At a time when drug overdoses are becoming more prevalent and lethal, a new report provides a snapshot of regional illicit drug use and, for the first time, highlights the complexity of detecting and treating patients at hospital emergency departments for a severe drug-related event.
The objective of the study, which began in 2016, was to identify illicit drugs that caused overdoses in patients at two hospital emergency departments in Maryland.
Emergency physicians were battling a spike in accidental drug overdoses and related deaths, thought to be linked to a group of designer drugs called synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the chemicals in m
"There is a lot of mystery, fear, and confusion in the current overdose crisis. The DOTS program is a brilliant corrective providing objective evidence about the drugs involved in these cases,” said Dr. Robert DuPont, member the NDEWS Scientific Advisory Group and the first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). “DOTS not only gives answers it also assuages a dangerous fear-driven panic and confusion about new and unknown drugs.
The Special Testing and Research Laboratory’s Emerging Trends Program compiled the data for this report through a query of archived seizure and analysis information from drug evidence analyzed by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s laboratory system. This data is representative of drug evidence seized and analyzed in the date ranges annotated. This is not a comprehensive list of all new psychoactive substances and is not representative of all evidence analyzed by DEA. This data is a quarterly snapshot of the new psychoactive substance market in the United States.
Understanding the geographic variations in impact on different population groups in the USA has become particularly necessary in light of the extreme increase in the use and misuse of street drugs including heroin and the subsequent rise in opioid-related deaths in the USA.