National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


NDEWS Hotspot Alerts: Opioid, heroin, methamphetamine, and non-opioid 911 opioid dispatches September 1–7, 2022

NDEWS Hotspot Alerts is a dynamic notification system of that quantifies the degree to which observed 911 dispatch rates for drug-related events deviate from expected ranges of values. View the full report here.

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

What was found? A trend of increased Subreddit discussion for the drug Mephedrone beginning in Fall 2021 has persisted through Summer 2022.

To what does Mephedrone refer? Mephedrone (4-MMC) is a stimulant NPS of the synthetic cathinone class and a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States. Mephedrone has similar structure to cathinones such as metaphedrone (3-MMC).

How is it being discussed? Mentions of 4-MMC on Reddit highlight the drug’s use as an aphrodisiac. Commenters discuss issues with frequently and/or compulsively redosing when taking 4-MMC.

Drug Terms: Mephedrone, 4-MMC, 4-methylmethcathinone, 4-methylephedrone.

Join Virtual HealthStreet

Virtual HealthStreet is an online community of people who will periodically be asked to respond to confidential surveys on their lived experiences with drugs and information on new and emerging drugs. People with lived experience can help us garner a better understanding of emerging drug trends across the US and disseminate early warnings in near real time. Anyone over the age of 18 who lives in the US and has lived experience with new and emerging drugs can participate. Please join our growing community and use the QR code above to sign up. To share this information with your network click here.


Tramadol found as cut in drug samples in the local Rhode Island drug supply

A recently published report by testRI found tramadol in many donated drug samples that were reported to be sold as fentanyl. In all samples where tramadol was found, fentanyl was also present. In one sample (Central Falls 2022), tramadol made up most of the sample that was sold as fentanyl. TestRI tests used equipment collected from the community or donated by individuals or local organizations. Samples are tested using confirmatory toxicology testing. Read the full report here.


Juul settles multi-state youth vaping inquiry for $438.5 million

A two-year investigation by 33 states has resulted in a $438.5 million dollar settlement. The settlement will be paid out over a period of 6 to 10 years. The state investigation found that Juul Labs marketed its e-cigarettes to underage teens using a variety of tactics, including launch parties, product giveaways and ads, and social media posts depicting 'youthful models'. As part of the settlement, Juul has agreed to refrain from a variety of marketing practices, including restrictions on where Juul products may be placed in stores. Read the full article here.

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