New synthetic opioids complicate public health overdoses.

An illustration of a pill casting a shadow, as if the pill were invisible made of dotted lines.

Example: Aïda Amer/Axios

Synthetic opioids up to More than 40 times more potent than fentanyl, a growing number of US cities are undermining their public health response to the addiction crisis.

The big picture: Nitazine comes in powder, pill, and liquid form and requires time-consuming lab work to monitor. Users are often hooked on substances they think are fentanyl or heroin, which can be fatal or cause death. More severe withdrawal symptoms.

  • The arrival comes as law enforcement and public health officials grapple with increasing usetranq dope“- a mixture of drawn animal anesthesia and fentanyl The focus of the White House And it was It has been found in at least 36 states Plus Washington DC
  • But most hospitals and medical examiners don’t routinely test for either substance, and hospital data doesn’t distinguish nitazene from fentanyl poisoning.
  • A Centers for Disease Control review of overdose deaths in Tennessee concluded overdoses related to nitazine. It can take up to four doses of naloxoneOpioid reversal medication that usually comes in two packs.

Game Mode: Philadelphia health officials in December Issued an official alert. After the discovery of opioids in four street drugs. Nitazine has also been found in counterfeit oxycodone tablets Australia And Scotland In the last month.

In numbers: Tennessee saw nitazene-related overdoses go from 10 to 42 between 2020 and 2021. According to the CDC reportIt is suggested that the figures may be a low number.

  • Last April, a warning from the Ohio attorney general warned Nitzens that “Frankenstein opioidsBetween the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, it reported 27 to 143 cases — a nearly seven-fold increase.

Yes, but: According to the available data, this class of chemicals is “very rare,” said Eric Dawson, vice president of clinical affairs. Millennium Healthtesting laboratory monitoring of prescription and illegal drug use.

  • Philadelphia hasn’t seen the nitazine analog in widespread use, said Constance D’Angelo, chief medical examiner for the city’s health department.

Between the lines; The Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office plans to expand its ability to identify synthetic opioids, but DiAngelo told Axios that the manpower and specialized equipment needed to identify the substance is limited.

  • Health departments’ lack of access to toxicology data from hospital ERS due to privacy restrictions also limits the scope of known data.
  • You can search for the use of Nitazen. Syndromic surveillancea system where medical facilities share anonymous data such as self-reported patient complaints with health departments.
  • But people may not tell their doctors about the drugs they are taking unknowingly.

The main point is: Newer, more dangerous drugs are rapidly entering the US supply, according to Steven Pacik, head of clinical information programs at Millennium Health.

  • And because of their strength, “they kill a lot of users before they leave the tracker.”
  • HHS awarded More than 1.6 billion dollars to states and tribal communities in September to target the opioid crisis through education, prevention and treatment.

What we are looking at: While nitazine is a relatively new problem, it adds urgency to congressional debates on how to respond to the opioid crisis and fund public health efforts.

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