Sep 3 2013, 3:10pm CDT | by PR.com
Sun City Center, FL, September 03, 2013 --(PR.com)-- Recently, an acute spike in drug overdose-related emergency room visits and deaths among drug addicts has alerted state and local law enforcement and medical professionals the arrival of a new synthetic opioid – acetyl fentanyl. The exact nature for the sudden surge of acetyl fentanyl use remains unknown. Acetyl fentanyl looks similar to heroin in package, consistency, and color. It appears that acetyl fentanyl has been intentionally added to street heroin to increase its potency and therefore has a higher cost. Authorities were first alarmed by the soaring death toll among drug addicts for using what was described as highly purified heroin. In this year alone, Pennsylvania has reported at least 50 acetyl fentanyl-related fatal cases . Fourteen confirmed cases were reported in Rhode Island . The deaths were initially attributed to heroin overdose. However, both morbidity and mortality rates for overdose are too high even judged by heroin standard. The mystery was not solved until May 30, 2013 when Rhode Island Department of health reported detection of acetyl fentanyl in all 10 fatal cases of drug overdose. The CDC recently issued a health alert about acetyl fentanyl and recommended testing it for evaluation and treatment of drug overdose . Routine urine toxicology screening tests do not cover acetyl fentanyl and will not be able detect its presence in urine. To help combat acetyl fentanyl abuse, American Clinical Solutions is going to offer a UPLC/MS based testing service for acetyl fentanyl in urine and oral fluid. By doing so, American Clinical Solutions would proudly present itself as one of the leading reference laboratories across the nation to be able to provide a highly specific test for this compound.
Known by a range of street names such as China White, Apache, Goodfella, Jackpot, TNT, Murder 8, and Tango & Cash, acetyl fentanyl is a fentanyl analog. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid with an analgesic potency of one hundred times higher than morphine, and overdose can easily lead to respiratory depression and death. Fentanyl is a prescription medication and is currently listed as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its high abuse liability. Intravenous fentanyl is generally used in a hospital setting to initiate rapid anesthesia. In an outpatient setting, the high analgesic potency and high lipid solubility of fentanyl allows it to be delivered through a transdermal patch and provide pain relief for patients suffering from chronic pain. Acetyl fentanyl has no medical use and is currently listed as a Schedule I controlled substance. As a new synthetic drug, pharmacokinetic properties of acetyl fentanyl have not been subject to extensive research. What is known so far is that acetyl fentanyl is usually abused through intravenous injection and its potency is about five times higher than heroin. Acetyl fentanyl may be used alone or spiked with heroin for abuse.
1. State of Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. News for Immediate Release: Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Warns about Acetyl Fentanyl. June 27, 2013.
2. The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Department of Health. Press Releases: HEALTH Identifies New Synthetic Drug As Acetyl Fentanyl. May 30, 2013.
3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommendations for Laboratory Testing for Acetyl Fentanyl and Patient Evaluation and Treatment for Overdose with Synthetic Opioids. June 20, 2013.
Cheng Fang, MD., PH D., DABT | firstname.lastname@example.org
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