National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


NDEWS Hotspot Alerts October 20–26, 2022: Opioid, heroin, methamphetamine, and non-opioid 911 dispatches

This week's NDEWS Hotspot Alert​s ​report ​includes 21 counties with higher-than-expected drug-related 911 dispatch counts over the previous 7-day period. View the full report hereClick here to read more about NDEWS Hotspot Alerts.


Q3 2022 NPS Trend Reports

The Center for Forensic Science Research & Education’s NPS Discovery program recently published their Q3 2022 NPS Trend Reports. These reports focus on four main NPS classifications: benzodiazepines, opioids, stimulants and hallucinogens, and synthetic cannabinoids. The most prevalent NPS in Q3 2022 by drug class include etizolam (NPS benzodiazepines), isotonitazene (NPS opioids)N,N-Dimethylpentylone (NPS stimulants and hallucinogens), and MDMB-4en-PINACA (synthetic cannabinoids). View the four reports here.

Context: This alert includes three years of Subreddit trend history for the most prevalent NPS identified in the above NPS Discovery's Q3 2022 Trend Reports.

Etizolam Trend: Etizolam was mentioned most frequently in drug Subreddits in 2020 and least frequently in 2022.

Drug Terms: Etizolam, Xanax.

Isotonitazene Trend: Total mentions of Isotonitazene were elevated in 2020 and remained constant from 2021 to 2022.

Drug Terms: Isotonitazene.

N,N-Dimethylpentylone Trend: Mentions of N,N-Dimethylpentylone re-emerged on Reddit in Q3 2022, after no mentions were found in 2020-2021.

Drug Terms: N,N-Dimethylpentylone, Dipentylone, Dimethylpentylone.

MDMB-4en-PINACA Trend: Dozens of MDMB-4en-PINACA Subreddit mentions were made by a handful of unique commenters in 2020. MDMB-4en-PINACA was mentioned most frequently on Reddit in 2021, with fewer mentions in 2022.

Drug Terms: MDMB-4en-PINACA.

NPS Discovery toolkit for N-Pyrrolidino Etonitazene

A new NPS Discovery Toolkit was released this week on the emerging novel psychoactive substance N-Pyrrolidino Etonitazene. This toolkit includes a public alert, trend plots, quarterly trend reports, a drug monograph, analytical methods and N-Pyrrolidino Etonitazene concentrations, and metabolism of N-Pyrrolidino Etonitazene. View the full report here.


Growing role of gabapentin in opioid-related overdoses highlights misuse potential and off-label prescribing practices

A recently published medical news and perspectives piece in JAMA Network describes the role of gabapentin in opioid-related overdoses, its misuse potential, and off-label prescribing practices that may cause harm to people with opioid use disordersNDEWS Scientific Advisory Member, Matthew Ellis, said “We really don’t have data on what efficacy and dosages look like for this off-label use.” Read the full article here.

Alachua County, FL health authorities see rise in opioid emergencies

An article published by WUFT reports that Alachua County, FL has seen an overall increase in opioid-related 911 calls over the past six years, with numbers continuing to rise throughout 2022. To combat the increase, The Florida Department of Health announced an initiative on September 1, 2022, to provide naloxone to county health departments across the state. Currently, there are only three health facilities in Alachua County that provide naloxone: UF HealthStreet, Meridian Behavioral HealthCare, and GRACE Marketplace. When asked for a quote for the NDEWS Weekly Briefing, Dr. Catherine Striley, deputy director of UF HealthStreet and NDEWS Co-Investigator, said "I think it's really important for everyone to carry naloxone with them because you never know when you might need it. Our community health workers have it available everyday for distribution to the community." Read the full article here.

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 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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