Synthetic Drugs are Not in the News, But They are Still Causing Overdoses

The news media seems to have moved on to other topics than synthetics, perhaps because of all the furor surrounding marijuana in so many states. But at the same time that synthetics fell off the front page, that criminal industry has continued to operate. In fact, in the last few days, news reports have surfaced of a rash of overdoses in the Dallas area. In just 48 hours, just two Dallas-area hospitals received 30 people who had overdosed on “synthetic marijuana” called K2. You may not realize that K2 really has nothing at all to do with marijuana, other than…

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How Long Will it Take “Subsys” to Show Up on Drug Overdose Autopsies?

The FDA approves the new sublingual fentanyl spray, but will this super-strong painkiller make it easier for people to overdose on this drug? In January 2012, the FDA announced the approval of a new form of painkiller: a formulation of fentanyl meant to be sprayed under the tongue (sublingual). The new drug is called Subsys and is meant for those suffering from breakthrough pain from cancer.1 This means that Subsys is only supposed to be used when the patient is already on a painkiller and experiences pain that breaks through the existing opioid barrier. But fentanyl is already a common…

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