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America's Hidden Drug Epidemic: It's More than Opioids and Stimulants
The general narrative today is that fentanyl-laced heroin is driving the nation’s overdose epidemic. The current drug problem is far more complex. Opioids and other drugs are now increasingly cut with multiple highly toxic adulterants, in some cases as many as 10 adulterants, in addition to fentanyl. This presentation will provide an overview of several U.S. State Department funded projects using state of the art technologies to test street drugs internationally and domestically, uncovering this unprecedented trend. It will identify the toxic adulterants driving this “hidden” epidemic, their specific health-related effects, and provide guidance to enable health professionals to accurately diagnose adulterant exposure. This novel data suggests that even without fentanyl, overdose and severe near-term health problems, including death, could occur due to a synergistic effect of multiple toxic adulterants. The presentation will also outline new, lethal forms of cocaine on the market.
At the end of the training session, participants will be able to identify the major toxic adulterants appearing in heroin & cocaine, explain the health-related effects of individual toxic adulterants, and explain the importance of evaluating drug users and overdose victims for exposure to adulterants.