Tox Tuesday: Despite controversy, FDA approves powerful new opioid painkiller

A highly potent opioid drug has gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, despite critics’ fears that another powerful opioid on the market will pose a public health threat.

The drug, going under the brand name Dsuvia, is an under-the-tongue tablet version of an already existing opioid, sufentanil, which is usually administered intravenously. Traditionally, […]

Tox Tuesday: U.S. law gives 60 days for new regulations on oral fluid and hair drug testing

A new act signed into effect by U.S. President Donald Trump in late October aims to combat the opioid crisis with a variety of provisions that affect everything from packaging to telemedicine, including one that has been long backed by the trucking industry.

The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 for the first time addresses […]

Tox Tuesday: Overdose deaths may have ‘plateaued’ says U.S. health chief, but are still high

According to a major U.S. health chief, drug overdose deaths in the country have begun to plateau, after years of rapidly increasing death statistics.

Health secretary Alex Azar said last week that although there is still a long way to go in ending the opioid crisis, it’s possible that the recent numbers will mark a […]

Tox Tuesday: Nerve pain and gabapentinoids

Due to the ongoing opioid crisis, some health care providers are being advised to exercise caution when prescribing opioid painkillers to patients, because of the risk of dependency or abuse. Now, some say this situation could end up reflected with another medication: gabapentinoids, a category of drugs that includes gabapentin and pregabalin.

Gabapentinoids are analgesics […]

Tox Tuesday: How were Seattle’s mussels contaminated with opioids?

Earlier this year, mussels fished from Puget Sound — the beautiful ocean inlet in the northeast corner of the U.S. state of Washington — tested positive for opioids.

No, the shellfish weren’t doing drugs. Rather, unprecedented levels of opioid prescriptions and opioid abuse have caused even the environment to be affected.

Opioid usage, both legitimate […]

Tox Tuesday: MDPV, or ‘Monkey Dust’

Police in parts of the United Kingdom are reporting an increase of drug users taking “Monkey Dust,” a substance associated with episodes of paranoia, resistance to pain and violent assaults.

Monkey Dust, scientifically known as methylenedioxypyrovalerone or MDPV, is a form of bath salts, or a synthetic cathinone. Cathinone is a central nervous system stimulant […]

Tox Tuesday: Fingernail drug testing

If you pick a few strangers out of a crowd, most of them will have probably heard of drug tests using urine, blood or hair samples. Thanks to ongoing discussions about new forms of roadside testing, more people have heard of oral fluid testing as well. But as far as fingernail testing goes, it’s likely […]

What is K2, the drug involved in a mass overdose in one city park?

Authorities are reporting that in one day, at least 76 people have overdosed in New Haven, Connecticut. Over 50 of the overdoses happened in one city park near the famous Yale University.

Emergency services have reported that more calls are coming in, and that although none of the victims have died, some are in critical […]

Tox Tuesday: How drug-contaminated breast milk can harm infants

Infant health experts are increasingly extolling the benefits of breast milk for newborns and older babies alike, with many medical studies showing benefits that last long after infancy. Mothers are advised to breastfeed if possible, and human milk banks have sprung up to help deliver breast milk where enough isn’t naturally available.

Sadly, unhealthy substances […]

Tox Tuesday: Scotland records highest-ever number of annual drug deaths

Sadly, a record has been broken again in Scotland: the country has yet again recorded a new high for yearly drug deaths, at 934 in 2017. This is an 8% increase from the previous year, and more than double the figure from 2007.

Roughly 40% of the figure involves people aged 35–44, and just under […]