National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


NDEWS Hotspot Alerts: Counties with above-expected counts for drug-related 911 dispatches 

October 27 – November 2, 2022

In this week's NDEWS Hotspot Alerts report, 21 counties in 9 states were identified as having above-expected counts for drug-related 911 dispatches over the previous 7-day period. View the full report hereClick here to read more about NDEWS Hotspot Alerts.

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

What was found? A growing Subreddit discussion trend for Gidazepam appeared in 2022. Total mentions of Gidazepam were highest in October 2022.

What is Gidazepam? Gidazepam is a benzodiazepine derivative drug that metabolizes into Desalkylgidazepam. Gidazepam was originally developed in the Soviet Union.

How is Gidazepam being discussed? Mentions of Gidazepam on Reddit discuss recent availability of the drug. Commenters describe Gidazepam as having a long duration of action compared to other benzodiazepine NPS.

Drug Terms: Gidazepam, Desalkylgidazepam, Hydazepam, Hidazepam.


ToxICFentalog Study Group – Quarterly NPS Report: Q3 2022

Last week, the ToxIC Fentalog Study Group––a partnership between the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) and the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE)–– published their quarterly report on toxicology testing done on residual drugs from suspected opioid overdoses in emergency departments. The report presents drug testing results from 8 sites across the US for Quarter 3 2022, including geographical differences observed for opioids and polydrug use, and the detection of various NPS. Read the full report here.

Sociodemographic and prescribing characteristics that impact long-term retention in buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder among a statewide population

A recently published study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence examined sociodemographic and prescribing characteristics that impact long-term retention in buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder. Results showed 37.8% of Rhode Island residents who were prescribed buprenorphine for treatment of opioid use disorder were retained in  treatment 12 months after treatment initiation. Factors that were associated with long-term treatment retention included older age, living close to the pharmacy where a prescription was filled, and having Medicaid insurance. Read the full article here.


CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart agree to pay more than $10 billion to settle opioid claims

CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart have agreed to settle lawsuits that total more than $10 billion dollars regarding claims the companies mishandled opioid prescriptions. More than 3,000 local and state governments have filed suits against pharmacies, distributors, and opioid producers. State and local governments have said the funding will be used to curb the opioid crisis. Read the full article here.


EMCDDA webinar: How wastewater monitoring can boost preparedness for new health threats

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) will be holding an online webinar on November 16 focusing on how wastewater monitoring can boost preparedness for new health threats. Panelists will discuss how wastewater can contribute to the drugs field to monitor new threats, the impact COVID-19 had on drug trends, and how wastewater analysis can help monitor novel psychoactive substances. Read the press release 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 substance use can participate. Please use the QR code above to sign up. To share this information with your network click here.

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