Drugs

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Idaho State Police are seeing a spike in evidence waiting to be tested to confirm the presence of heroin and other opioids. With three labs across the state, an official with ISP says they’re hiring and shifting staff to accommodate the influx of tests.

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State lawmakers are considering putting an end to mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes. The proposal has bipartisan support, but still has several hurdles to jump before becoming a law.

Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, says she first became aware of issues surrounding mandatory drug sentences when she spoke with judges around the state. The Boise lawmaker says Idaho’s standards are more stringent than they need to be, going above and beyond federal statute.

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Today, April 20th, is a bit of a holiday for marijuana enthusiasts. It's a day when they get together to smoke what has traditionally been an illegal drug. That on its own is not necessarily news. 

But it is the backdrop for this notion: Idaho is seeing a sharp decline in the number of new police recruits, in part, because it's easier than ever to smoke pot legally

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The Idaho Meth Project has been warning about the dangers of methamphetamine through graphic advertising and outreach to teens since 2008. Now, the pet project of Idaho’s governor and first lady - Butch and Lori Otter - has changed its name and its focus.

The re-christened “Idaho Prevention Project” will continue its anti-meth message using the old name, but director Adrean Cavener says it will have a similar campaign called Truth 208 aimed at abuse of legal drugs like prescription opiates .

data from Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

We told you this week that the heroin epidemic much of the country is experiencing has not yet reached Idaho but that it could soon. However, some people say heroin is already a big problem here.

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There’s a story you hear in small towns and big cities all over the country. It goes like this: a lot of people get addicted to prescription opioid pain killers like oxycodone. When they can’t get those anymore they turn to heroin because the experience is similar and heroin is cheaper and easier to get. Much of the United States is now experiencing what is widely being called a heroin epidemic.

In Idaho we have the first part of that story. Walter Bogucki is an inpatient counselor at Port of Hope, a drug treatment center in Nampa.

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An Idaho House panel has introduced a bill that would allow terminally-ill patients to access drugs that are still being researched.

Democratic Rep. Melissa Wintrow of Boise says the legislation permits patients to use pharmaceuticals that have already passed safety tests by the Federal Drug Administration.

The House Health and Welfare Committee introduced the proposal Thursday. The bill must now clear a legislative hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

This program was originally broadcast in April of 2015.

Antibiotics are wonder drugs that can thwart disease and save lives. But they also have the potential to trigger new health problems when used indiscriminately, according to medical doctor and microbiologist Martin J. Blaser.

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The sheriff in a western Idaho border county is encouraging deputies to cite rather than arrest every pot smoker caught on the wrong side of Oregon's recreational pot law.

The Idaho Statesman reports Payette County Sheriff Chad Huff says he wants to keep marijuana smokers out of the county's jail by citing them rather than arresting them.

As of July 1, when Oregon's law when into effect, deputies are being encouraged to use their discretion when deciding whether to arrest someone for possession of marijuana.

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A drug, alcohol and mental illness treatment center for residents in north-central Idaho could open as early as this summer.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the Latah County commissioners have challenged a group of community members to open the recovery center as soon as possible after state funding is approved in July.

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A bill headed to the Idaho House would allow friends and family members of opioid drug users to obtain medication to counteract overdoses.

Oregon and Washington already have similar laws on the books.

The drug is known as an “opioid antagonist,” or more technically, naloxone. Doctors say it can reverse the effects of a painkiller or heroin overdose a few minutes after it’s injected or inhaled.

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Jack works undercover, buying drugs from Boise dealers. He is a Boise Police Department detective, and he's seeing a troubling increase in the number of people overdosing on synthetic drugs.

BPD has found that these new man-made chemicals are replacing better known street drugs, like ecstasy or LSD. And officers are worried that users are being duped into taking the more potent synthetics.

Federal dollars meant to restore toxic areas like old factories, mines and gas stations are now going to clean up after another long-time industry: methamphetamine.

Three versions of a synthetic hallucinogenic drug appear bound for Idaho's list of illegal substances after the federal Drug Enforcement Administration placed them on the same list as marijuana, heroin and LSD.

The federal drug agency made the announcement on Tuesday for drugs known by their street names that include 25i, Smiles, and N-Bomb.

For substances declared by the federal government as among the most dangerous drugs, Idaho law requires the Idaho State Board of Pharmacy to control the substance after 30 days — unless state regulators find reason to object.

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Police in Boise are issuing a warning about new synthetic drugs that have led to at least six reported overdoses in recent weeks.

Over the weekend, two 16-year-olds overdosed on a substance believed to be 25C, closely related to 25i, which led to four other overdoses and hospitalizations.

Police say one of the 16-year-olds was hospitalized in intensive care Saturday after suffering a seizure. The teen reportedly stopped breathing for a time.

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