National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


NDEWS Hotspot Alerts March 1-10, 2022

The NDEWS team has launched the Hotspot Alerts system to monitor substance use trends across the nation using real-time 911 dispatch data. Hotspot Alerts are a dynamic notification system that quantifies the degree to which the observation deviates from the expected range of values provided by Alerts are updated bi-weekly and limited to US states with statewide partnerships with View the full report here.

Alert from the NDEWS Web Monitoring Team: Online mentions of Xylazine

What was found? A subreddit discussion trend for the drug Xylazine emerged in Fall 2021 and has continued into 2022.

To what does Xylazine refer? Xylazine is a sedative drug used in veterinary anesthesia.

How is it being discussed? Commenters highlight the drug's role as a cutting agent for other opioids (heroin, fentanyl) and/or stimulants (cocaine).

Drug Terms: Xylazine.

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.

Austin-Travis County warning of Xylazine believed to be found in street drugs

A story reported in CBS Austin earlier last week stated the Austin Office of the Chief Medical Officer believes Xylazine is the drug behind a string of overdoses that killed two people and left several others in the hospital last Friday morning. With increases in online mentions of the drug from our Web Monitoring Team we are now seeing the effects of this drug. EMS have also reported the need for doses of 8-10 milligrams of Narcan instead of the standard 2-4 milligrams found in Narcan kits, a key indicator of the use of Xylazine. Read the full story here.


The first fatal intoxication with 3-MeO-PCP in the UK and a review of the literature

 A study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology details the first fatality due to 3-MeO-PCP in the UK with a review of the surrounding literature, details of sample collection and storage conditions, and a caution that 3-MeO-PCP toxicity may be exacerbated by exercise. Read the full study 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 Applications are considered on a rolling basis; the program values the diversity of its applicants.

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