to get a conversion factor of 3.6. She essentially accused me of getting more than 75 mcg/hr of medication because I switched patches every 48 hrs as apposed to 72 hrs. I told her that that was not true; that I switched patches every 48 hrs because of my metabolic rate and the shorted time period was to make more efficient use of the 75mcg/hr. But, it made no difference and she still used the 3.6 factor and dropped my patch usage to every 72 hrs.

    After the appointment, I decided to research this to have some solid data to present at my next clinic appointment. I did such things as call the patch manufacturer (Mallinckrodt), read all the instructions for the patch, and talked with my pharmacist. They all agreed with the 2.4 conversion and with the fact that, even if I switched patches every 24 hours, I would not get any more fentanyl into my system than the metered 75mcg/hr. In fact, if I did get more than the 75mcg/hr, it would be illegal and the mfg would risk a lawsuit for making bogus patches. The only way a 3.6 (50% higher) conversion factor could be justified was if I was wearing 1.5 patches instead of a single patch.

    It was then that I discovered the error in the system. When one gets a prescription filled for 10 patches (i.e., applying a new patch every 3 days), or if one gets 15 patches (i,e,, applying a new patch every 2 days), what gets entered into the PMDP is the total amount received for 30 days. It does not take into account that this is a metered dosage. In fact, it ignores the fact that these patches are a metered dosage and one can only get the amount of medication stated on the patch envelope.

    On the patient portal, I point out my research and conclusion to the “stand-in” doctor i had seen, and she agreed and promised to notify clinic personnel. At my next appointment with my regular doctor, I asked to be placed back on my medical regime of switching patches every other day and explained in detail to him why this would not change my MME as the conversion factor would remain at 2.4 for either switching patches every 2 days or every 3 days. I pointed out to him (as I had in the past) that he was using the wrong conversion factor of 3.6.

    In effect, he said that he realized what I was saying was true. But he had to use the 3.6 even though it was wrong because this the pharmacy enters the total amount of patches received and does not take into account the fact that it is a metered amount. He told me that I should (as the patient) go and get my pharmacy to change the way the patches are entered into the records. This was a totally ridiculous suggestion. It would have made much more sense if the doctor/clinic had brought this problem up to the state pharmacy board and explained to them how the record entry was in error so they could change it for pharmacies throughout the state. But, the doctor/clinic, even though they admitted that their conversion factor was in error, offered nothing in the way of it being their responsibility to get this problem corrected.

    As a result, I am still on the regime of switching a patch every 3 days; and as before, on the 3rd day of the old patch, the medicine “runs out” due to my metabolism and I am in increased pain.

  2. The DOJ doesn’t want anything getting in the way of that court money. There will be plenty to go around and just their helpers will get a fat roll of bills.

  3. And yet again, they show pictures of FDA approves pharmaceuticals, which is NOT what everyone is od’ing on.

  4. Like everything else these days with the media. They want to fear monger and lie to make everything sound outrageous. They’ve ALL Lost Creditabilty imo. It’s getting so bad with the BS that the people are refusing to Comply with all these Tyranical laws. So many are unconstitutional nowdays.

  5. That “question” you raised about the Fentanyl patch reminded me of something someone told me about Oxycodone or Oxycontin I was told when they reformulated the ingredients in that medication to stop the “crushing” of pill to snort that an 80mg pill isnt really 80 mg anymore because of “gel” added to pills.. Do you no if there is any truth to that Steve? I noticed when I was on my “high dosage” of pain meds the 80mg didnt last as long as prior 80 mg did??

    • I have heard a lot of comments from pts that the abuse resistant meds “don’t work as well” as they did before the abuse deterrent was added… but… to the best of my knowledge… there has not been any studies done on it

  6. Oh Steve, you’re looking for facts in hysterical media stories, you poor soul. I too, look for facts in anything presenting itself as factual…& for several years I’ve felt like a unicorn hunter. My head has become misshapen from the number of times I’ve clutched it in despair & rage.

    • oyou are correct but w/one difference, A unicorn hunter has hope! Smith Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 codified all the lying,turning it into legally infused propaganda. It legalized the use of state made propaganda on the American people (hence why they include words like ‘gun violence’ over murder as it allows the addition of suicides and accidents to be put together w/murders making the “problem” look 3x as bad as it is, as violent crime is down over the past 20 years per FBI UCR (Unified Crime Report) the gold standard for criminal justice schools and law enforcement. This tactic has been at play with numbering “opioid deaths” and more recently COVIDW19 deaths ( for which there remains NO TEST TO DIFFERENTIATE IT FROM OTHER CORONA VIRUSES)

      Most ALL NATIONAL stories are nothing but overhyped propaganda. The govt is nothing short of conspirators w/the media in dumbing down and manipulating the American people into a state of mass confusion by deceit, for profit. This b.s. Over COVID #s is just one more example of fear porn to control the population. It has worked like a charm. Any economist worth his salt has seen a world economic collapse coming since the debacle of 2008-9. Cannaries in the coal mine was the exploding repo market since Sept 2019, the Baltic Dry Index (world shipping figures), trucking industry volume, & insane criminality :(over $21 TRILLION dollars in missing from just 4 govt depts including HUD & DEFENCE ~ SEE Dr Mark Whitmore and Catherine Austin Fitts report ). The shutdown has zero to with a virus and everything to do w/avoiding the blame for the worst economic downturn since the great depression Blame that came with the bailouts of 2008-9 hasn’t been mentioned while the public has been scared to death. Banks and Wall Street can continue to fleece the American people w/the help of the govt which they own and operate. That is the essence of Fascism, a melding of corporations and govt seen in the continued business of corporate big box stores as every small business is shuttered .
      Sooner or later the American people must wake up to the fact that there is nobody in DC OR your state capital that gives one damn about anyone but their sponsors (banks and corporations).
      Until we return to a rule of law whereupon law enforcement and the courts STOP enforcing COMMERCIAL LAW and return to the Constitutional COMMON LAW we are screwed. Under the common law there are no victimless crimes. Once upon a time not so long ago in this country (early 1960s) before the BAR’s criminal monopolizing of the courts, one could be free from fear of arrest unless one hurt someone or their property, not so today.
      When is enough enough?

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