The Pulse

Substance Use Alerts from Gallus Medical Detox

Gallus Medical Detox Centers, a nationally recognized Center of Excellence for inpatient medical detox, is launching a new substance use alert to inform providers of new and potentially dangerous trends happening across the country. With ten years of experience treating SUD patients, we have a unique front-line perspective in providing the medical assistance needed to help patients overcome addiction. We’re providing “The Pulse” to alert you to the use of new substances, legal and illegal, increasing severity within opioid, benzodiazepine, and stimulant epidemics, and complications brought on by increasing polysubstance use. We hope you find this information informative and useful in our fight against the growing problem of substance use disorders.

Latest Alerts

Fentanyl

It’s a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 80 – 100 times more powerful than morphine. There is pharmaceutical fentanyl and illicitly manufactured fentanyl. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is used to treat severe pain, most commonly advanced cancer symptoms. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is placed in eye droppers or nasal sprays, made into pills, dropped onto blotter paper and made into a powder. Chemically-similar analogs of fentanyl are also being created, and these include carfentanil, acetylfentanyl, butyrfentanyl, and furanyl fentanyl.

 

Other names: Apace, China Girl, China Town, Dance Fever, Goodfellas

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Where do people get it?

Online and through illegal drug markets. Many people purchase heroin, not knowing it is mixed with fentanyl, resulting in overdose deaths. Counterfeit OxyIR 30mg tabs (M-30s) bought off the street are usually Fentanyl pressed into a pill and made to look like OxyIRs.

How is it dangerous?

It has a heroin-like effect and is highly addictive. Heroin or cocaine have the highest likelihood of being mixed with fentanyl. Fentanyl has become a popular additive due to its easiness in creating a high, making it a cheaper option. Fentanyl has a long half-life, causing many patients to have precipitated withdrawal when being switched over to substances too soon. As a company (both our Colorado and Arizona centers) we are seeing 88% of our opiate patients testing positive for Fentanyl, and many patients are unaware they were being given fentanyl.

Clonazolam

It’s a triazolobenzodiazepine, it was prescribed for veterinary practices in some regions of Africa, but is now sold online as a designer drug. It’s considered Schedule 1 in Virginia and Louisiana, but in all the other states it’s classified as research. It has similar effects as a benzodiazepine but is much much stronger. It is also sold in blotters.

Other names? Clam, c-lam

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Where do people get it?

It’s not prescribed in the U.S. People are buying it online.

How it is dangerous?

It’s highly addictive, and when taken it can cause a large increase in seizures. The effects last longer than 24 hours. Research shows that people think they’re buying valium or Xanax but it’s Clonazolam. Gallus’ experience has been that the withdrawal is much longer and has significantly more detox symptoms than regular benzos.

U-47700

A synthetic opioid 7.5-8 times more potent than Morphine. In 2016, DEA classified it as a Schedule 1 narcotic. It has had no medical use in the United States. Originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Upjohn in the 1970s. It started emerging in 2014.

Other Names: Pink, pinky, pink heroin

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Where Do People Get It?It’s sold on the internet as a research chemical, it’s also sold on the street. It’s often pressed into pills and made to look like prescription Oxy IR, often combined with Heroin or Fentanyl.

How It Is Dangerous?Research suggests it has enhanced brain penetration, it’s more attracted to lipids than Morphine, which makes for longer half-life (researchers think around 6.5 hours). There have been many overdose fatalities, contributed to Prince’s overdose and subsequent death. It’s unable to be detected on most UDS screens, but Lab Corp does have a test for it.