National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


NDEWS Hotspot Alerts in states with full coverage: Opioid, heroin, methamphetamine, and non-opioid 911 dispatches August 25 – 31, 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 seven day period from August 25 – August 31, 2022, seventeen counties had higher-than-expected rates of drug-related dispatches. View the full report here.

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

Context: This alert follows NDEWS Briefing Issue 73 (February 2022) and NPS Discovery's 2022 Q2 Trend Report, which found increasing signals for Flubromazepam in early 2022.

What was found? A trend of increased discussion for the drug Flubromazepam has continued to grow on Reddit in Summer 2022.

To what does Flubromazepam refer? Flubromazepam is a benzodiazepine derivative drug with multiple years of drug Subreddit discussion history.

How is it being discussed? Commenters describe the long duration of Flubromazepam's effects. While the slang term “flubro” is associated with Flubromazepam, it more commonly refers to similar drugs Flubromazolam and Flubrotizolam. Due to this ambiguity, “flubro” mentions were excluded from Flubromazepam counts.

Drug Terms: Flubromazepam, "flubro".


National polydrug use patterns among people who misuse prescription opioids and people who use heroin

A recently published study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, led by NDEWS Scientific Advisory Group Member Dr. Georgiy Bobashev defined, examined, and analyzed national polysubstance use patterns among people who misuse opioids using National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health data. A five-cluster solution for binary indicators of past-month use and a six-cluster solution for frequency of use was identified. Read the full study here.

Receipt of telehealth services, receipt and retention of medications for opioid use disorder, and medically treated overdose among Medicare beneficiaries before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

A study published by our CDC, NIDA and other colleagues in JAMA Psychiatry examined the receipt of telehealth services, receipt and retention of medications for opioid use disorder, and medically treated overdose before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results showed the expansion of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with individuals staying in treatment longer and reducing their risk of medically treated overdose. Read the full study here. Read the NIDA press release here.

Analytical investigation of cannabis biomarkers in raw urban wastewater to refine consumption estimates

A study published earlier this week examined how wastewater analysis of THC biomarkers can provide information on trends in cannabis consumption. Read the full study here.


FDA overdose prevention framework aims to prevent drug overdoses and reduce death

This week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced the FDA Overdose Prevention Framework, which aims to prevent drug overdoses and reduce death. The four priorities of the framework include supporting primary prevention by eliminating unnecessary initial prescription drug exposure and inappropriate prolonged prescribing; encouraging harm reduction through innovation and education; advancing development of evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders; and protecting the public from unapproved, diverted, or counterfeit drugs presenting overdose risks. Read the full article here.

Drug cartels and the US's evolving fentanyl drug supply

In a recently published article, reporters at The Wall Street Journal describe changes to the fentanyl drug supply in the US over the last decade. Read the article here.

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