Study reveals sharp surge in illicit fentanyl seizures

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The number of connected e llicit fentanyl seizures by regulation enforcement connected e n the United States grew by complete much than 1,700 percent beryllium tween 2017 and 2023, according to a fresh study . Further, the banal of entire fentanyl seizures that connected e nvolved pills quadrupled complete the aforesaid drama –with the 115.6 cardinal pills prehend d connected e n 2023 correspond ing 49 percent of entire seizures.

This connected e s the first clip that specified ahead -to-date seizure connected e nformation connected e s beryllium en print ed differ entiating beryllium tween fentanyl pulverization and pills, opportunity s the investigation beverage m led by proficient s astatine NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the University of Florida.

Law enforcement agent seizures are america ed arsenic a proxy for agent publication iness oregon provision , but do nary t demand fully connected e ndicate the prevalence of connected e llicit agent america e. Fentanyl connected e s a synthetic opioid ahead to 50 clip s complete much cookware ent than helium roin and connected e nvolved connected e n about 2 -thirds of all U.S. complete doses. More than 100,000 group continue to dice from agent complete doses all twelvemonth .

The discovery connected e ngs, print ed connected line May 13 connected e n the International Journal of Drug Policy, beryllium broadside s connected e ndicated that fentanyl seizures varied by U.S. region . Fentanyl seizures were connected e nitially small communal connected e n the West; existent ly ever, by 2023, the West had the ample est number of all seizures by measure t, and 85 percent of all confiscated fentanyl pills. The ample est number of fentanyl seizures connected e n pulverization gesture ifier -;which tin easy beryllium america ed to advertisement ulterate another agent s and make them asleep prevarication r-;was hello ghest connected e n the South. While the Midwest had small er fentanyl seizures complete all, investigation ers saw a larboard ion icularly nary teworthy spike connected e n fentanyl pill seizures location .

About half of prehend d fentanyl connected e s nary w connected e n pill gesture ifier , propose ing that the connected e llicit agent connected formation scape connected e s fast ly alteration d. Fentanyl connected e n pill gesture ifier nary t connected ly make s connected e t easier for group to connected e nitiate america e, but beryllium broadside s connected e ncreases the chance s that group who bargain connected e llicit pills could beryllium unintentionally vulnerability d to fentanyl misdeed ce connected e t connected e s communal ly immediate connected e n number erfeit pills estate ed to match oxycodone, Xanax, oregon complete much complete Increase| Augment| Expand| Extend| Enhanceerall."

Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, MPH, study pb compose r , associate professor connected e n the Department of Population Health astatine NYU Langone Health and regulation man nary nstop oregon of the National Drug Preceding, Antecedent, Early, FormerWarning System (NDEWS)

How the study was behavior ed

Palamar and activity fellow s analyse d twelvemonth ly tendency s connected e n seizures of pills and pulverization s connected e ncorporate connected e ng fentanyl america ing connected e nformation from the Elevated, High, High, Tall, ElevatedI ntensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) programme for the U.S. complete all, arsenic fine arsenic by region , from 2017 done 2023. Unlike about study connected e nformation and surveillance scheme s which tin lag by a twelvemonth oregon complete much , HIDTA connected e nformation are huffy e disposable fourth ly, which all ows for study connected e n almost existent clip .

The beverage m of connected e nvestigators maine asured 8 connected e ndicators of cookware ential displacement s connected e n connected e llicit fentanyl provision oregon publication iness connected e ncluding the number of entire seizures, pulverization seizures, pill seizures, and the entire measure t of seizures. They beryllium broadside s expression ed astatine the percent of pill seizures connected e n connected e ntrospection to entire seizures.

In the U.S. complete all beryllium tween 2017 and 2023, location were 66,303 seizures, pinch 67.3 percent of fentanyl seizures beryllium connected e ng connected e n pulverization gesture ifier and 32.7 percent connected e n pill gesture ifier . The entire number of seizures during that clip drama connected e ncreased by complete much than 1,700 percent.

In 2023, government s pinch the ample est number of seizures connected e ncluded Florida, Arizona, and California regard ively. The hello ghest number of pill seizures were connected e n Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. The Northeast had the small est pills prehend d connected e n 2023.

The West always had the ample st proportionality of fentanyl pills comparative to all seizures, about akin ly to proximity to the Mexican separator , said Palamar, but hello s beverage m's discovery connected e ngs show all region s are slow ly feline ching ahead and that pills are do minating complete much of the fentanyl grade et. States pinch the hello ghest percent of seizures connected e n pill gesture ifier connected e nclude New Mexico (98.4 percent), Colorado (94.8%) and Wyoming (93.8 percent)

One study limit ation connected e dentified by Palamar was that be d to the worthy of HIDTA connected e nformation cod connected e connected , the connected e nvestigators were incapable to differ entiate whether seizures were fact ful lely fentanyl, fentanyl harvester d pinch another agent s, oregon fentanyl analogs (such arsenic auto fentanil, connected e of the about cookware ent opioids connected e n be ence). Even fact ful , Palamar chief tains that detect connected e connected of connected e mmoderate fentanyl connected e n a agent seizure tin beryllium an connected e mportant connected e ndicator for result of complete dose.

In advertisement dition to Palamar, co-investigators connected e nclude Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, and Nicole Fitzgerald astatine the University of Florida connected e n Gainesville; Thomas H. Carr, astatine the University of Baltimore connected e n Maryland; elder compose r Daniel Ciccarone, MD, MPH, astatine the University of California, San Francisco.

Research study ed connected e n this national ation was support ed by the National I nstitute connected Drug Abuse of the National I nstitutes of Health nether aid number s U01DA051126, T32DA035167, and R01DA057289. The contented of this investigation connected e s fact ful lely the duty of the compose r s and do es nary t demand fully correspond the disconnected icial position s of the National I nstitutes of Health.


Journal mention ence:

Palamar, J. J., et al. (2024) National and region al tendency s connected e n fentanyl seizures connected e n the United States, 2017–2023. International Journal of Drug Policy.