National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


Hotspot Alerts: April 928, 2022

NDEWS Hotspot Alerts is a dynamic notification system of that quantifies the degree to which observed 911 dispatch rates deviate from expected ranges of values over an 84-day window. During the two-week period of April 928, 2022, eight counties had higher-than-expected rates of drug-related dispatches: Alameda, CA; Brevard, FL; Denver, CO; Maricopa, AZ; Riverside, CA; Pasco, FL; Pinellas, FL; and Sacramento, CA. View the alert here.

Alert from the NDEWS Web Monitoring Team: Continued increase in online mentions of 3-Chloro-PCP

Context: This alert follows preliminary reporting of 3-Chloro-PCP Subreddit discussion in NDEWS Weekly Briefing Issue 49 (August 2021).

What was found? Mentions of 3-Chloro-PCP on Reddit indicate sustained, growing interest in the drug. Mention counts in the first months of 2022 double counts from the months of 2021. Notably, mentions of 3-Chloro-PCP in drug Subreddits beginning May 2020 predate the first forensic detection of the drug in December 2020 by more than six months.

What is 3-Chloro-PCP? 3-Chloro-PCP is a dissociative NPS of the arylcyclohexylamine family.

How is 3-Chloro-PCP being discussed? 3-Chloro-PCP is commonly abbreviated as 3-Cl-PCP on Reddit. The drug is frequently co-mentioned with 3-Me-PCP, 3-MeO-PCP, 3-HO-PCP, and similar NPS.

How do people feel about 3-Chloro-PCP? Reports of the drug's effects vary from endorsements to warnings, according to the dosage and route of administration used.

Drug Terms: 3-Chloro-PCP, 3-Cl-PCP.

Harmonization: Data from the Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) effort included mentions of 3-Me-O-PCP, 4-Me-O-PCP, 5-Me-O-PCP in Tampa, Florida in February 2022 and Washington, DC in April 2022. PCP use was reported in San Francisco, California in November 2021 and in Washington, DC, April, 2022.


Nitazenes: Ohio Bureau of Criminal laboratory update

Last week, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation released a public bulletin on nitazenes, describing an increase in the number of items identified as containing nitazenes. Ohio-specific case observations involved adulterants found primarily in combination with fentanyl and fentanyl pharmacophores, as well as in combination with tramadol, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, benzodiazepine pharmacophores, and PCP analogs. The largest number of submissions containing nitazene compounds were received from the counties of: Montgomery, Scotio, and Butler. Read the full bulletin here.

First identification, chemical analysis and pharmacological characterization of N-piperidinyl etonitazene (etonitazenepipne), a recent addition to the 2-benzylbenzimidazole opioid subclass

An article published in Archives of Toxicology details the chemical analysis and pharmacological characterization of N-piperidinyl etonitazene. N-piperidinyl etonitazene represents the recent addition to the expanding class of 2-benzylbenzimidazole 'nitazene' opioids. Investigators reported the first activity-based detection and analytical identification of N-piperidinyl etonitazene in authentic samples. Read the full article here.

UNODC: Three precursors of the most common synthesis routes used in illicit fentanyl manufacture now under international control

Last week, the UNODC published a report announcing the addition of three new precursors that have been used to manufacture fentanyl and its analogs to Table I of the Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988. These three precursors include: norfentanylN-Phenyl-4-piperidinamine (4-AP), and tert-Butyl 4- (phenylamino) piperidine-1-carboxylate (1-boc-4-AP). Read the full report here.

Prevalence of cannabidiol, delta-9 and delta-8 THC and metabolites in workplace drug testing urine specimens

A study published in Journal of Analytical Toxicology evaluated the prevalence and concentrations of delta-8, delta-9, and other cannabinoids in 2,000 regulated and 4,000 non-regulated specimens from workplace drug testing. Results showed 4.9% regulated and 8.3% non-regulated specimens were positive for delta-9. Similarly, 3% regulated and 4.2% non-regulated specimenns were positive for 7-OH-CBD and or 7-carboxy-cannabidiol. Delta-8 was identified in 1.3% of specimens. Read the full study here.


Fact Sheet: White House Releases 2022 National Drug Control Strategy 

Last week, the White House released their 2022 National Drug Control Strategy, which outlines a comprehensive path forward to address addiction and the overdose crisis. The strategy focuses on untreated addiction and drug trafficking and calls for an expansion of access to evidence-based treatments and high-impact harm reduction interventions like naloxone distribution. Read the full fact sheet here.

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