Mass Drug Overdose In California

A Mass Drug Overdose Sweeps The Headlines And We Barely Flinch, Welcome To The Opioid Epidemic

While the substance itself isn't surprising, the news surrounding it should be.

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Earlier this week in California, one person was found dead and four in critical condition following a mass drug overdose at a house in Chico. Despite officers administering both CPR and Narcan upon arrival, one male was pronounced dead at the scene. 12 others were hospitalized, four in critical condition. The culprit of the overdose appears to be the opiate fentanyl in combination with another substance.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever, has now passed heroin as the drug most often involved in deadly overdoses. It's the same opioid involved in Demi Lovato's recent overdose along with many other high profile cases including Prince, Tom Petty, and Mac Miller.

While the substance itself isn't surprising, the news surrounding it should be. The language of a mass overdose is unlike anything we've ever heard before and signals more than anything an epidemic that desperately needs new solutions. We can't keep rehashing the same tragic details but failing to put verbs in our sentences.

There are solutions that offer to meet our nation where we are and bring about lifesaving innovations like wider spread Narcan training and availability as well as supervised injection facilities. Longer-term initiatives include greater education surrounding drug abuse and addiction in and out of schools and a more open discussion about the realities of addiction and its intersection with mental health.

If nothing else, the least we can do is talk about these headlines.

The more we talk about it, the more attention we give it, the more we bring it out of the shadows, the greater chance we have at solving it and never having to use the term "mass overdose" again.

One thing is for sure — what we are currently doing is not working. And if we know anything as a society, it's that secrets make us sick.

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Florida Is Starting To Rethink The Whole Reefer Madness Narrative And I'm Diggin' It

It's a dope change of pace.

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Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will allow people with medical marijuana cards to smoke weed legally and, personally, I think it's dope.

I didn't even know people with medical cards in Florida couldn't actually smoke the weed they were prescribed until earlier this year. My friend who suffers from lupus just started smoking hers after the bill was passed. The stinky plant comes in a prescription pill bottle and she's supposed to vaporize it, kind of like a humidifier. I went with her to a dispensary (no laws were broken, I waited in the lobby) and she explained the whole process behind it. Apparently, there's a lot of ways people consume weed. There's cannabis pills, edibles, patches, dab pens, the list goes on. Like, what?

I mean, that's cool and all, but I couldn't wrap my brain around it. What's the problem with the act of smoking? The end goal has the same effects. Granted, it can mess with your lungs, but cigarettes are legal. Vapes are legal. Think about it: the things that are actually legal to smoke don't have any positive effects. Do you see the disconnect?

I still don't fully understand the negative stigma behind weed. Yes, it does for sure mess with your memory and yes, we don't know a lot about it in general so it's hard to say the drug is 100% safe. But then again, JUULs are legal and we don't even know those long term effects. There are so many awful drugs the FDA has approved and yet, they can't get fully on board with weed. Xanax is a highly addictive, dangerous as hell drug if it's abused and it's rarely monitored. Some doctors hand it out like candy. Even Tylenol is awful.

No one has died from weed. How many people have died from alcohol poisoning? I'm just saying you never hear about a stoner overdosing on weed—it's just not a thing.

What we do know about weed is that it does have some positive effects on people's health and it can actually help those in real pain. Even people with cancer are suggested to smoke weed to help with their symptoms, so what's the issue? I'm glad Florida is starting to recognize that this stigma is old-fashioned and is starting to move away from the devil's lettuce narrative.

I'm not saying everyone should dress head to toe in weed paraphernalia and spark a blunt in the middle of Downtown, Orlando (although, that would be interesting to watch) and I am not condoning any illegal use of marijuana, but I think the Reefer Madness mindset is extremely outdated. People who actually need weed for medical issues are not using it recreationally, so any prior beef with Mary Jane should not affect their health.

Florida is finally making changes for those who medically need it and it's lit.

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