Friday, 22 Mar 2019

You are here

DEA Cracks Down on Illicit Fentanyl

Reuters reports that  U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declaed it would classify illicit versions of fentanyl at the same level as heroin, allowing criminal prosecution of anyone who possesses, distributes or manufactures illicit versions of the drug.

We previously reported on increasing opioid overdose deaths (quadrupled from 1999 to 2015) and that most of these were from heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl. (https://buff.ly/2eHAjpn)

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were responsible for more than 33,000 U.S. deaths in 2015. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

Currently fentanyl is currently classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it is highly addictive but has a medical purpose.

The DEA has now named illicit fentanyl as a Schedule 1 drug, along with heroin, means that is addictive and has no medicinal purpose.

These drugs are chemically similar to fentanyl and have similar effects on the human body, but chemists tweak their molecular structure so that they fall outside of the DEA’s scheduling regime, thereby skirting the law.

The new  emergency scheduling change of fentanyl analogues is only temporary and will last 2 years, but the DEA can either extend it for an additional year or make permanent schedule changes to protect the public.

Disclosures: 
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

Add new comment

More Like This

New Sleep Medicine Guidelines for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has established new guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing in adults, specifically guiding the use of positive airway pressure (PAP) in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults. 

Pain Drives the Use of Medical Marijuana

A report from the University of Michigan examined state-wide medical marijuana showing most of it is used for chronic pain.

The authors include Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D., Daniel J. Clauw, M.D., Rebecca L. Haffajee, Ph.D., and Saurav Gangopadhyay, M.P.H. undertook this investigation to to assess why people are using cannabis medically. 

Compounded Pain Creams - Expensive Placebos?

The Annals of Internal Medicine reports that the growth and use of compounded pain creams is unwarranted as they were no better than placebo in a randomized controlled trial, suggesting their higher costs are unjustifiable compared to other topical commercially available agents (lidocaine, diclofenac, capsaicin, etc.). (Citation source: https://buff.ly/2BkTj58)

Opioids Double Rates of Suicides and Overdoses

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that the rates of suicide and drug overdoses has doubled in the last 17 years, and that opioids are largely to blame.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention databases, researchers show that the sheer number of deaths from suicides and unintentional overdoses together rose from 41,364 in the year 2000 to 110,749 in 2017.

Cryotherapy Never FDA Approved

Another injury related to whole body cryotherapy (WBC) has been reported by practitioners in Philadelphia, serving as yet another warning of WBC's potential to cause serious adverse effects.