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CDC Issues Alert On Deadly New Designer Drug, Acetyl Fentanyl

From Forbes:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an alert on a peculiar cluster of designer drug overdose deaths that will appear in the August 30th issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

In March and early April this year, Rhode Island public health officials noted an unusually high number of drug overdose deaths, with 21 cases in one month relative to an average of nine. Ten deaths were associated with what was originally thought to be the prescription opioid drug, fentanyl.

However, subsequent detailed analysis by the CDC and Rhode Island public health officials revealed that the drug was a chemical relative called acetyl fentanyl. Four additional cases were identified later up through May 26th, bringing the acetyl fentanyl death total to 14.

Authorities called these cases a “cluster” because all but one death occurred in the same small northern Rhode Island town with no cases in the state capital of Providence. Other drugs such as cocaine, other opioids, alcohol, and benzodiazepines were found in the majority of victims, but one person died solely from acetyl fentanyl.

While first identified in Rhode Island, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs reported on June 27th that acetyl fentanyl was implicated in 50 fatal overdoses and five non-fatal overdoses across that state this year.

Most concerning to public health officials is that acetyl fentanyl is truly a new designer drug in that no previous reports exist documenting overdose deaths with this chemical. Even the internationally-known recreational drug information site Erowid.org does not currently have any entries on this chemical.
 
Posted: 8/30/2013 10:13:00 AM

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Road safety conference targets drug and alcohol

From Health Canal:

Road safety experts are hoping to uncover the next big breakthrough in reducing the road toll at T2013: The 20th International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety conference to be held in Brisbane from August 25-28.

T2013 conference chair and director of CARRS-Q Professor Barry Watson said the conference, which brings together road safety experts from across the world, would tackle one of the major causes of road deaths and injury - drink and drug driving.

Professor Watson said "designer drugs" were the new face of drug abuse across the world.

"Research has shown new designer drugs that mimic drugs such as cannabis and amphetamines are being used at an unprecedented rate and are difficult to detect," he said.

"This is presenting a huge challenge and one that will be a major focus of the conference.

"Being a step ahead in the detection of designer drugs is crucial and we will have guest speakers including Marilyn Huestis from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Barry Logan from the Centre for Forensic Science Research and Education to provide an insight into how we can overcome this challenge."

The ICADTS conference is regarded as the leading international meeting in the field of alcohol, drugs and traffic safety.

Posted: 8/28/2013 10:25:00 AM

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New “Crazy Clown” Drug Hits Streets Of Georgia

From WSAV:

A scary new drug known as "Crazy Clown" is sending some users to the hospital. The synthetic incense is causing authorities to sound the alarm.

Chief Matt Doering says all eight users, ages 16 to 26, were unable to control themselves.  Some were taken to the ICU unable to breathe.

Police are now testing "Crazy Clown" to see what chemicals it contains.  Doering says manufacturers and distributors may be skirting state and federal laws by altering ingredients to stay one step ahead of the law.

The  CDC is now investigating, concerned about effect of "Crazy Clown" on other users across the country.  Right now, all police can do is issue a warning.

Posted: 8/28/2013 10:20:00 AM

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