National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing

NDEWS ORIGINAL CONTENT

Alert from the NDEWS Web Monitoring Team: Online mentions of Alpha-D2PV

What was found? A subreddit discussion trend for the drug Alpha-D2PV peaked in late 2021.

To what does Alpha-D2PV refer?
 Alpha-D2PV is a stimulant drug in the cathinone class. It was first introduced in 2020.

How is it being discussed? 
Commenters note the drug's similarity to and potential role as a replacement for the popular cathinone stimulant α-PVP (flakka) in online marketplaces.

Drug Terms: 
Alpha-D2PV, A-D2PV.

Methodological Note: Data was collected and analyzed by 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. Metrics 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. For more methodological details, see our recent publication.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Xylazine spreads across the US: A growing component of the increasingly synthetic and polysubstance overdose crisis 

A study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence examined records describing xylazine-present overdose mortality across the US. Time trends in overdose mortality and overlap with xylazine and other drugs were also examined. Read the full study here.

Highlighting the hidden dangers of a ‘weak’ opioid: Deaths following use of dihydrocodeine in England

In a study recently published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, investigators analyzed trends in dihydrocodeine-related deaths in England, including sources and doses of dihydrocodeine, and decedent demographics. Cases from England reported to the National Program on Substance Abuse Deaths where dihydrocodeine was identified at post-mortem and/or implicated in deaths between 2001-2020 were extracted for analysis. Read the full study here. 

Evaluation of increases in drug overdose mortality rates in the US by race and ethnicity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry evaluated increases in drug overdose mortality rates by race and ethnicity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from CDC WONDER platform and the National Center for Health Statistics were used to calculate drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population by race and ethnicity from 1999 to 2020. Read the full study here.

IN THE NEWS

Synthetic opioids stronger than fentanyl have cropped up in the US

With interviews from Drs. Alex Krotulski, Associate Director at The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education, and NDEWS SAG member, and Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a news article recently published in The Hill describes the cyclic pattern that has begun to emerge with the spread of synthetic opioids classified as nitazenes. Read the full article here.

Postdoctoral Fellowships Available Immediately!

The University of Florida Substance Abuse Training Center in Public Health T32 is seeking applicants for two postdoctoral fellowship openings! 

- Fellowships are sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and postdocs receive an annual stipend and health benefits for 2 years. 

- An annual allowance is offered to facilitate attendance at conferences.

- Fellows would work on NDEWS, the ABCD study or other NIDA funded studies with internationally known mentors.

- UF resources include: CTSA; McKnight Brain Institute; Center on Addiction Research and Education; Arts in Medicine; Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence; UF Health Cancer Center; Emerging Pathogens Institute; Institute on Aging

- The T32 program is directed by Dr. Linda Cottler, and co-directed by Dr. Sara Jo Nixon.

Questions should be directed to Ms. Tamara Millay at tmillay@ufl.edu. Applications are considered on a rolling basis; the program values the diversity of its applicants.

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