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Anonymous online sales are surging, and people are dying. Despite dozens of arrests, new merchants — many based in Asia — quickly pop up.

As the nation’s opioid crisis worsens, the authorities are confronting a resurgent, unruly player in the illicit trade of the deadly drugs, one that threatens to be even more formidable than the cartels.

The internet. (New York Times, 10.06.2017)


The US opioid epidemic may be getting even worse. Preliminary data suggests overdoses are soaring, while law enforcement officials have been warned about the dangers of fentanyl after it caused a police officer to collapse. (New Scientist, 09.06.2017)


There have been rising number of deaths in the UK, Europe, and North America which have been linked to the use of two opioids - fentanyl and carfentanil. These drugs are reportedly being mixed with heroin, often without the knowledge of the person making the purchase. (Release, UK, 28.04.2017)


Silver Spring/Maryland – Die US-Arzneimittelbehörde FDA hat den Hersteller Endo Pharmaceuticals unmissverständlich aufgefordert, das Präparat Opana ER vom Markt zu nehmen. Das Schmerzmittel mit dem Opioid Oxymorphon in einer verzögerten Formulierung erfreute sich zuletzt bei Drogenabhängigen großer Beliebtheit, die Tabletten gemörsert und in Flüssigkeit aufgelöst intravenös injizierten. (aerzteblatt.de, 13.06.2017)


Pharmacoepidemiologic analyses of opioid use among OEF/OIF/OND veterans.

Hudson TJ, Painter JT, Martin BC, Austen MA, Williams JS, Fortney JC, Sullivan MD, Edlund MJ.

Pain. 2017 Mar 25. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000874.


Drug binding poses relate structure with efficacy in the μ opioid receptor.

Sutcliffe KJ, Henderson G, Kelly E, Sessions RB.

J Mol Biol. 2017 May 11. pii: S0022-2836(17)30223-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2017.05.009.


Targeting multiple opioid receptors - improved analgesics with reduced side effects?

Günther T, Dasgupta P, Mann A, Miess E, Kliewer A, Fritzwanker S, Steinborn R, Schulz S.

Br J Pharmacol. 2017 Apr 5. doi: 10.1111/bph.13809.



Opiate Analgesics as Negative Modulators of Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis: Potential Implications in Clinical Practice.

Bortolotto V, Grilli M.

Front Pharmacol. 2017 May 9;8:254. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00254. eCollection 2017. Review.


Addiction Classics: Lee Robins' studies of heroin use among US Vietnam veterans.

Hall W, Weier M.

Addiction. 2017 Jan;112(1):176-180. doi: 10.1111/add.13584. Epub 2016 Sep 20. Review.


Deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids (not including methadone), rose a staggering 72 percent in just one year, from 2014 to 2015. Government agencies and officials of all types are rightly concerned by what some are describing as the third wave of our ongoing opioid epidemic.

As a concerned parent, whose top priority is keeping your child safe — and alive — the following are the most important things to understand about fentanyl. (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, 20.04.2017)


A joint US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee has recommended that a new immediate-release (IR) opioid analgesic be approved and that labeling describe the product as deterring abuse via intranasal (IN) and intravenous (IV) routes.

The product — oxycodone hydrochloride tablets with the proposed trade name RoxyBond (Inspirion Delivery Sciences LLC) — would be indicated for the management of moderate to severe pain where use of an opioid analgesic is appropriate.

If the FDA acts on these recommendations, the product would be the first approved IR opioid with abuse-deterrent properties. (Medscape Medical News, 06.04.2017)


Endogenous opioids regulate social threat learning in humans

Jan Haaker, Jonathan Yi, Predrag Petrovic & Andreas Olsson

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 15495 (2017), doi:10.1038/ncomms15495


Opioid Agonist Treatment for Patients with Dependence on Prescription Opioids: Clinical Evidence Synopsis

Nielsen, S., Larance, B. & Lintzeris, N. (2017)

JAMA 317(9):967-968. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.0001



Die Zähne dieses Fisches sehen Furcht erregend aus. Leider ist er nur zehn Zentimeter lang. Dafür wirkt sein Gift ähnlich wie Heroin. (Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Bilder der Woche, 30.03.2017)


The JAMA Network Collection of Articles About Opioids


Intoxications involving acrylfentanyl and other novel designer fentanyls - results from the Swedish STRIDA project.

Helander A, Bäckberg M, Signell P, Beck O.

Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2017 Mar 28:1-11. doi: 10.1080/15563650.2017.1303141.



A staff member began handing out the test strips out of desperation, to try to curb the overdose rates among the center's clientele. (The Fix, USA, 18.05.2017)


Why a tiny, fanged fish produces a pain-free bite

Venom research laboratory scientists have solved the mystery of the pain-free bite from a small, fanged fish.

Researchers found that the fang blenny, a reef-dwelling fish, administers a bite that is laced with opioids. (BBC News, Science & Environment, 31.03.2017)


Roadside opioid testing of drivers using oral fluid: the case of a country with a zero tolerance law, Spain

Inmaculada Fierro, Mónica Colás, Juan Carlos González-Luque and F. Javier Álvarez

Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy201712:22

DOI: 10.1186/s13011-017-0108-3


Two novel compounds powerfully suppressed animals’ pain responses, while producing little or none of the respiratory depression and liability for misuse and abuse associated with morphine and other typical opioids.

One of the compounds was extensively tested in a monkey model, laying key groundwork for moving to human trials.

The other compound was identified using computational modeling based on x-ray crystallography of a receptor’s structure, and exemplifies that technique’s potential for identifying novel compounds that can meet highly specific therapeutic needs. (NIDA Notes, 23.03.2017)


Characteristics of Fentanyl Overdose — Massachusetts, 2014–2016

Nicholas J. Somerville, MD; Julie O'Donnell, PhD; R. Matthew Gladden, PhD; Jon E. Zibbell, PhD; Traci C. Green, PhD; Morgan Younkin, MD; Sarah Ruiz, MSW; Hermik Babakhanlou-Chase, MPH; Miranda Chan, MPH; Barry P. Callis, MSW; Janet Kuramoto-Crawford, PhD; Henry M. Nields, MD, PhD; Alexander Y. Walley, MD

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2017;66(14):382-386. 


Endogenous opioids regulate moment-to-moment neuronal communication and excitability.

Winters, B. L. et al.

Nat. Commun. 8, 14611 doi: 10.1038/ncomms14611 (2017).


Boosting natural brain opioids may be a better way to treat disabling emotions, says new research revealing their role in regulating critical brain circuits affecting fear and anxiety.

Published in Nature Communications by University of Sydney scholars, the findings suggest medications that boost the effect of natural brain opioids might be a better way to reduce anxiety than 'receptor-binding' opioid drugs like morphine, which have major side effects. (medicalxpress.com, 23.03.2017)


The Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study: What have we learned.

Weiss RD, Rao V.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 Apr 1;173 Suppl 1:S48-S54. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.12.001. Review.


Abhängigkeit von verschreibungspflichtigen Opioiden - Prävention, Diagnostik und Therapie

Dependence on prescription opioids—prevention, diagnosis and treatment

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113(13): 213-20; DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2016.0213

Just, Johannes; Mücke, Martin; Bleckwenn, Markus


An advisory panel convened by the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate the health risks of the powerful opioid painkiller Opana ER (Oxymorphone retard, Anmerkung Forum Substitutionspraxis) says that the danger it poses as a drug of abuse outweighs its benefits as a prescription painkiller.

The time-release opioid was reformulated in 2012 to make it harder to crush. The goal was to reduce abuse by snorting it. But users quickly figured out that the new formulation could be dissolved and injected. (npr, 16.03.2017)


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A strain of fentanyl that’s resistant to Narcan has made its way to Western Pennsylvania.  It’s hundreds of times more powerful than morphine and is already causing overdose deaths. (CBS Pittsburgh, 28.04.2017)