Street Drug 15 Times More Powerful Than Heroin

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Acetyl-FentanylAn emerging street drug that is up to 15 times more potent than heroin—sold to users as heroin—is looming on the horizon, according to an article in the journal in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

The quasi-legal drug, called acetyl fentanyl, is an opiate that is brewed into street drugs. Users generally inject it intravenously. The drug has no accepted medical use, and it is not regulated. It is unlawful for human consumption, but if the package labeling specifies not for human consumption, it is technically legal.

Users may not know what they’re ingesting, and should they overdose, they may tell a physician they used heroin and may have symptoms in line with heroin overdose—but that would be off the mark.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that labs provide analytical options for acetyl fentanyl to furnish enhanced surveillance for healthcare providers.

Diagnostic testing options include a qualitative blood test using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry from Quest Diagnostics, Madison, NJ, and a Fentanyl ELISA kit from Randox Toxicology, UK, which detects metabolites norfentanyl and acetylfentanyl.

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