US President Donald Trump and the Chinese president Xi Jinping met at this year’s G20 Summit a week ago to discuss the fentanyl problem in the US and what can be done to reduce the number of overdose deaths from it. Both leaders achieved agreement on classifying the drug as a controlled substance and how this drug needs regulated and monitored more closely in its distribution, particularly illicit manufacturing and selling.
Fentanyl caused half of the synthetic opioids deaths in 2017, surpassing heroin and other opioid drug-related deaths, according to federal data. However, not every user of fentanyl is an intended user of the synthetic opioid. An article from NBC News noted that fentanyl is cut with the more commonly known drug heroin, yet users are not aware that fentanyl has been included substance they are taking. The reason for fentanyl being cut with heroin, according to Sarah Mars from the University of California San Francisco, is due to its lower cost when compared to heroin and it’s easier distribution due to its lightness and smaller size. As a result, users are unaware they are taking fentanyl and die from using it unblatently.
Other fentanyl-related substances that have hit the illicit market are carfentanil, 3-methylfentanyl and furanylfentanyl. These aren’t well known names of drug substances in the illicit drug market, but they are being substituted for more common drugs in the black market like Oxycontin and the anti-depressant drug Xanax.
Randox Toxicology can provide a solution with its state-of-the-art Biochip Array Technology screening solution, as well as other drug testing technologies in ELISA kits, reagents and quality control. Utilising simultaneous multi-analyte drug detection, the Biochip ensures efficiency in testing and quality in results with excellent correlation with confirmatory testing. Our two New Psychoactive Substance Biochip panels test for the latest drugs in the illicit market, and we are constantly updating our test menu to keep up with the ever changing drug trends.