Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) is a national venue-intercept study planned for the 17 NDEWS Sentinel Sites. Over the next five years, RSR will take place in at least six sentinel sites per year over a weekend period.
This initiative uses a modified version of Co-Investigator Dr. Joseph Palamar’s validated rapid survey, which has been previously used to survey over 4,500 nightclub attendees. The rapid survey is programmed to assess the use and correlates of use of over 100 drugs, many of which are new psychoactive substances (NPS), and queries whether users experienced acute adverse effects from specific drugs used.
Biological testing is important when investigating NPS, which is why NDEWS is adding hair testing of surveyed individuals. Dr. Palamar has been detecting extensive underreported NPS use via hair testing, as many individuals were unknowingly exposed through adulterated drugs. Specimens will be tested by Dr. Alberto Salomone with three published methods utilizing ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). Two of these methods (developed by Dr. Salomone) are capable of detecting over 100 NPS––mostly synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones (“bath salts”), and now fentanyl analogs and other potent opioid NPS.
Substance use in the past 12 months: Lexington, KY | Survey Dates: June 24-26,2022 | N= 227
The National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) team visited Lexington, KY on June 24-26, 2022. The RSR team conducted surveys (N=227) in public spaces, including parks, nightlife, town squares, sidewalks, malls, and libraries. For additional context regarding substance use in Kentucky, the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center provided information on state-wide trends. Among the 2,251 fatal drug overdose deaths among Kentucky residents in 2021, 79.6% involved at least one opioid, while 51% involved at least one stimulant. Since 2020, the number of overdose deaths from opioids increased by 12% and 38.8% for stimulants. White individuals accounted for 90.7% of all overdose deaths, while 65.2% of all overdose deaths were among males. Fentanyl was involved in 69% of all drug overdose deaths, followed by methamphetamine at 38.1%
Substance use in the past 12 months: New York City, New York | Survey Dates: May 20-22, 2022 | N= 254
The National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) team visited New York City, NY May 20-22, 2022. Interviews (N=254) were conducted in public spaces, including parks, transportation stations, town squares, shopping areas, nightlife, and music venues. Data presented include past 12-month and past 1-month use. In March 2022, the NDEWS Sentinel Site Director for New York City, Dr. Alex Harocopos, submitted the most recent overdose statistics reported by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Compared to 2019, the rate of overdose deaths in 2020 increased from 21.9 to 30.5 per 100,000 NYC residents. Overdose deaths in 2020 involved cocaine (48%), heroin (47%), opioid analgesics (16%), excluding fentanyl and tramadol, and methamphetamine (5%). More than one central nervous system depressant (e.g., alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids) was involved in 48% of deaths. The most common opioid in cocaine-involved overdose deaths was fentanyl. Cocaine and prescription opioids were also among the top self-reported substances used in the past 12 months, according to the NDEWS RSR findings.
Substance use in the past 12 months: Seattle, WA | Survey Dates: May 13-15, 2022 | N=187
The National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) team visited Seattle, Washington, May 13-15, 2022. The RSR team conducted surveys (N=187) in public spaces, including sidewalks, town squares, malls, parks, and outside stadiums, gymnasiums, restaurants, and nightlife. Eleven of the 43 respondents who answered the qualitative component of the survey, which assessed participants’ perceptions of new drugs/drug trends in the community, mentioned M30 pills, known as “Blues”. Participants described “Blues” as fentanyl pills that can be “smoked” or “torched and injected”. Participants also reported on the dangers of “Blues”. NDEWS published an alert on May 20, 2022 in response to the Seattle site visit findings coupled with signals identified from other NDEWS components regarding M30.
Substance use in the past 12 months: Washington, DC | Survey Dates: April 15-17, 2022 | N=249
The National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) team visited Washington DC on April 15-17, 2022. The RSR team conducted surveys (N=249) in public spaces, including parks, national monuments, nightlife areas such as bars and clubs, transportation stations including bus and subway stations, housing resource centers, and pedestrian walkways within Washington DC.
Substance use in the past 12 months: Gainesville, Florida | Survey Date: April 9, 2022 | N=237
The National Drug Early Warning System’s (NDEWS) Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) team conducted rapid venue-intercept surveys in Gainesville, FL, on April 9th, 2022. Florida is one of the NDEWS Sentinel Sites with state-wide coverage, and Gainesville is home to the University of Florida and the NDEWS Coordinating Center. The RSR team conducted surveys in parks, nightlife areas (bars/clubs), malls (shopping areas), outdoor markets, grocery stores, and a housing shelter. Notable differences between the Gainesville, FL site visit and the Tampa, FL site visit include the following: Gainesville respondents reported use of DMT, poppers/nitrites, synthetic marijuana, Modafinil, and 1P-LSD, while Tampa respondents did not. Conversely, Tampa respondents reported NPS benzodiazepine use, while Gainesville respondents did not.
Substance use in the past 12 months: Tampa, Florida | Survey dates: February 18-20, 2022 | N=223
The National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) team visited Tampa, FL on February 18-20, 2022. Tampa was chosen as a Hotspot location based on recent increases in drug-related 911 emergency medical services dispatches reported by biospatial.io. The RSR team conducted surveys in public spaces, including sidewalks near pedestrian walkways, downtown areas, public parks, shopping mall areas, skate parks, and nightlife areas such as bars and clubs within Tampa.
Substance use in the past 12 months: Atlanta Metro Area | Survey Dates: January 28-30, 2022 | N=151
The Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) team visited Atlanta, GA, on January 28-30, 2022, for the RSR study. The RSR team conducted surveys within public spaces, such as sidewalks near downtown/college campuses, public parks, shopping mall areas, libraries, farmers’ markets, and public transportation stops within Atlanta. Participants’ (n=151) zip codes included 19 counties throughout the Atlanta Metro Area.
Substance use in the past 12 months: San Francisco Bay Area | Survey Dates: November 12-14, 2021 | N=71
The NDEWS team has launched the Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) study, with the first weekend visit occurring November 12-14 in San Francisco. Participant’s zip codes were from: San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. People were interviewed in public spaces, such as public parks, near bars/restaurants, shopping mall areas, and public transportation stops within San Francisco.