Drug Has Taken Deadly Toll, And Left Health And Law Enforcement Officials Scrambling

first_imgVials of a confiscated synthetic amphetamine called flakka that killed 61 people in Broward County in a little more than a year. States have been reworking drug laws to make it easier to classify synthetic drugs as illegal.It’s been four months since anyone in Broward County, Florida, has died from an overdose of alpha-PVP, known as flakka, a crystal-like synthetic drug meant to imitate cocaine or methamphetamine. But the drug has already taken a deadly toll, and left health and law enforcement officials scrambling to stem a new public health crisis.In small doses, flakka elicits euphoria. But just a little too much sends body temperatures rocketing to 105 degrees, causing a sense of delirium that often leads users to strip down and flee from paranoid hallucinations as their innards, quite literally, melt. If someone survives an overdose, they are often left with kidney failure and a life of dialysis.Flakka is among a growing number of addictive and dangerous synthetic drugs being produced easily and cheaply with man-made chemicals in clandestine labs in China. But because the drugs were largely unregulated when they first hit the market, some states have struggled to combat them. Now legislators, health professionals and police are trying to eradicate the drugs by making it easier to qualify them as illegal and ramping up the criminal penalties for selling them.Since 2010, when synthetic drugs started becoming popular in the U.S., 32 states have passed laws to make it easier to classify synthetic drugs as illegal. This year, the District of Columbia and Florida passed similar measures, and in at least 10 other states, changes to controlled substance laws took effect, according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL).Among the most popular synthetic drugs in the U.S. are synthetic cathinones, known commonly as bath salts, and synthetic cannabinoids, essentially smokable imitation marijuana products, which are sold in stores using kid-friendly branding like Scooby Snax.It had been difficult for states to classify synthetic drugs as illegal, a process known as scheduling, because drugs are typically banned based on the compounds they contain. Under that system, manufacturers can change a molecule of an illegal synthetic drug, essentially rendering it legal.“It does seem to some extent that everybody’s a step behind what’s being produced,” said Jonathan Woodruff, an attorney with NAMSDL.While the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is working to permanently add 10 synthetic cathinones, including alpha-PVP, to its list of scheduled drugs, some states have also been moving to modify how they schedule drugs.This year, Florida and the District of Columbia enacted laws that change the way they schedule synthetic drugs. Rather than making the drugs unlawful based on their chemical makeup, the new laws classify drugs based on the type of drug and the reaction it causes.The approach means that any drug that mimics an already illicit substance will automatically be illegal. The change will enable Florida to quickly prosecute drug cases and stomp outbreaks of new drugs, said James Hall, an epidemiologist with Nova Southeastern University.“It bans substances before they appear or before we even know about them,” Hall said. “So it breaks this vicious cycle of a new drug appearing, finally getting it scheduled or banned and then another one rushing in to takes its place.”These laws alone won’t stop the spread of synthetic drugs. But public health advocates are hopeful the Florida law will help prevent another flakka, from which 61 people in Broward County died between September 2014 and mid-December 2015.In the District of Columbia, where in September 603 people were taken to the hospital after ingesting synthetic cannabinoids, the new law, which went into effect this month, is also expected to make it easier for police and prosecutors to charge and convict drug dealers.Chasing SyntheticsIn DeKalb, Illinois, one of the first places to adopt a similar law in 2012, City Attorney Dean Frieders said flakka and other synthetic cathinones like bath salts haven’t taken hold there. (A statewide law in the same vein was passed in 2015.)But the city of almost 44,000 people, which is home to Northern Illinois University, did face a growing problem with retail sales of synthetic marijuana products, which are said to elevate mood and relax the user but have also been known to cause extreme anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations, as well as rapid heart rate, vomiting and violent behavior.The ordinance not only banned the synthetic substances, but allowed city officials to suspend or revoke the tobacco and liquor licenses of businesses that sold the drugs, which Frieders said was effective.“A business just can’t relocate to a different corner,” he said.States are also sanctioning businesses for the sale of synthetic drugs to cut down on sales and adverse health reactions, Woodruff said.The District of Columbia has shut down four stores that sold the fake marijuana products, which has led to a substantial decline in people needing medical attention after injecting them, said Robert Marcus, communications director for the District attorney general. The number of people transported to hospitals in the city after consuming synthetic marijuana dropped to 110 in February, down 82 percent in five months.What’s Next?Broward County officials say they expect the new scheduling of synthetic drugs to be helpful, but they relied on a different approach to largely eliminate flakka: working with the DEA to pressure the Chinese government, which last fall made it illegal to produce it and 115 other synthetic substances.Heather Davidson, a prevention specialist for the United Way in Broward County, said officials in South Florida are at a “resting point” with flakka-related emergencies. But, she said, some dealers are passing off real methamphetamine and cocaine as the synthetic drug, even though those drugs are more expensive and have been around longer, because flakka has become so popular.Broward’s flakka problem came to a head last year when county hospitals saw 360 cases related to the drug in one month. By December that number had dropped to 54, an 85 percent drop in five months.“We still hear anecdotally that people are searching for flakka, that users are still wanting to find it,” Davidson said. “And I believe that another synthetic drug or synthetic compound will take its place.”One of those compounds might be synthetic opioids, which are gaining popularity as it becomes more difficult to get prescription opioids like oxycodone and morphine in the wake of the nation’s painkiller- and heroin-addiction crisis. Those drugs, largely produced in Mexican labs, are made with fentanyl, a synthetic drug that is a hundred times more powerful than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin. Davidson and others worry they will be behind the next epidemic.Already nine people have died from fentanyl-based drugs this year in Pinellas County, Florida.“Heroin you need to cultivate. You need fields, you need workers, you need labor,” Davidson said. “With something like a synthetic drug, you just need a laboratory and chemical compound and a base and you’re able to create it very cheaply.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Leading Business Education

first_imgNitin NohriaDean, Harvard Business SchoolRichard P. Chapman Professor of Business AdministrationHarvard Business School (HBS) was founded in 1908, in the words of future Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell, as a “delicate experiment” — a five-year trial, to be exact, as approved by the Harvard Corporation. It began with 15 faculty members, 24 regular students, and 35 “special” students housed in space borrowed from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.While other undergraduate schools of commerce already existed, as well as some institutions that offered graduate courses, HBS was the first to require that entering students possess an undergraduate degree, and it created the master in business administration (M.B.A.) to confer upon its graduates (with, notably, Harvard’s first diploma written in English rather than Latin).Edwin Gay, the School’s founding dean, defined business as the activity of making “a decent profit, decently.” From the start, HBS sought to develop general managers — people with competence and character. This meant training students for the tasks of manufacturing and selling, thereby developing in them “a habit of intellectual respect for business as a profession.” It also meant developing in them “a sympathetic tact, a certain kindness of spirit.”In its first century, HBS pioneered the adoption of the case method for management instruction (as well as the unique tiered classroom to support it), executive education (offering the first “war retraining” course in 1943), a residential campus to enhance the learning environment, and numerous fields of study, including strategy and entrepreneurship.That spirit of innovation continues today in the School’s use of educational technologies, in the development and dissemination of path-breaking management ideas, and, most recently, in the launch of the field method, which seeks to provide students with intensive, immersive, and experiential small-group learning opportunities. It is the School’s aspiration to be no less than a beacon of innovation in management education.last_img read more

Common limitations of a new core provider

first_img continue reading » In our continuing series discussing the survey by Callahan & Associates and their webinar, “It’s All About the Core,” today we look at and analyze the response of credit union executives when asked what common limitations they encountered after selecting and transitioning to a new core technology provider. A credit union core system review and the resulting core migration carries many changes for an organization, and usually, the migration to a new provider brings technology the credit union was otherwise lacking. It’s a known fact that this is no small project, and it is always assumed you will encounter some obstacles along the way. Here are the most common shortcomings that caught these executives off guard:1) Lending Capabilities. With lending being such a huge driver to the bottom line and ultimate success of a credit union, it is no wonder that this tops the list. No matter how robust a lending platform is, there’s always room for improvement on this all-important platform. The biggest complaint is the apparent disconnect in loan origination systems, especially as it pertains to commercial lending versus consumer lending. With these two very distinct lending processes, many CU’s still found they have to navigate separate and disparate systems, even after a core migration. 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha to get Rs 5 crore, wishes pour in on social media

first_imgVidarbha Cricket Association president Anand Jaiswal announced that the Ranji champion team will be richer by Rs 5 crore, which will be distributed among the players as well as the support staff.”The players will be felicitated by the state association. The Vidarbha Cricket Association will be distributing Rs 3 crore among its players. Also the winners prize money of Rs 2 crore will also be distributed among the players,” Jaiswal told reporters after the team’s historic Ranji Trophy triumph.Wishes started to pour in for the whole team after captain Faiz Fazal lifted the Ranji Trophy at the Holkar stadium in Indore.Well done Vidarbha on winning the Ranji Trophy. I can tell you from experience that there will be fewer better days than this one. Congrats @faizfazal U guys deserve it all as u had consistency in ur corner @BCCI @BCCIdomestic @faizfazal- Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 1, 2018Proud of the way my entire group, Delhi played the season. No shame in being second to a better team in Vidarbha. Let�??s learn from the past n plan for the future but be proud of ur self…very proud @BCCI @BCCIdomestic- Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 1, 2018Every year, every month, every week, every moment is nothing but an �??opportunity�??. For me 31.12.2018 will decide what as a human race/as a nation we did with this �??opportunity�?? called year 2018. Till then, let�??s work as a team in making it a more progressive 2018.- Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 1, 2018Heartiest congratulations to Vidarbha on winning their first #RanjiTrophyFinal. Thank you MPCA for being such gracious hosts @BCCIadvertisement- Rahul Johri (@RJohri) January 1, 2018Heartiest Congratulations to Vidharba cricket team on winning their maiden Ranji Trophy title. Its been an incredible journey for the first time champions. pic.twitter.com/6Tocxomfm6- Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) January 1, 2018Well done Vidarbha. To come from nowhere to win the Ranji Trophy is an outstanding achievement. Biggest day in the lives of these players. Much respect.- Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 1, 2018Congratulations to the new Ranji Champions 2017/18 #VIDARBHA well done my friend #Akshay urf Mukesh �??? Top effort by this young fella #Gurbani #RanjiTrophyFinal #Bsports proud clothing partners & sponsors pic.twitter.com/7CKNfRnbwf- Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) January 1, 2018Congratulations Vidarbha on your maiden Ranji trophy title. Great team work and well deserved �??��??� #RanjiTrophyFinal#Vidarbha @BCCIdomestic pic.twitter.com/zJkSr7cdUs- Vinay Kumar R (@Vinay_Kumar_R) January 1, 2018Great for the game with Vidarbha winning #RanjiTrophyFinal Well done Chandu and the boys @BCCIdomestic pic.twitter.com/9itmnZKABx- Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) January 1, 2018Rajasthan did it earlier. Vidarbha has proved it again….that if the administrators really want to turnaround a team�??s fortunes, they surely can. Lesson for the rest. #RanjiTrophy- Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 1, 2018Congratulations to each and every member of the Vidarbha Ranji Team on winning the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy.- VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 1, 2018Vidarbha celebrated the new year in style by winning the Ranji Trophy final by 9 wickets to lift their maiden title at the Holkar stadium in Indore on Monday.Captain Faiz Fazal got out leg-before in the first over from Kulwant Khejroliya  but then Sanjay Ramaswamy and Wasim Jaffer knocked off the runs in just 5 overs to trigger the celebrations in the Vidarbha dressing room. Jaffer scored the winning runs as he smashed a boundary off Khejroliya in the final ball of the fifth over.Vidarbha celebrate after clinching the @paytm #RanjiTrophy 2017-18 with a nine-wicket win over Delhi #Final #DELvVID pic.twitter.com/UEes6Xb7YS- BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) January 1, 2018This was Jaffer’s 9th Ranji Trophy final and he’s ended up on the winning side every time.Earlier, Akshay Wadkar’s knock of 133 from 262 balls helped Vidarbha take 252-run lead in the first innings. Aditya Sarwate, Siddhesh Neral and Fazal also made useful contributions for Vidarbha, who made it to the final for the first time in history.Vidarbha led Delhi by 233 runs at stumps on Day 3, as they finished with 528/7 after 156 overs on the board.The stage was set for Wasim Jaffer, resuming his inning from 61, to score another ‘big one’. But Jaffer was surprised by a incoming Navdeep Saini delivery. The veteran had to depart for 78, trapped while trying to work the ball from his pads.Delhi were sniffing for a way back in the game, but in stepped Akshay Wadkar and Aditya Sarwate for the seventh wicket to flatten any such misconceptions.They joined forces at 204 and by the time Delhi finally managed to breach Sarwate’s defences, Vidarbha had gone make 415 on the scoreboard.On day 2 , Rajneesh Gurbani ended a 45-year-old drought by claiming his maiden hat-trick, to become only the second bowler after Tamil Nadu’s B Kalyanasundaram to take three wickets of successive deliveries as Vidarbha bowled out Delhi for 295.advertisementGurbani removed Navdeep Saini, Dhruv Shorey and Kulwant Khejroliya off successive balls.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more