An Integrated, Holistic Analytical Response to the Opioid Epidemic

In the USA, the escalation of deaths due to drug toxicity has been driven largely by rising numbers of overdoses involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, such as fentanyl. In 2016, synthetic opioids (other than methadone) were involved in 19,413 overdose deaths representing 30.5% of total drug deaths; 3.5 times the number observed in 2014.

In many jurisdictions, public safety and public health entities are working together to enhance the timeliness and accuracy of the analytical characterization and toxicology testing of novel synthetic opioids. The improved sharing and early detection of these analytical data are intended to inform surveillance, interdiction efforts, patient intervention and treatment, all of which are critical to curbing the opioid epidemic.

Read an article from the Journal of Analytical Toxicology to learn more about how opportunities for partnership, increased communication and expanding best practices can help us move toward an integrated, holistic analytical response to the opioid epidemic.

Source: Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Dept of Justice

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Item of Interest

The language barrier between English-speaking investigators and Spanish-speaking witnesses is a growing problem. (Updated 28 February 2011)