National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


NDEWS Hotspot Alerts October 13–19, 2022: Opioid, heroin, methamphetamine, and non-opioid 911 dispatches

This week's NDEWS Hotspot Alert reported two counties with 911 dispatch counts higher than 10. San Francisco, CA had 23 methamphetamine-related 911 dispatches, and Salt Lake, UT had 10 non-opioid-related 911 dispatches. Higher counts were reported for 15 US counties. View the full report here. Click here to read more about NDEWS Hotspot Alerts.

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

Context: Recent trends surrounding metonitazene and other nitazene drugs have been corroborated across multiple data signals. According to Dr. Alex Krotulski at NPS Discovery, a spike in positivity for metonitazene occurred most recently in Q1/Q2 2022.

What was found? A new Subreddit discussion trend for metonitazene appeared in September/October 2022. Total mentions of metonitazene in drug Subreddits returned to pre-2022 levels.

What is Metonitazene? Metonitazene is a nitazene drug derivative of etonitazene.

How is Metonitazene being discussed? In this recent trend, metonitazene was predominantly mentioned by commenters who have previously discussed the drug on Reddit. Metonitazene is frequently co-mentioned with other nitazene drugs in Subreddits dedicated to opioid discussion.

Drug Terms: Metonitazene, Nitazene.


Notes from the field: Antihistamine positivity and involvement in drug overdose deaths — 44 jurisdictions, US

A report recently published in MMWR analyzed overdose deaths related to antihistamine use. Results showed that 14.7% of overdose deaths were antihistamine-positive, 3.6% were antihistamine-involved, 0.1% involved only antihistamines with no other drugs. The antihistamine-involved deaths mainly co-involved opioids such as fentanylRead the full report here.

A century of research on psychedelics: A scientometric analysis on trends and knowledge maps of hallucinogens, entactogens, entheogens and dissociative drugs 

A recently published study in European Neuropsychopharmacology outlined clinical research on psychedelics over the last century. Included were 31,687 documents, with major trends identified for hallucinogens/entheogens, entactogens, novel psychoactive substances, and dissociative substances. Read the full study here.


Working to close the gap in access to addiction treatment: National treatment addiction week 

National Addiction Treatment Week, hosted yearly by The American Society of Addiction Medicine began October 17, 2022. This week raises awareness of the gap in addiction care and treatment, and encourages physicians to place emphasis on treating addiction and joining the addiction medicine field. Read the full bulletin here.

FDA confirms widespread shortages of Adderall

Last week, the FDA announced that there is a shortage of Adderall, as demand of the drug has been increasing. High regulations and manufacturing issues have contributed to the shortage. Since it may be difficult to get prescriptions for generic versions of Adderall, the FDA recommends that patients speak with their doctor about other treatment options. Read the full article here.

Scientists discover 'disconcerting' new imitation etamine on the market

A recently published article in VICE World News described a newly detected recreational drug in Australia that has similar chemical qualities to ketamine but reportedly with different effects. The dissociative was first detected in mid-August, and lab tests revealed that the white powder was a structurally similar substance that had been synthesized from scratch. As testing was taking place, researchers in China published a paper highlighting the identification of three novel psychoactive substances—one of which was CanKet or 2F-NENDCK. Read the full article here.

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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 with lived experience with the use of drugs can participate. Please use the QR code above to sign up. To share this information with your network click here.

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