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USA. How Fentanyl Is Contaminating America’s Cocaine Supply 

The super-potent drug has been the leading killer of the opioid epidemic — now it’s finding its way into illegal stimulants, and the death toll is rising. (Rolling Stone, USA, 09.10.2018)


Opioid, Withdrawal.

Shah M, Huecker MR.

StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2018 Jan-.
2018 Sep 17.


Synthesis of opium alkaloids using electric current

A selective electrochemical reaction enables the synthesis of thebaine and offers a solution to a long-standing synthetic challenge. (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, 28.06.2018)


Two new synthetic opioids to be placed under control across the EU - Council implementing decision to control cyclopropylfentanyl and methoxyacetylfentanyl.

(EMCDDA, Lissabon 28.09.2018 (News release No 6/2018))


Synthese von Opium-Alkaloiden mithilfe von elektrischem Strom

Eine selektive elektrochemische Reaktion erlaubt die Darstellung von Thebain und löst eine altbekannte synthetische Herausforderung. (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, 28.06.2018)


UK. An ancient fix: traces of opium found in Bronze Age jug

Cyprus’s reputation as a party destination may date back to the Bronze Age. The first evidence of opium has been found in containers made on the island. (The Times, UK, 03.10.2018)


Brain's response to opioids: New research provides expanded insights: Study also provides clues to new class of painkillers with fewer side effects.

Opioids are powerful painkillers that act on the brain, but they have a range of harmful side effects including addiction. Researchers have developed a tool that gives deeper insights into the brain's response to opioids. (Temple University Health System, Science Daily, 21.06.2018)


Over-expression of CCK1 Receptor Reverse Morphine Dependence.

Hao L, Wen D, Gou H, Yu F, Cong B, Ma C.

Int J Pept Res Ther. 2018;24(3):471-477. doi: 10.1007/s10989-018-9696-7.


EMCDDA. Fentanils and synthetic cannabinoids: driving greater complexity into the drug situation. 

An update from the EU Early Warning System (June 2018), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.


A bifunctional nociceptin and mu opioid receptor agonist is analgesic without opioid side effects in nonhuman primates

By Huiping Ding, Norikazu Kiguchi, Dennis Yasuda, Pankaj R. Daga, Willma E. Polgar, James J. Lu, Paul W. Czoty, Shiroh Kishioka, Nurulain T. Zaveri, Mei-Chuan Ko

Science Translational Medicine29 Aug 2018 


Study upends conventional view of opioid mechanism of action - NIH-funded scientists find new molecular target for developing safer pain medications

A new discovery shows that opioids used to treat pain, such as morphine and oxycodone, produce their effects by binding to receptors inside neurons, contrary to conventional wisdom that they acted only on the same surface receptors as endogenous opioids, which are produced naturally in the brain. However, when researchers funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) used a novel molecular probe to test that common assumption, they discovered that medically used opioids also bind to receptors that are not a target for the naturally occurring opioids. (NIDA – National Institute on Drug Abuse, USA, 09.05.2018)


Bifunktionales Opiat könnte gegen Schmerzen und bei Abhängigkeit helfen

Winston-Salem/North Carolina – Kann ein Opiat, das Schmerzen 100-mal stärker als Morphium lindert, frei von Risiken und Nebenwirkungen sein und sich sogar zur Behandlung einer Opiatabhängigkeit eignen? US-Forscher haben einen bifunktionalen Opiatagonisten erfolgreich an Primaten getestet (Science Translational Medicine2018; doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar3483). (aerzteblatt.de, 31.08.2018)


A Genetically Encoded Biosensor Reveals Location Bias of Opioid Drug Action

Stoeber, Miriam et al.

Neuron , Volume 0 , Issue 0 , doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.04.021



INCB: Tramadol, review of the global situation

(INCB – International Narcotics Control Board, E/INCB/2018/Alert.7, 2018)


How fentanyl could alter global drug policy

Policymakers and the public are acutely aware that the powerful opioid fentanyl has significantly worsened the country’s opioid epidemic, accounting for almost 20,000 deaths in 2016. But few people appreciate fentanyl’s potential to permanently alter illegal drug markets and international relations along with them. (Washington Post, 22.05.2018)


Will Widespread Synthetic Opioid Consumption Induce Epigenetic Consequences in Future Generations?

Gilardi F, Augsburger M, Thomas A.

Front Pharmacol. 2018 Jul 3;9:702. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00702.


Opioids of the Masses - Stopping an American Epidemic From Going Global

(Foreign Affairs, Mai/Juni 2918)


An overview of abuse-deterrent opioids and recommendations for practical patient care.

Adler JA, Mallick-Searle T.

J Multidiscip Healthc. 2018 Jul 11;11:323-332. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S166915.


Deadly Chinese Fentanyl Is Creating a New Era of Drug Kingpins

The opioid’s potency has transformed the global trafficking — and policing — of narcotics. (Bloomberg, 22.05.2018)


Schutzmechanismus der Zellen schwächt Opiatwirkung ab

Jena – Eine Toleranzentwicklung kann bei der Opiattherapie bekanntlich eine Vervielfachung der Dosis notwendig machen, um die gewünschte Schmerzlinderung zu erzielen. Mechanismen, die zur Desensibilisierung der Opioidrezeptoren führen, hat jetzt ein internationales Wissenschaftlerteam aus Jena, Sydney, Melbourne und Marburg beschrieben. (aerzteblatt.de, 03.08.2018)


Tramadol. An Opioid Popularised by a Nazi Doctor Is Ravaging Africa

The former director of the drug enforcement agency in Nigeria estimated in 2016 that seven in ten boys were abusing drugs like tramadol. (Vice, UK, 21.05.2018)


Kanada. Nearly all drugs sold as heroin in Vancouver contain fentanyl, study finds

More than 80 per cent of drugs sold as heroin on the streets of Vancouver don’t contain any heroin at all, while nearly all of them contain the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, according to the findings of a pilot project led by the B.C. Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU). (The Globe and Mail, Kanada, 31.07.2018)


Body's 'natural opioids' affect brain cells much differently than morphine

A new study led by UC San Francisco scientists shows that brain cells, or neurons, react differently to opioid substances created inside the body - the endorphins responsible for the "natural high" that can be produced by exercise, for example - than they do to morphine and heroin, or to purely synthetic opioid drugs, such as fentanyl. The researchers say their findings may help explain why the use of synthetic opioids can lead to addiction. (University of California San Francisco, USA, 10.05.2018)


Pharmacotoxicology of Non-fentanyl Derived New Synthetic Opioids.

Solimini R, Pichini S, Pacifici R, Busardò FP, Giorgetti R.

Front Pharmacol. 2018 Jun 20;9:654. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00654. 


Re-energizing the Development of Pain Therapeutics in Light of the Opioid Epidemic

Skolnick, Phil et al.

Neuron , Volume 92 , Issue 2 , 294 - 297 


[Neurobiology of opioid dependence].

Scherbaum N, Bonnet U.

Schmerz. 2018 Jun 26. doi: 10.1007/s00482-018-0304-8. [Epub ahead of print] German. 



Blocking interleukin-4 enhances efficacy of vaccines for treatment of opioid abuse and prevention of opioid overdose.

Laudenbach M, Baruffaldi F, Robinson C, Carter P, Seelig D, Baehr C, Pravetoni M.

Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 3;8(1):5508. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23777-6.


Is tapentadol a potential Trojan horse in the postdextropropoxyphene era in India?

Basu A, Mahadevan J, Ithal D, Selvaraj S, Chand PK, Murthy P.

Indian J Pharmacol. 2018 Jan-Feb;50(1):44-46. doi: 10.4103/ijp.IJP_21_17.


Guidance: Fentanyl: preparing for a future threat - Incident planning for potent opioids arriving into the illicit drug market. 

Guidance for local areas on planning to deal with fentanyl or another potent opioid

Ref: PHE publications gateway number 2017860, PHE – Public Health England, 08.05.2018


Neues Verfahren zeigt, wie Opioide im Gehirn (genau) wirken

Martinsried – Ein neues Verfahren, das tiefere Einblicke in die Reaktion des Gehirns auf Opioide erlaubt, haben Forscher aus Deutschland, Österreich und den USA in der Fachzeitschrift Science vorgestellt (doi 10.1126/science.aao4927). (aerzteblatt.de, 07.07.2018)


Tramadol. Schmerzmittel als Droge: Westafrika wird von Opioiden überschwemmt (Audio)

Nicht nur in den USA sind ganze Bevölkerungschichten von opioiden Schmerzmitteln abhängig. Auch in Togo und anderen afrikanischen Ländern sind die kleinen grünen Pillen längst eine Volksdroge. Die Folgen sind verheerend. Suchthilfe für die Betroffenen gibt es kaum. (Deutschlandfunk, 22.04.2018, Audio, 27:11)


Opioide bei chronischen Schmerzen - DAUERHAFT STARKE SCHMERZEN – WANN HELFEN OPIOIDE? Ärztliches Zentrum für Qualität in der Medizin (ÄZQ)

Im Auftrag von: Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung (KBV) und Bundesärztekammer (BÄK)

2. Auflage, 2018 DOI: 10.6101/AZQ/000409


Changes in Synthetic Opioid Involvement in Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 2010-2016. 

Jones CM, Einstein EB, Compton WM. 

JAMA.2018;319(17):1819–1821. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.2844


Opiates increase the number of hypocretin-producing cells in human and mouse brain and reverse cataplexy in a mouse model of narcolepsy

By Thomas C. Thannickal, Joshi John, Ling Shan, Dick F. Swaab, Ming-Fung Wu, Lalini Ramanathan, Ronald McGregor, Keng-Tee Chew, Marcia Cornford, Akihiro Yamanaka, Ayumu Inutsuka, Rolf Fronczek, Gert Jan Lammers, Paul F. Worley, Jerome M. Siegel

Science Translational Medicine 27 Jun 2018 


Europa. Brüssel will zwei psychoaktive Substanzen in Europa verbieten

Brüssel – Zwei als äußerst gefährlich eingestufte neuartige Drogen sollen nach dem Willen der EU-Kommission auf den Index kommen. Die psychoaktiven Substanzen Cyclopropylfentanyl und Methoxyacetylfentanyl müssten europaweit verboten werden, schlug die Brüsseler Behörde heute vor. (aerzteblatt.de, 30.04.2018)


Opiate könnten Narkolepsie lindern

Los Angeles – Die zufällige Entdeckung einer erhöhten Hypocretin-Konzentration im Gehirn von Drogentoten brachte US-Forscher auf die Idee, die Narkolepsie, die durch einen Mangel an Hypocretin ausgelöst wird, mit Opiaten zu behandeln. Erste tierexperimentelle Studien in Science Translational Medicine (2018; 10: eaao4953) zeigen, dass die Therapie erfolgreich sein könnte. (aerzteblatt.de, 29.06.2018)