National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing

NDEWS ORIGINAL CONTENT

Substance use in the past 12 months: Seattle, WA May 13-15, 2022

The National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) team visited Seattle, Washington, May 13-15, 2022. The RSR team conducted surveys (N=187) in public spaces, including sidewalks, town squares, malls, parks, and outside stadiums, gymnasiums, restaurants, and nightlife. Eleven of the 43 respondents who answered the qualitative component of the survey, which assessed participants' perceptions of new drugs/drug trends in the community, mentioned M30 pills, known as "Blues". Participants described "Blues" as fentanyl pills that can be "smoked" or "torched and injected". Participants also reported on the dangers of "Blues". NDEWS published an alert on May 20, 2022 in response to the Seattle site visit findings coupled with signals identified from other NDEWS components regarding M30. View the full report here.

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

Context: This alert was found by algorithmic monitoring of 80+ drug-oriented Subreddits.

What was found? A Subreddit discussion trend for the drug term "Toseina" has sustained elevated levels throughout 2022.

To what does "Toseina" refer? "Toseina" is a Spanish-language drug term referring to codeine-based cough syrup.

How is it being discussed? Redditors co-mention "Toseina" in English-language discussion with the terms "lean" and "codeine", and discuss purchasing bottles of the substance.

Drug Terms: "Toseina", "lean", "codeine".

Health effects associated with kratom and polysubstance use: A narrative review

A narrative review published in SAGE Journals and led by NDEWS Co-Investigator Dr. Catherine Striley discussed selected health effects associated with using kratom — either alone or with other substances. Results showed cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, and psychiatric effects associated with kratom use. The authors note increased medical awareness of this herb is needed to ensure best-practice medical advice or treatment for people who experienced an adverse health effect that may be associated with using or withdrawing from kratom. Read the full review here.

NOVEL PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

NPS Discovery: Announcement of newly identified novel psychoactive substance, CH-FUBIATA in the US

Earlier this week, NPS Discovery announced the identification of a novel psychoactive substance, CH-FUBIATA. The new substance is classified as a synthetic cannabinoid. Read about its structure, its appearance and its scheduling, among other details, here.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Preliminary findings from drug-related emergency department visits, 2021

Earlier this week, SAMHSA's Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) published their preliminary findings from drug-related emergency department visits in 2021. DAWN identified 141,529 (unweighted) drug-related emergency department visits from 52 participating hospitals. The top five drugs involved in drug-related ED visits were alcohol, opioids, methamphetamine, marijuana, and cocaine. Fentanyl-related emergency department visits rose throughout 2021, peaking in quarter 4. Read the full report here.

New psychoactive substances: 25 years of early warning and response in Europe — an update from the EU Early Warning System 

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) published a report covering 25 years of early warning and response in Europe. The report is divided into three parts: the first looks back at major developments, challenges, accomplishments, and lessons learned from the NPS phenomenon over the last 25 years, the second provides an update on the NPS situation up to the end of December 2021, and the third part looks forward and builds on the lessons from the last 25 years. Read the full report here.

IN THE NEWS

FDA denies authorization to market JUUL products

In a news release published Thursday, June 23, 2022, the US Food and Drug Administration issued marketing denial orders to JUUL Labs Inc. for all of their products currently marketed in the US. As a result, the company must stop selling and distributing the JUUL device and four types of JUULpods. In addition, those products currently on the US market must be removed, or risk enforcement action. The marketing denial orders only pertain to the commercial distribution, importation, and retail sales of these products, and do not restrict individual consumer possession or use. Read the news release here.

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