America’s Epidemic Isn’t New
In the 1850s the United States had an epidemic problem with Opium addiction. The great medical minds of the time answered the call with a substitute drug that was considered to be “non-addictive” and less potent than Opium; that drugs name was Morphine. Heroin was first manufactured in the year 1898 by Bayer Pharmaceutical Company, a German company. Heroin was considered a treatment for tuberculosis and an answer for the Morphine addiction problem of that time. Heroin was considered as “non-addictive” at the time. When it was realized that Heroin was even more addictive than Morphine, the answer became a “non-addictive” drug that was developed by German scientists in 1937 called Dolophine, which was renamed. Methadone soon proved even more addictive than Heroin. Now we have Suboxone.
Analogs play a much bigger part in America’s “Drug Epidemic” than most people think they do. I know other people in the treatment industry that have been saying the same thing all along. The bottom line is that analogs are here, they are powerful, and they kill. Anyone who buys illicit drugs on the street has to know that they are rolling the dice with their very life with every illegal drug that they swallow, smoke, snort, or inject.
Do Analogues Increase the Overdose Rate?
The thinking has been that Fentanyl analogs have been increasing the overdose rate of heroin users for some time If heroin is mixed with an analog, heroin just becomes an easy cause of death for the ME to write down. Who knows, maybe W-18 is responsible for more deaths in our Nation’s opioid epidemic already than we could ever imagine? If law enforcement caught one shipment, how many shipments made it through onto our streets? It’s a scary thought either way; think about it!
Analogue Drugs Are Here
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been diligently investigating all of the increases in Fentanyl-related non-suicide overdose fatalities across multiple states in the US. Now these agencies will need to expand their efforts to include analog compounds such as
• Alfentanil also known as Alfenta, an ultra-short-acting analgesic.
• Sufentanil also known as Sufenta, a potent analgesic (five to ten times more potent than fentanyl)
• Remifentanil also known as Ultiva, currently the shortest-acting opioid.
• Carfentanil also known as Wildnil is an analog of fentanyl, 10,000 times stronger than morphine.
W-15 and W-18 These are U-opioid agonist with a distinctive chemical structure that does not seem related to any other family of opioid. W-18 is by far the more powerful of the two with bioavailability, half-life, tolerance, 10,000x more powerful than morphine vs. W-15 is 5.4 x stronger.
MT-45, which is about 80%, as strong as morphine.
AH-7921 an opioid analgesic also about 80% the strength of morphine.
U-47700 an opioid analgesic selective for the U-opioid receptor 7.5 times the potency of morphine.
Butyr-fentanyl or butyrylfentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic, an analog of Fentanyl, approximately .25% of the strength of Fentanyl.
Acetylfentanyl an analogue of fentanyl 40 times stronger than heroin, 80 times more potent than morphine, and 15 times less potent than fentanyl.
Designer drugs are structural or functional analogs of controlled substances; they mimic the effects of parent drugs while avoiding detection as illicit or illegal. These drugs are very dangerous. Often these don’t show up on drug tests and can really throw a monkey wrench into research and statistics.
Getting Accurate Reports
When hospitals, emergency departments, medical examiners and coroners have fatal overdoses arrive in their facilities, are they screening for fentanyl in suspected opioid overdose incidents? If they are and the test comes back negative, fentanyl analogs should be suspected and tested for also. This is the only way that reporting as to the cause of death is accurate and complete. This is the only way for officials to get an understanding as to the truth of what is really taking place with the current drug epidemic. No longer is it just heroin that is claiming the lives of opiate users.
Fentanyl started showing up mixed in with Heroin, then W-18, now, Carfentanil also known as Wildnil is an analog of fentanyl, 10,000 times stronger than morphine is showing up as a killer of our youth. Education, awareness, and prevention are a must in the fight against this drug epidemic. Listed above are just a few of the many potent and potentially deadly illicit drugs that are emerging on the streets for our young people to use.