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Heroin Wholesaler Busted in Austin Restaurant

Heroin Wholesaler Busted in Austin Restaurant


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If this week in food was selected for a random drug test, things might not go too well. Earlier this week a British chef accidentally served chocolate spiked with Ecstasy to two toddlers, and now this: a joint effort with state, county and federal officials police are calling “Operation Muerte Negra,” led to the arrest of 18 people in the Austin restaurant, Jovita’s. Several of the arrestees were family members of the owners of the Mexican restaurant/music venue, who were charged with distributing Heroin in and around Jovita’s.

Police and federal officials said that Amado “Mayo” Pardo, long involved with running Jovita’s, which is owned by his sister, has been a member of Texas Syndicate, one of the most notoriously violent gangs in the state, for more than 30 years, and was previously convicted of murder in 1972 and 1985. Also arrested were Pardo’s brother, 68-year-old Jose Alvarado Pardo and 66-year-old Michael Martinez, who are also Texas Syndicate members, police officials reported. Though 18 arrests were made in all, Jovito Patino, the legal owner of the restaurant, was not arrested.

Police Commander. Donald Baker, who oversees the department’s organized crime efforts, said the raids seized over 330 grams of Heroin, close to $40,000 in cash, plus vehicles, real estate and weapons.

Baker said investigators believe Pardo has been selling Heroin out of Jovita’s for years as a wholesaler to other dealers. Police estimate that the organization was responsible for more than $6,000 a day in drug sales.

On the brighter side of things, authorities reported at a news conference yesterday that the arrests were putting a major dent in the Heroin distribution in the Austin area.


Opinion: Drug Use Is the Reality for Millions. There Are Ways to Make It Safer.

By Claire Zagorski, Fri., Dec. 25, 2020

Recently, 13 people were arrested in West Campus on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, including a current UT student and several alumni. Something mentioned to the press as a casual aside was that in the course of the investigation, two suspects died of a drug overdose. It's probably most accurate to say that they died of an overdose of a drug they hadn't realized they'd taken. This is now an old and painful pattern: People who experience drug overdose are typically, unbeknownst to them, using a drug contaminated with substances that hit with dizzying and dangerous force, like fentanyl, isotonitazene, and flualprazolam. We're seeing this happen across the country with heroin, meth, cocaine, and counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Adderall (which was actually meth, dyed blue and pressed to resemble real tablets) was one of the substances seized in the raid. During finals time, when students are more likely to try a medication like Adderall, this concerns me most &ndash that students may unwittingly take a counterfeit pill and be unprepared for what happens next. But this is not an issue contained to university campuses.

The war on drugs will turn 50 next year, with over $1 trillion in taxpayer funds spent attempting to regulate illegal drugs into nonexistence. And yet, the death toll from overdose has ballooned to historic highs in the era of COVID. Our focus urgently needs to shift to one of harm reduction &ndash people use drugs, so how can we protect them from overdose and other harms? I am not writing to pontificate on the morality of drug use. I am writing so that even one life might be saved. There are resources available in our community.

&bull If you or your friends use drugs, please carry naloxone. Naloxone (aka Narcan) reverses overdoses caused by opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxy. It's easy to use &ndash a nasal spray you can keep in your backpack or car. And it's one of the safest medicines in the pharmacy, with no potential for abuse or overdose. It's sold at most pharmacies, and you can get it for free and without a prescription on the UT campus at Forty Acres Pharmacy. You can also have it mailed for free to any address in Texas. Go to www.morenarcanplease.com to get it.

&bull Once you have your naloxone, learn how to use it. If you get it from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you. (You can also watch a short video here at www.morenarcanplease.com.) Operation Naloxone, a peer training program led by Pharm.D students, also hosts trainings throughout the school year. Follow us on social media (@OperationNaloxone) to stay informed.

&bull If you use a drug, test it. Locally, you can get fentanyl tests at Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (www.harmreductiontx.org). They're friendly, anonymous, and supplies are free. Otherwise, check out www.dancesafe.org for fentanyl tests and kits that detect less-common contaminants, which are more common in rave drugs like molly.

&bull If you're grappling with substance use and want to explore treatment options, there are folks ready to hear from you. Expanded telehealth in the era of COVID means that more counseling options are available from home. Reach out to Austin Recovery (www.austinrecovery.org) for affordable options from a compassion-driven local nonprofit.

&bull An important step to saving lives is establishing a Good Samaritan law for the state. This means that if you call 911 for a friend who's used drugs and needs EMS, you and your friend, in most cases, will be insulated from criminal prosecution. This encourages people to access emergency medical care when needed most. Contact your elected representative (www.house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative) and let them know you support a Good Samaritan law for drugs.

&bull If you're on the UT campus and want to get involved, reach out to SHIFT (shift.utexas.edu). Their mission is to shift the campus culture related to substance use, reducing negative consequences related to misuse and increasing overall student well-being. SHIFT is hoping to destigmatize conversations around substance use to help build a culture of care in which all students will thrive. Student voice is crucial to SHIFT being effective, so please come say hi.

Losing someone you love to a drug overdose is an ugly, life-altering experience. Please take proactive measures to safeguard your life and the lives of your fellow Austinites.

Claire Zagorski is a paramedic and harm reduction instructor at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from UNT Health Science Center, and is completing graduate work in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.


Opinion: Drug Use Is the Reality for Millions. There Are Ways to Make It Safer.

By Claire Zagorski, Fri., Dec. 25, 2020

Recently, 13 people were arrested in West Campus on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, including a current UT student and several alumni. Something mentioned to the press as a casual aside was that in the course of the investigation, two suspects died of a drug overdose. It's probably most accurate to say that they died of an overdose of a drug they hadn't realized they'd taken. This is now an old and painful pattern: People who experience drug overdose are typically, unbeknownst to them, using a drug contaminated with substances that hit with dizzying and dangerous force, like fentanyl, isotonitazene, and flualprazolam. We're seeing this happen across the country with heroin, meth, cocaine, and counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Adderall (which was actually meth, dyed blue and pressed to resemble real tablets) was one of the substances seized in the raid. During finals time, when students are more likely to try a medication like Adderall, this concerns me most &ndash that students may unwittingly take a counterfeit pill and be unprepared for what happens next. But this is not an issue contained to university campuses.

The war on drugs will turn 50 next year, with over $1 trillion in taxpayer funds spent attempting to regulate illegal drugs into nonexistence. And yet, the death toll from overdose has ballooned to historic highs in the era of COVID. Our focus urgently needs to shift to one of harm reduction &ndash people use drugs, so how can we protect them from overdose and other harms? I am not writing to pontificate on the morality of drug use. I am writing so that even one life might be saved. There are resources available in our community.

&bull If you or your friends use drugs, please carry naloxone. Naloxone (aka Narcan) reverses overdoses caused by opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxy. It's easy to use &ndash a nasal spray you can keep in your backpack or car. And it's one of the safest medicines in the pharmacy, with no potential for abuse or overdose. It's sold at most pharmacies, and you can get it for free and without a prescription on the UT campus at Forty Acres Pharmacy. You can also have it mailed for free to any address in Texas. Go to www.morenarcanplease.com to get it.

&bull Once you have your naloxone, learn how to use it. If you get it from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you. (You can also watch a short video here at www.morenarcanplease.com.) Operation Naloxone, a peer training program led by Pharm.D students, also hosts trainings throughout the school year. Follow us on social media (@OperationNaloxone) to stay informed.

&bull If you use a drug, test it. Locally, you can get fentanyl tests at Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (www.harmreductiontx.org). They're friendly, anonymous, and supplies are free. Otherwise, check out www.dancesafe.org for fentanyl tests and kits that detect less-common contaminants, which are more common in rave drugs like molly.

&bull If you're grappling with substance use and want to explore treatment options, there are folks ready to hear from you. Expanded telehealth in the era of COVID means that more counseling options are available from home. Reach out to Austin Recovery (www.austinrecovery.org) for affordable options from a compassion-driven local nonprofit.

&bull An important step to saving lives is establishing a Good Samaritan law for the state. This means that if you call 911 for a friend who's used drugs and needs EMS, you and your friend, in most cases, will be insulated from criminal prosecution. This encourages people to access emergency medical care when needed most. Contact your elected representative (www.house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative) and let them know you support a Good Samaritan law for drugs.

&bull If you're on the UT campus and want to get involved, reach out to SHIFT (shift.utexas.edu). Their mission is to shift the campus culture related to substance use, reducing negative consequences related to misuse and increasing overall student well-being. SHIFT is hoping to destigmatize conversations around substance use to help build a culture of care in which all students will thrive. Student voice is crucial to SHIFT being effective, so please come say hi.

Losing someone you love to a drug overdose is an ugly, life-altering experience. Please take proactive measures to safeguard your life and the lives of your fellow Austinites.

Claire Zagorski is a paramedic and harm reduction instructor at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from UNT Health Science Center, and is completing graduate work in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.


Opinion: Drug Use Is the Reality for Millions. There Are Ways to Make It Safer.

By Claire Zagorski, Fri., Dec. 25, 2020

Recently, 13 people were arrested in West Campus on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, including a current UT student and several alumni. Something mentioned to the press as a casual aside was that in the course of the investigation, two suspects died of a drug overdose. It's probably most accurate to say that they died of an overdose of a drug they hadn't realized they'd taken. This is now an old and painful pattern: People who experience drug overdose are typically, unbeknownst to them, using a drug contaminated with substances that hit with dizzying and dangerous force, like fentanyl, isotonitazene, and flualprazolam. We're seeing this happen across the country with heroin, meth, cocaine, and counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Adderall (which was actually meth, dyed blue and pressed to resemble real tablets) was one of the substances seized in the raid. During finals time, when students are more likely to try a medication like Adderall, this concerns me most &ndash that students may unwittingly take a counterfeit pill and be unprepared for what happens next. But this is not an issue contained to university campuses.

The war on drugs will turn 50 next year, with over $1 trillion in taxpayer funds spent attempting to regulate illegal drugs into nonexistence. And yet, the death toll from overdose has ballooned to historic highs in the era of COVID. Our focus urgently needs to shift to one of harm reduction &ndash people use drugs, so how can we protect them from overdose and other harms? I am not writing to pontificate on the morality of drug use. I am writing so that even one life might be saved. There are resources available in our community.

&bull If you or your friends use drugs, please carry naloxone. Naloxone (aka Narcan) reverses overdoses caused by opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxy. It's easy to use &ndash a nasal spray you can keep in your backpack or car. And it's one of the safest medicines in the pharmacy, with no potential for abuse or overdose. It's sold at most pharmacies, and you can get it for free and without a prescription on the UT campus at Forty Acres Pharmacy. You can also have it mailed for free to any address in Texas. Go to www.morenarcanplease.com to get it.

&bull Once you have your naloxone, learn how to use it. If you get it from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you. (You can also watch a short video here at www.morenarcanplease.com.) Operation Naloxone, a peer training program led by Pharm.D students, also hosts trainings throughout the school year. Follow us on social media (@OperationNaloxone) to stay informed.

&bull If you use a drug, test it. Locally, you can get fentanyl tests at Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (www.harmreductiontx.org). They're friendly, anonymous, and supplies are free. Otherwise, check out www.dancesafe.org for fentanyl tests and kits that detect less-common contaminants, which are more common in rave drugs like molly.

&bull If you're grappling with substance use and want to explore treatment options, there are folks ready to hear from you. Expanded telehealth in the era of COVID means that more counseling options are available from home. Reach out to Austin Recovery (www.austinrecovery.org) for affordable options from a compassion-driven local nonprofit.

&bull An important step to saving lives is establishing a Good Samaritan law for the state. This means that if you call 911 for a friend who's used drugs and needs EMS, you and your friend, in most cases, will be insulated from criminal prosecution. This encourages people to access emergency medical care when needed most. Contact your elected representative (www.house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative) and let them know you support a Good Samaritan law for drugs.

&bull If you're on the UT campus and want to get involved, reach out to SHIFT (shift.utexas.edu). Their mission is to shift the campus culture related to substance use, reducing negative consequences related to misuse and increasing overall student well-being. SHIFT is hoping to destigmatize conversations around substance use to help build a culture of care in which all students will thrive. Student voice is crucial to SHIFT being effective, so please come say hi.

Losing someone you love to a drug overdose is an ugly, life-altering experience. Please take proactive measures to safeguard your life and the lives of your fellow Austinites.

Claire Zagorski is a paramedic and harm reduction instructor at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from UNT Health Science Center, and is completing graduate work in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.


Opinion: Drug Use Is the Reality for Millions. There Are Ways to Make It Safer.

By Claire Zagorski, Fri., Dec. 25, 2020

Recently, 13 people were arrested in West Campus on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, including a current UT student and several alumni. Something mentioned to the press as a casual aside was that in the course of the investigation, two suspects died of a drug overdose. It's probably most accurate to say that they died of an overdose of a drug they hadn't realized they'd taken. This is now an old and painful pattern: People who experience drug overdose are typically, unbeknownst to them, using a drug contaminated with substances that hit with dizzying and dangerous force, like fentanyl, isotonitazene, and flualprazolam. We're seeing this happen across the country with heroin, meth, cocaine, and counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Adderall (which was actually meth, dyed blue and pressed to resemble real tablets) was one of the substances seized in the raid. During finals time, when students are more likely to try a medication like Adderall, this concerns me most &ndash that students may unwittingly take a counterfeit pill and be unprepared for what happens next. But this is not an issue contained to university campuses.

The war on drugs will turn 50 next year, with over $1 trillion in taxpayer funds spent attempting to regulate illegal drugs into nonexistence. And yet, the death toll from overdose has ballooned to historic highs in the era of COVID. Our focus urgently needs to shift to one of harm reduction &ndash people use drugs, so how can we protect them from overdose and other harms? I am not writing to pontificate on the morality of drug use. I am writing so that even one life might be saved. There are resources available in our community.

&bull If you or your friends use drugs, please carry naloxone. Naloxone (aka Narcan) reverses overdoses caused by opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxy. It's easy to use &ndash a nasal spray you can keep in your backpack or car. And it's one of the safest medicines in the pharmacy, with no potential for abuse or overdose. It's sold at most pharmacies, and you can get it for free and without a prescription on the UT campus at Forty Acres Pharmacy. You can also have it mailed for free to any address in Texas. Go to www.morenarcanplease.com to get it.

&bull Once you have your naloxone, learn how to use it. If you get it from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you. (You can also watch a short video here at www.morenarcanplease.com.) Operation Naloxone, a peer training program led by Pharm.D students, also hosts trainings throughout the school year. Follow us on social media (@OperationNaloxone) to stay informed.

&bull If you use a drug, test it. Locally, you can get fentanyl tests at Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (www.harmreductiontx.org). They're friendly, anonymous, and supplies are free. Otherwise, check out www.dancesafe.org for fentanyl tests and kits that detect less-common contaminants, which are more common in rave drugs like molly.

&bull If you're grappling with substance use and want to explore treatment options, there are folks ready to hear from you. Expanded telehealth in the era of COVID means that more counseling options are available from home. Reach out to Austin Recovery (www.austinrecovery.org) for affordable options from a compassion-driven local nonprofit.

&bull An important step to saving lives is establishing a Good Samaritan law for the state. This means that if you call 911 for a friend who's used drugs and needs EMS, you and your friend, in most cases, will be insulated from criminal prosecution. This encourages people to access emergency medical care when needed most. Contact your elected representative (www.house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative) and let them know you support a Good Samaritan law for drugs.

&bull If you're on the UT campus and want to get involved, reach out to SHIFT (shift.utexas.edu). Their mission is to shift the campus culture related to substance use, reducing negative consequences related to misuse and increasing overall student well-being. SHIFT is hoping to destigmatize conversations around substance use to help build a culture of care in which all students will thrive. Student voice is crucial to SHIFT being effective, so please come say hi.

Losing someone you love to a drug overdose is an ugly, life-altering experience. Please take proactive measures to safeguard your life and the lives of your fellow Austinites.

Claire Zagorski is a paramedic and harm reduction instructor at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from UNT Health Science Center, and is completing graduate work in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.


Opinion: Drug Use Is the Reality for Millions. There Are Ways to Make It Safer.

By Claire Zagorski, Fri., Dec. 25, 2020

Recently, 13 people were arrested in West Campus on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, including a current UT student and several alumni. Something mentioned to the press as a casual aside was that in the course of the investigation, two suspects died of a drug overdose. It's probably most accurate to say that they died of an overdose of a drug they hadn't realized they'd taken. This is now an old and painful pattern: People who experience drug overdose are typically, unbeknownst to them, using a drug contaminated with substances that hit with dizzying and dangerous force, like fentanyl, isotonitazene, and flualprazolam. We're seeing this happen across the country with heroin, meth, cocaine, and counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Adderall (which was actually meth, dyed blue and pressed to resemble real tablets) was one of the substances seized in the raid. During finals time, when students are more likely to try a medication like Adderall, this concerns me most &ndash that students may unwittingly take a counterfeit pill and be unprepared for what happens next. But this is not an issue contained to university campuses.

The war on drugs will turn 50 next year, with over $1 trillion in taxpayer funds spent attempting to regulate illegal drugs into nonexistence. And yet, the death toll from overdose has ballooned to historic highs in the era of COVID. Our focus urgently needs to shift to one of harm reduction &ndash people use drugs, so how can we protect them from overdose and other harms? I am not writing to pontificate on the morality of drug use. I am writing so that even one life might be saved. There are resources available in our community.

&bull If you or your friends use drugs, please carry naloxone. Naloxone (aka Narcan) reverses overdoses caused by opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxy. It's easy to use &ndash a nasal spray you can keep in your backpack or car. And it's one of the safest medicines in the pharmacy, with no potential for abuse or overdose. It's sold at most pharmacies, and you can get it for free and without a prescription on the UT campus at Forty Acres Pharmacy. You can also have it mailed for free to any address in Texas. Go to www.morenarcanplease.com to get it.

&bull Once you have your naloxone, learn how to use it. If you get it from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you. (You can also watch a short video here at www.morenarcanplease.com.) Operation Naloxone, a peer training program led by Pharm.D students, also hosts trainings throughout the school year. Follow us on social media (@OperationNaloxone) to stay informed.

&bull If you use a drug, test it. Locally, you can get fentanyl tests at Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (www.harmreductiontx.org). They're friendly, anonymous, and supplies are free. Otherwise, check out www.dancesafe.org for fentanyl tests and kits that detect less-common contaminants, which are more common in rave drugs like molly.

&bull If you're grappling with substance use and want to explore treatment options, there are folks ready to hear from you. Expanded telehealth in the era of COVID means that more counseling options are available from home. Reach out to Austin Recovery (www.austinrecovery.org) for affordable options from a compassion-driven local nonprofit.

&bull An important step to saving lives is establishing a Good Samaritan law for the state. This means that if you call 911 for a friend who's used drugs and needs EMS, you and your friend, in most cases, will be insulated from criminal prosecution. This encourages people to access emergency medical care when needed most. Contact your elected representative (www.house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative) and let them know you support a Good Samaritan law for drugs.

&bull If you're on the UT campus and want to get involved, reach out to SHIFT (shift.utexas.edu). Their mission is to shift the campus culture related to substance use, reducing negative consequences related to misuse and increasing overall student well-being. SHIFT is hoping to destigmatize conversations around substance use to help build a culture of care in which all students will thrive. Student voice is crucial to SHIFT being effective, so please come say hi.

Losing someone you love to a drug overdose is an ugly, life-altering experience. Please take proactive measures to safeguard your life and the lives of your fellow Austinites.

Claire Zagorski is a paramedic and harm reduction instructor at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from UNT Health Science Center, and is completing graduate work in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.


Opinion: Drug Use Is the Reality for Millions. There Are Ways to Make It Safer.

By Claire Zagorski, Fri., Dec. 25, 2020

Recently, 13 people were arrested in West Campus on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, including a current UT student and several alumni. Something mentioned to the press as a casual aside was that in the course of the investigation, two suspects died of a drug overdose. It's probably most accurate to say that they died of an overdose of a drug they hadn't realized they'd taken. This is now an old and painful pattern: People who experience drug overdose are typically, unbeknownst to them, using a drug contaminated with substances that hit with dizzying and dangerous force, like fentanyl, isotonitazene, and flualprazolam. We're seeing this happen across the country with heroin, meth, cocaine, and counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Adderall (which was actually meth, dyed blue and pressed to resemble real tablets) was one of the substances seized in the raid. During finals time, when students are more likely to try a medication like Adderall, this concerns me most &ndash that students may unwittingly take a counterfeit pill and be unprepared for what happens next. But this is not an issue contained to university campuses.

The war on drugs will turn 50 next year, with over $1 trillion in taxpayer funds spent attempting to regulate illegal drugs into nonexistence. And yet, the death toll from overdose has ballooned to historic highs in the era of COVID. Our focus urgently needs to shift to one of harm reduction &ndash people use drugs, so how can we protect them from overdose and other harms? I am not writing to pontificate on the morality of drug use. I am writing so that even one life might be saved. There are resources available in our community.

&bull If you or your friends use drugs, please carry naloxone. Naloxone (aka Narcan) reverses overdoses caused by opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxy. It's easy to use &ndash a nasal spray you can keep in your backpack or car. And it's one of the safest medicines in the pharmacy, with no potential for abuse or overdose. It's sold at most pharmacies, and you can get it for free and without a prescription on the UT campus at Forty Acres Pharmacy. You can also have it mailed for free to any address in Texas. Go to www.morenarcanplease.com to get it.

&bull Once you have your naloxone, learn how to use it. If you get it from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you. (You can also watch a short video here at www.morenarcanplease.com.) Operation Naloxone, a peer training program led by Pharm.D students, also hosts trainings throughout the school year. Follow us on social media (@OperationNaloxone) to stay informed.

&bull If you use a drug, test it. Locally, you can get fentanyl tests at Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (www.harmreductiontx.org). They're friendly, anonymous, and supplies are free. Otherwise, check out www.dancesafe.org for fentanyl tests and kits that detect less-common contaminants, which are more common in rave drugs like molly.

&bull If you're grappling with substance use and want to explore treatment options, there are folks ready to hear from you. Expanded telehealth in the era of COVID means that more counseling options are available from home. Reach out to Austin Recovery (www.austinrecovery.org) for affordable options from a compassion-driven local nonprofit.

&bull An important step to saving lives is establishing a Good Samaritan law for the state. This means that if you call 911 for a friend who's used drugs and needs EMS, you and your friend, in most cases, will be insulated from criminal prosecution. This encourages people to access emergency medical care when needed most. Contact your elected representative (www.house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative) and let them know you support a Good Samaritan law for drugs.

&bull If you're on the UT campus and want to get involved, reach out to SHIFT (shift.utexas.edu). Their mission is to shift the campus culture related to substance use, reducing negative consequences related to misuse and increasing overall student well-being. SHIFT is hoping to destigmatize conversations around substance use to help build a culture of care in which all students will thrive. Student voice is crucial to SHIFT being effective, so please come say hi.

Losing someone you love to a drug overdose is an ugly, life-altering experience. Please take proactive measures to safeguard your life and the lives of your fellow Austinites.

Claire Zagorski is a paramedic and harm reduction instructor at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from UNT Health Science Center, and is completing graduate work in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.


Opinion: Drug Use Is the Reality for Millions. There Are Ways to Make It Safer.

By Claire Zagorski, Fri., Dec. 25, 2020

Recently, 13 people were arrested in West Campus on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, including a current UT student and several alumni. Something mentioned to the press as a casual aside was that in the course of the investigation, two suspects died of a drug overdose. It's probably most accurate to say that they died of an overdose of a drug they hadn't realized they'd taken. This is now an old and painful pattern: People who experience drug overdose are typically, unbeknownst to them, using a drug contaminated with substances that hit with dizzying and dangerous force, like fentanyl, isotonitazene, and flualprazolam. We're seeing this happen across the country with heroin, meth, cocaine, and counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Adderall (which was actually meth, dyed blue and pressed to resemble real tablets) was one of the substances seized in the raid. During finals time, when students are more likely to try a medication like Adderall, this concerns me most &ndash that students may unwittingly take a counterfeit pill and be unprepared for what happens next. But this is not an issue contained to university campuses.

The war on drugs will turn 50 next year, with over $1 trillion in taxpayer funds spent attempting to regulate illegal drugs into nonexistence. And yet, the death toll from overdose has ballooned to historic highs in the era of COVID. Our focus urgently needs to shift to one of harm reduction &ndash people use drugs, so how can we protect them from overdose and other harms? I am not writing to pontificate on the morality of drug use. I am writing so that even one life might be saved. There are resources available in our community.

&bull If you or your friends use drugs, please carry naloxone. Naloxone (aka Narcan) reverses overdoses caused by opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxy. It's easy to use &ndash a nasal spray you can keep in your backpack or car. And it's one of the safest medicines in the pharmacy, with no potential for abuse or overdose. It's sold at most pharmacies, and you can get it for free and without a prescription on the UT campus at Forty Acres Pharmacy. You can also have it mailed for free to any address in Texas. Go to www.morenarcanplease.com to get it.

&bull Once you have your naloxone, learn how to use it. If you get it from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you. (You can also watch a short video here at www.morenarcanplease.com.) Operation Naloxone, a peer training program led by Pharm.D students, also hosts trainings throughout the school year. Follow us on social media (@OperationNaloxone) to stay informed.

&bull If you use a drug, test it. Locally, you can get fentanyl tests at Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (www.harmreductiontx.org). They're friendly, anonymous, and supplies are free. Otherwise, check out www.dancesafe.org for fentanyl tests and kits that detect less-common contaminants, which are more common in rave drugs like molly.

&bull If you're grappling with substance use and want to explore treatment options, there are folks ready to hear from you. Expanded telehealth in the era of COVID means that more counseling options are available from home. Reach out to Austin Recovery (www.austinrecovery.org) for affordable options from a compassion-driven local nonprofit.

&bull An important step to saving lives is establishing a Good Samaritan law for the state. This means that if you call 911 for a friend who's used drugs and needs EMS, you and your friend, in most cases, will be insulated from criminal prosecution. This encourages people to access emergency medical care when needed most. Contact your elected representative (www.house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative) and let them know you support a Good Samaritan law for drugs.

&bull If you're on the UT campus and want to get involved, reach out to SHIFT (shift.utexas.edu). Their mission is to shift the campus culture related to substance use, reducing negative consequences related to misuse and increasing overall student well-being. SHIFT is hoping to destigmatize conversations around substance use to help build a culture of care in which all students will thrive. Student voice is crucial to SHIFT being effective, so please come say hi.

Losing someone you love to a drug overdose is an ugly, life-altering experience. Please take proactive measures to safeguard your life and the lives of your fellow Austinites.

Claire Zagorski is a paramedic and harm reduction instructor at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from UNT Health Science Center, and is completing graduate work in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.


Opinion: Drug Use Is the Reality for Millions. There Are Ways to Make It Safer.

By Claire Zagorski, Fri., Dec. 25, 2020

Recently, 13 people were arrested in West Campus on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, including a current UT student and several alumni. Something mentioned to the press as a casual aside was that in the course of the investigation, two suspects died of a drug overdose. It's probably most accurate to say that they died of an overdose of a drug they hadn't realized they'd taken. This is now an old and painful pattern: People who experience drug overdose are typically, unbeknownst to them, using a drug contaminated with substances that hit with dizzying and dangerous force, like fentanyl, isotonitazene, and flualprazolam. We're seeing this happen across the country with heroin, meth, cocaine, and counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Adderall (which was actually meth, dyed blue and pressed to resemble real tablets) was one of the substances seized in the raid. During finals time, when students are more likely to try a medication like Adderall, this concerns me most &ndash that students may unwittingly take a counterfeit pill and be unprepared for what happens next. But this is not an issue contained to university campuses.

The war on drugs will turn 50 next year, with over $1 trillion in taxpayer funds spent attempting to regulate illegal drugs into nonexistence. And yet, the death toll from overdose has ballooned to historic highs in the era of COVID. Our focus urgently needs to shift to one of harm reduction &ndash people use drugs, so how can we protect them from overdose and other harms? I am not writing to pontificate on the morality of drug use. I am writing so that even one life might be saved. There are resources available in our community.

&bull If you or your friends use drugs, please carry naloxone. Naloxone (aka Narcan) reverses overdoses caused by opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxy. It's easy to use &ndash a nasal spray you can keep in your backpack or car. And it's one of the safest medicines in the pharmacy, with no potential for abuse or overdose. It's sold at most pharmacies, and you can get it for free and without a prescription on the UT campus at Forty Acres Pharmacy. You can also have it mailed for free to any address in Texas. Go to www.morenarcanplease.com to get it.

&bull Once you have your naloxone, learn how to use it. If you get it from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you. (You can also watch a short video here at www.morenarcanplease.com.) Operation Naloxone, a peer training program led by Pharm.D students, also hosts trainings throughout the school year. Follow us on social media (@OperationNaloxone) to stay informed.

&bull If you use a drug, test it. Locally, you can get fentanyl tests at Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (www.harmreductiontx.org). They're friendly, anonymous, and supplies are free. Otherwise, check out www.dancesafe.org for fentanyl tests and kits that detect less-common contaminants, which are more common in rave drugs like molly.

&bull If you're grappling with substance use and want to explore treatment options, there are folks ready to hear from you. Expanded telehealth in the era of COVID means that more counseling options are available from home. Reach out to Austin Recovery (www.austinrecovery.org) for affordable options from a compassion-driven local nonprofit.

&bull An important step to saving lives is establishing a Good Samaritan law for the state. This means that if you call 911 for a friend who's used drugs and needs EMS, you and your friend, in most cases, will be insulated from criminal prosecution. This encourages people to access emergency medical care when needed most. Contact your elected representative (www.house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative) and let them know you support a Good Samaritan law for drugs.

&bull If you're on the UT campus and want to get involved, reach out to SHIFT (shift.utexas.edu). Their mission is to shift the campus culture related to substance use, reducing negative consequences related to misuse and increasing overall student well-being. SHIFT is hoping to destigmatize conversations around substance use to help build a culture of care in which all students will thrive. Student voice is crucial to SHIFT being effective, so please come say hi.

Losing someone you love to a drug overdose is an ugly, life-altering experience. Please take proactive measures to safeguard your life and the lives of your fellow Austinites.

Claire Zagorski is a paramedic and harm reduction instructor at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from UNT Health Science Center, and is completing graduate work in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.


Opinion: Drug Use Is the Reality for Millions. There Are Ways to Make It Safer.

By Claire Zagorski, Fri., Dec. 25, 2020

Recently, 13 people were arrested in West Campus on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, including a current UT student and several alumni. Something mentioned to the press as a casual aside was that in the course of the investigation, two suspects died of a drug overdose. It's probably most accurate to say that they died of an overdose of a drug they hadn't realized they'd taken. This is now an old and painful pattern: People who experience drug overdose are typically, unbeknownst to them, using a drug contaminated with substances that hit with dizzying and dangerous force, like fentanyl, isotonitazene, and flualprazolam. We're seeing this happen across the country with heroin, meth, cocaine, and counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Adderall (which was actually meth, dyed blue and pressed to resemble real tablets) was one of the substances seized in the raid. During finals time, when students are more likely to try a medication like Adderall, this concerns me most &ndash that students may unwittingly take a counterfeit pill and be unprepared for what happens next. But this is not an issue contained to university campuses.

The war on drugs will turn 50 next year, with over $1 trillion in taxpayer funds spent attempting to regulate illegal drugs into nonexistence. And yet, the death toll from overdose has ballooned to historic highs in the era of COVID. Our focus urgently needs to shift to one of harm reduction &ndash people use drugs, so how can we protect them from overdose and other harms? I am not writing to pontificate on the morality of drug use. I am writing so that even one life might be saved. There are resources available in our community.

&bull If you or your friends use drugs, please carry naloxone. Naloxone (aka Narcan) reverses overdoses caused by opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxy. It's easy to use &ndash a nasal spray you can keep in your backpack or car. And it's one of the safest medicines in the pharmacy, with no potential for abuse or overdose. It's sold at most pharmacies, and you can get it for free and without a prescription on the UT campus at Forty Acres Pharmacy. You can also have it mailed for free to any address in Texas. Go to www.morenarcanplease.com to get it.

&bull Once you have your naloxone, learn how to use it. If you get it from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you. (You can also watch a short video here at www.morenarcanplease.com.) Operation Naloxone, a peer training program led by Pharm.D students, also hosts trainings throughout the school year. Follow us on social media (@OperationNaloxone) to stay informed.

&bull If you use a drug, test it. Locally, you can get fentanyl tests at Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (www.harmreductiontx.org). They're friendly, anonymous, and supplies are free. Otherwise, check out www.dancesafe.org for fentanyl tests and kits that detect less-common contaminants, which are more common in rave drugs like molly.

&bull If you're grappling with substance use and want to explore treatment options, there are folks ready to hear from you. Expanded telehealth in the era of COVID means that more counseling options are available from home. Reach out to Austin Recovery (www.austinrecovery.org) for affordable options from a compassion-driven local nonprofit.

&bull An important step to saving lives is establishing a Good Samaritan law for the state. This means that if you call 911 for a friend who's used drugs and needs EMS, you and your friend, in most cases, will be insulated from criminal prosecution. This encourages people to access emergency medical care when needed most. Contact your elected representative (www.house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative) and let them know you support a Good Samaritan law for drugs.

&bull If you're on the UT campus and want to get involved, reach out to SHIFT (shift.utexas.edu). Their mission is to shift the campus culture related to substance use, reducing negative consequences related to misuse and increasing overall student well-being. SHIFT is hoping to destigmatize conversations around substance use to help build a culture of care in which all students will thrive. Student voice is crucial to SHIFT being effective, so please come say hi.

Losing someone you love to a drug overdose is an ugly, life-altering experience. Please take proactive measures to safeguard your life and the lives of your fellow Austinites.

Claire Zagorski is a paramedic and harm reduction instructor at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from UNT Health Science Center, and is completing graduate work in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.


Opinion: Drug Use Is the Reality for Millions. There Are Ways to Make It Safer.

By Claire Zagorski, Fri., Dec. 25, 2020

Recently, 13 people were arrested in West Campus on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, including a current UT student and several alumni. Something mentioned to the press as a casual aside was that in the course of the investigation, two suspects died of a drug overdose. It's probably most accurate to say that they died of an overdose of a drug they hadn't realized they'd taken. This is now an old and painful pattern: People who experience drug overdose are typically, unbeknownst to them, using a drug contaminated with substances that hit with dizzying and dangerous force, like fentanyl, isotonitazene, and flualprazolam. We're seeing this happen across the country with heroin, meth, cocaine, and counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Adderall (which was actually meth, dyed blue and pressed to resemble real tablets) was one of the substances seized in the raid. During finals time, when students are more likely to try a medication like Adderall, this concerns me most &ndash that students may unwittingly take a counterfeit pill and be unprepared for what happens next. But this is not an issue contained to university campuses.

The war on drugs will turn 50 next year, with over $1 trillion in taxpayer funds spent attempting to regulate illegal drugs into nonexistence. And yet, the death toll from overdose has ballooned to historic highs in the era of COVID. Our focus urgently needs to shift to one of harm reduction &ndash people use drugs, so how can we protect them from overdose and other harms? I am not writing to pontificate on the morality of drug use. I am writing so that even one life might be saved. There are resources available in our community.

&bull If you or your friends use drugs, please carry naloxone. Naloxone (aka Narcan) reverses overdoses caused by opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxy. It's easy to use &ndash a nasal spray you can keep in your backpack or car. And it's one of the safest medicines in the pharmacy, with no potential for abuse or overdose. It's sold at most pharmacies, and you can get it for free and without a prescription on the UT campus at Forty Acres Pharmacy. You can also have it mailed for free to any address in Texas. Go to www.morenarcanplease.com to get it.

&bull Once you have your naloxone, learn how to use it. If you get it from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to show you. (You can also watch a short video here at www.morenarcanplease.com.) Operation Naloxone, a peer training program led by Pharm.D students, also hosts trainings throughout the school year. Follow us on social media (@OperationNaloxone) to stay informed.

&bull If you use a drug, test it. Locally, you can get fentanyl tests at Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (www.harmreductiontx.org). They're friendly, anonymous, and supplies are free. Otherwise, check out www.dancesafe.org for fentanyl tests and kits that detect less-common contaminants, which are more common in rave drugs like molly.

&bull If you're grappling with substance use and want to explore treatment options, there are folks ready to hear from you. Expanded telehealth in the era of COVID means that more counseling options are available from home. Reach out to Austin Recovery (www.austinrecovery.org) for affordable options from a compassion-driven local nonprofit.

&bull An important step to saving lives is establishing a Good Samaritan law for the state. This means that if you call 911 for a friend who's used drugs and needs EMS, you and your friend, in most cases, will be insulated from criminal prosecution. This encourages people to access emergency medical care when needed most. Contact your elected representative (www.house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative) and let them know you support a Good Samaritan law for drugs.

&bull If you're on the UT campus and want to get involved, reach out to SHIFT (shift.utexas.edu). Their mission is to shift the campus culture related to substance use, reducing negative consequences related to misuse and increasing overall student well-being. SHIFT is hoping to destigmatize conversations around substance use to help build a culture of care in which all students will thrive. Student voice is crucial to SHIFT being effective, so please come say hi.

Losing someone you love to a drug overdose is an ugly, life-altering experience. Please take proactive measures to safeguard your life and the lives of your fellow Austinites.

Claire Zagorski is a paramedic and harm reduction instructor at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with the Pharmacy Addictions Research & Medicine (PhARM) Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from UNT Health Science Center, and is completing graduate work in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.


Watch the video: Undercover with vice team to take down heroin dealer


Comments:

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  3. Leighton

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  4. Moukib

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  5. Daniele

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