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Access to overdose drug Narcan slow, but growing

Arizona enacted a law last year allowing the purchase of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone without a prescription — but training for pharmacists, and the state Medicaid program’s inability to cover the cost without a prescription, have slowed access to the drug.... Read more»

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BP, agencies seek help fighting ‘sophisticated’ criminal threat at border

The Border Patrol’s chief agent in the Tucson Sector, told a House subcommittee chaired by Rep. Martha McSally that a barrier along the border cannot be the only line of defense against the cartels.... Read more»

BP finds drug catapult bolted to border fence near Douglas

In the latest example of ingenuity when it comes to getting drugs over the U.S.-Mexico border, Douglas-area Border Patrol agents discovered a homemade catapult attached to the wall on Friday, authorities said. ... Read more»

2 sentenced for roles in drug-related desert shootout

Pedro Ojeda-Ramirez, 24, and Ulises Alaim Saijas-Zamorano, 22, both from Mexico, were sentenced to prison terms of 140 months and 60 months respectively for their roles in a 2016 desert shooting between bandits and cartel scouts in a remote part of the Tohono O'odham Nation. ... Read more»

Appeals court upholds conviction of lookout for border drug smugglers

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of a spotter for a group of border drug smugglers, rejecting his argument that his confession was coerced and the government had not presented enough evidence for a conviction.... Read more»

Nogales CBP officers make 2nd-largest heroin seizure in Tucson office history

Nogales-area Customs and Border Protection officers made the second-largest seizure of heroin in the Tucson Field Office's history on Saturday when they found 88 pounds of heroin worth nearly $1.5 million in an SUV, authorities said. ... Read more»

Az medical boards can take years to penalize doctors who overprescribe

It can take years for a physician to be penalized for over-prescribing opioids and it's rare for licenses to be revoked. Since 2010, more than 3,600 people have overdosed and died from opioids in Arizona. Over the past 16 years, the state has sanctioned 250 doctors and assistants for overprescribing prescription pain pills.... Read more»

'Brain boosters' a gold mine for supplements industry but benefits hotly disputed

Concerns about Alzheimer's and other brain-wasting diseases have fueled booming sales of dietary supplements. But experts question the benefits.... Read more»

Profits of policing: Az asset seizures net $200M in past 5 years

Civil asset forfeiture laws let Arizona police seize tens of millions of dollars in cash and property each year, even if suspected criminals aren’t convicted, and with little oversight of how the proceeds are spent.... Read more»

Experts: Doctor training key to fighting opioid epidemic

Although Arizona has developed a training program for doctors on prescribing opioids and treating chronic pain, the state does not mandate doctors take continuing education in pain management, controlled-substance prescribing or substance-abuse disorders – as several other states do.... Read more»

Pennsylvania sees dramatic drop in opioid prescriptions

Within months of launching a registry to prevent patients from receiving opioids and other potentially addictive prescription drugs from more than one doctor, Pennsylvania saw a substantial drop in the number of prescriptions for painkillers such as Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet.... Read more»

$3.6M federal grant jump-starts opioid awareness in Pima, 5 other Az counties

State officials said federal funding has helped jump-start awareness campaigns and drug monitoring efforts to combat the prescription drug epidemic in six of Arizona’s 15 counties. In 2015, 401 people across the state died from overdoses of prescription opioid pain relievers.... Read more»

Obama picks up pace on commutations, but pardon changes still in limbo

Near the start of his second term, President Obama had granted clemency at a lower rate than any president in recent history. He had pardoned 39 people and denied 1,333 requests. He had used his power to commute a prisoner’s sentence just once. But as Obama enters the final days of his administration, he has dramatically picked up the pace.... Read more»

Double fruit: CBP turns up 2nd pot haul: Hidden in watermelon load

A day after intercepting more than three tons of marijuana jammed into barrels of strawberry preserves, Nogales-area Customs and Border Protection officers nabbed 2,400 pounds of marijuana co-mingled in a load of watermelons, authorities said. ... Read more»

Street hustle: The truth behind 'new' police tool for confronting fentanyl menace

A drug test manufacturer has repackaged an old, error-prone chemical formula as a "hot ... new!" cutting-edge product — but there is nothing new about the fentanyl testing kit except its name. The new kits are little more than a repurposed chemical test that has been used to detect all manner of substances for more than a century.... Read more»

Sticky situation: Strawberry jam containers hold $3.25M in marijuana

Nogales-area Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted another multi-million dollar haul of marijuana this month, this time seizing three tons of drugs worth around $3.25 million in a shipment of strawberry jam, authorities said. ... Read more»

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