Interpol Targets Online Drug Sales

Seized stanozolol tablets.

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International operation combats the illegal online supply of counterfeit medicines

Press release from the; UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

Forty-five countries across the globe have taken part in an international enforcement operation targeting the online sale of counterfeit and illegal medicines to raise awareness of the dangers of buying medicines online.

Operation Pangea III ran between 5 – 12 October and resulted in 76 people either arrested or placed under investigation across the globe.

The operation is the largest internet-based enforcement action of its kind to date and involved IMPACT, the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC) and the Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers (HMA WGEO).

Coordinated by INTERPOL and carried out with the assistance of police, customs and national medicines regulators, the global operation targeted the three main components abused in the illegal website trade – the Internet Service Provider (ISP), the electronic payment system and the delivery service.

Internationally, 267,855 packages were inspected by regulators and customs resulting in the seizure of 1,014,043 illicit and counterfeit pills worth an estimated £1.62 million ($2,598,163 (US)).

During the operation, internet monitoring revealed 694 websites potentially engaged in illegal activity including offering controlled or Prescription Only Drugs.

The public will be advised through global awareness campaigns that purchasing medicines from unregulated websites significantly increases the risks of obtaining counterfeit, sub-standard and dangerous products.

The types of medicines the MHRA found included those for erectile dysfunction, weight loss, pain relief, human growth hormone, antidepressants and steroids.

MHRA Head of Enforcement, Mick Deats, said that what often looked like a professional online pharmacy could turn out to be an illicit website selling fake or illegal medication.

“These websites often look like the real deal, but if they don’t carry the internet pharmacy logo of the General Pharmaceutical Council and have a ‘bricks and mortar’ address, then they are often dealing illegally.

“This week we have recovered a range of different medicines being supplied with no prescription and stored in unacceptable conditions by persons unqualified to dispense medicines. An illegal supplier might be good at setting up a website, but that does not make them a pharmacist.

“The dangers of purchasing medicines from an unregulated source are that you just don’t know what you are taking,” he said. “The dosages could be either too high or too low, contain no pharmaceutical ingredient or a totally different ingredient to that stated.

“Illegal suppliers have no quality control or standards to abide by and people who purchase medicine from these sources will never know where the tablets they are putting in their mouths have actually originated from or what they contain. If customers could see the filthy conditions in which some of these medicines were being transported, stored and handled, they wouldn’t touch them,” he added.

“This international operation is the best way to deal with an international problem and is a great example of the collaboration needed to tackle this type of crime.

“Partnering with law enforcement as well as working with industry, payment providers and other stakeholders has proved to be a successful approach in disrupting criminal activity while raising public awareness to this issue.

“We will continue to use all powers at our disposal to take action against those engaged in this illicit activity and confiscate the proceeds of their crimes.”

Further information about purchasing medicines safely online can be found on the MHRA website: Risks of buying medicines over the internet

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The Alcoholic, Addict Behaviors

alcoholic77 Through out the acquisition of addiction people adopt a common set of behaviors to cope.

This is important; These behaviors are coping mechanisms not personality traits. They have emerged through drinking and drugging with a disease that changes the way they think and act. Nor did they ‘choose’ to ruin their lives.

Most alcoholics and addicts become responsible, sensitive, compassionate and honest people in recovery through the 12 Steps of their Fellowship.

Denial. Addicts often deny that there is an addiction. Denial is a way to ignore or dismiss the idea of addiction and avoid seeing a problem. Sometimes, addicts will acknowledge being addicted, but nevertheless dismiss the significance of the addiction. Cigarette smoking is a good example of an addiction that people readily acknowledge, but frequently do nothing about. They deny the reality of the addiction. Overcoming denial is always the first step in treatment of addictions.

Selfishness. Addictions make people selfish and blind them. Nothing is more important than the addiction itself. Everything is geared towards getting the dependence met, and the deeper into addiction the greater the selfishness.

Covert Behavior. Addictive behaviors eventually become a source of concern for others. Consequently, in order to meet the needs of the addiction, addicts often hide their behaviors from others. Addicts are often sneaky, running the gamut from hidden drug use and illicit sex, to drinkers who hide their alcohol, smokers who sneak cigarettes, and people who hide their eating.

Irresponsible and Undependable. In the throes of addiction, addicts must pay far more attention to the needs of their addiction than the needs of anyone or anything else. Accordingly, addicts often become unable to meet social expectations and responsibilities, whether in school, work, relationships, or social roles.

Illegal and Criminal Behaviors. Of course, many addictions are against the law in the first place. In addition, in the case of certain addictions the addict has to commit criminal acts in order to get the substance or engage in the activity. Much street, computer, and white collar crime is directed toward meeting the needs of addiction.

Dangerous and Risky Behaviors. Because of the antisocial, and sometimes illegal, nature of many addictions, addicts often have to engage in dangerous behaviors to satisfy their needs. This may mean using a dirty needle, getting street drugs, going to an unsafe part of town, interacting with dangerous people, or engaging in some other activity that is inherently dangerous in order to support the addiction. And this also means using substances like nicotine which are carcinogenic and have a major impact on respiration and the cardiovascular system, and eating in a way that paves the way for, and directly causes, multiple physical problems. These too are dangerous and risky behaviors.

These are behaviors they subconsciously improvise to grapple with their deteriorating lives.

Legal Drugs Kill Far More Than Illegal

Legal drugs are killers Legal Drugs Kill Far More Than Illegal, Florida Says

From “Scarface” to “Miami Vice,” Florida’s drug problem has been portrayed as the story of a single narcotic: cocaine. But for Floridians, prescription drugs are increasingly a far more lethal habit.

An analysis of autopsies in 2007 released this week by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission found that the rate of deaths caused by prescription drugs was three times the rate of deaths caused by all illicit drugs combined.

Law enforcement officials said that the shift toward prescription-drug abuse, which began here about eight years ago, showed no sign of letting up and that the state must do more to control it.

“You have health care providers involved, you have doctor shoppers, and then there are crimes like robbing drug shipments,” said Jeff Beasley, a drug intelligence inspector for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which co-sponsored the study. “There is a multitude of ways to get these drugs, and that’s what makes things complicated.”

Full story at the New York Times

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