National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing

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Counterfeit M30 pills pressed with Fentanyl

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New HIDTA alert: orange powder in gel caps found at a fatal overdose in Harford County tested positive for fentanyl and heroin

The Harford County Heroin Coordinator shared information on a powder seized at a fatal overdose incident. The powder appeared to be of orange color and was contained in clear gel caps. Orange fentanyl/heroin mixtures have not been reported in Maryland prior to this incident.

United States Senate confirms Dr. Rahul Gupta as Director of National Drug Control Policy

Last week, the US Senate confirmed the first medical doctor, Dr. Rahul Gupta, as Director of the Office of National Drug Control PolicyDr. Gupta began his career in private practice in an underserved community of less than 2,000 people. He has since served as the Health Commissioner of West Virginia and, as the state’s Chief Health Officer, led opioid crisis response efforts. Dr. Gupta plans to “work to advance high-quality, data-driven strategies to make our communities healthier and safer.Read the full press release here.

Crime labs warn dangerous form of fentanyl is becoming more common

A dangerous form of fentanyl is being found laced in illegal drugs sold across the state of Ohio and this region. The chemical para-fluorofentanyl has been found in 70 of 88 counties overall in 2021, and in August 2021 7% of submissions had fluorofentanyl present compared to the less than 1% in 2020. Read the full article here.

HHS Secretary Becerra announces new Overdose Prevention Strategy

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Bacerra announced the release of the new HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy last week. The new strategy focuses on the multiple substances involved in overdoses and diverse treatment approaches for substance use disordersFour key target areas of focus were named: primary prevention, harm reduction, evidence-based treatment, and recovery support. Read the full press release here.


2021 Synthetic Drugs and New Psychoactive Substances in Latin America and the Caribbean

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has released their report on synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances in Latin America and the Caribbean. The synthetic drug market has experienced a massive expansion and diversification in the region and a rapid emergence of a wide range of NPS. Read the full report here.

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