CCENDU Bulletin: Novel Synthetic Opioids in Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals and Other Illicit Street Drugs
A new CCENDU Bulletin has been issued that describes some of the novel synthetic opioids that have appeared or might appear in counterfeit pharmaceuticals or be mixed into other illicit street drugs. These opioids include fentanyl and its analogues, and W-18*, U-47700, AH-7921 and MT-45. The bulletin also provides a brief overview of some of the counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other illicit street drugs that have been found to contain novel synthetic opioids, as reported in the media and elsewhere in Canada and the United States.
Finally, the bulletin includes a discussion of the implications of this phenomenon for those working in:
• Public health and harm reduction
• Emergency medical services and emergency response services
• Poison control centres
• Law enforcement
The Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (CCENDU) is a nation-wide network of community-level partners who share information about local trends and emerging issues in substance use and exchange knowledge and tools to support more effective data collection.
*Emerging evidence suggests that W-18 is not an opioid. However, due to its analgesic effects and because it has been mixed in drugs
sold illicitly as opioids, we have included it in this bulletin.