National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


EMS 911 call data for continued monitoring of drug trends

NDEWS presents four-month retrospective trends of methamphetamine-related 911 calls. The graph above shows the top 10 counties for methamphetamine-related 911 calls in May, and the months preceding. NDEWS will continue to monitor 911 calls for several indicators.

(Source: biospatial, Inc. and NDEWS)

Alert from NDEWS Web Monitoring Team: Staggered increases in Reddit discussions of stimulant 3-CPM 

According to the NDEWS Web Monitoring Team, led by Dr. Elan Barenholtz and PhD candidate Paul Morris of the Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics (MPCR) Lab at Florida Atlantic University, continued mentions of 3-chlorinephenmetrazine (3-CPM) in drug Subreddits indicate growing interest in a newly available psychoactive substance. 3-CPM is a stimulant and derivative of phenmetrazine. A fluorinated alternative, 3-fluorophenmetrazine (3-FPM) has previously been sold as a designer drug. The online trend in Reddit mentions for 3-CPM began shortly after the drug became newly available from gray market vendors in early 2021. This trend in mentions may signal a recent increase in real-world interest surrounding the drug.

Methodological note: Data are based on word counts derived from algorithmic monitoring of ~80 drug-oriented Subreddits. No personally identifiable or post-specific information is incorporated in this monitoring process.

Have you heard of 3-CPM in your area? Let us know here.


Washington/Baltimore HIDTA bulletin: Etizolam

According to an information bulletin distributed yesterday by the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) investigative support center, seizures of etizolam, an unregulated benzodiazepine, have increased by over 450% in the Washington/Baltimore area within the past year. Etizolam has been detected in some counterfeit Xanax pills. In the first quarter of 2021, the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA found etizolam in approximately 3% of all drugs seized; approximately 19% of etizolam seizures were mixed with fentanyl analogs. Read more about the HIDTA program here.

Public alert from NPS Discovery: Etonitazepyne

NPS Discovery released a public alert yesterday regarding the emergence of the synthetic opioid N-pyrrolidino etonitazene (etonitazepyne). Etonitazepyne is a new highly potent synthetic opioid with structural similarity to the regulated etonitazene. To date, etonitazepyne has been identified in eight postmortem cases in five US states (West Virginia, Colorado, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania). While the toxicity of etonitazene has not been examined or reported, the authors note that this synthetic opioid "retains the potential to cause widespread harm and is of public concern." Read the full announcement here.

DEA TOX releases alert regarding 2-Methyl AP-237

The DEA TOX program announced the identification of the opioid substance 2-methyl AP-237 last Friday. The substance was detected in whole blood samples submitted to the NPS surveillance program from an overdose death case in Kansas (January 2021) and from a non-fatal overdose case in Nebraska (March 2021). 2-methyl AP-237 is a methyl derivative of the opioid bucinnazine (AP-237), which is structurally distinct from fentanyl analogs. Read the full alert here.

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