Fighting Back – Premier Biotech’s Response
The Nation Mounts A Defense
As hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of illicit Fentanyl enters into the United States, the fight against the many faces of Fentanyl is expanding into all corners of public health and government. President Donald Trump’s administration requested $3 billion in funding for 2018 and $10 billion in 2019 for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to combat the opioid epidemic by expanding prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced the Formation of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.), a program that seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas and identify distribution networks and suppliers.
The recent rise in popularity of these illicit synthetics has fueled a death toll eclipsing even the most deadly epidemics the United States has faced in the past. In 2016 alone, there were more than 63,000 reported drug overdose deaths, exceeding the death tolls brought forth by the Vietnam War and the peak year of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
H.I.V. Aids Epidemic (1995)
Nationally, the figures for 2017 are still preliminary; however reports by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paint a grim picture of what’s to come. One report analyzed overdose deaths that tested positive for Fentanyl and similar compounds from July-December 2016 in 10 states. The study showed Fentanyl was present in over half (56.3%) of the 5,152 reported opioid overdose deaths during the 6 month period, with 97.1% listing Fentanyl to be the cause of death by the medical examiner.
Taking A Stand Through Prevention And Protection
The risks of accidental exposure to Fentanyl and Fentanyl compounds have proven harmful-and sometimes even deadly-to more than just those with substance abuse problems. Fentanyl can be absorbed through minor skin contact or inhalation of airborne powder, and can cause symptoms ranging from mild to life threatening.
The White House released Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for first responders, law enforcement, fire departments and other emergency service personnel to understand how to protect themselves from exposure in the field where Fentanyl may be present, and agencies have begun taking added precautions.
State and local government programs are joining the fight as well. Campaigns bringing awareness to the dangers of Fentanyl are calling for a citywide response to prevent overdose deaths and protect those at risk.
New York’s Thrive NYC and Healing NYC initiatives are examples, aiming to reduce opioid related deaths throughout the state by 35% over the next 5 years. As part of this initiative, 100,000 Naloxone Kits (medication that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose) will be distributed to various agencies, arming them with more tools to help save lives.
California has employed another tactic, distributing drug test strips to their 40+ needle exchange programs, allowing drug users the ability to check for the presence of Fentanyl in their drugs prior to use.
Innovative Solutions Helping To Address The Epidemic
In order to assist with measures of prevention, treatment and support to those affected by the many faces of Fentanyl, it is imperative that drug-testing laboratories continue to evolve their services and detection methods. As a strategic drug-testing partner for agencies throughout the country, Premier Biotech has developed innovative, cutting-edge technology and laboratory solutions, equipping our customers with the tools necessary to detect, treat and fight back.
We have developed an extensive laboratory confirmation method for the detection of 12 different compounds of Fentanyl. This method allows us to provide our customers with accurate results as we gather statistical analytics and uncover trends that help arm our partners with information to fight back.
Another way Premier Biotech is taking a stand is by supporting programs aimed at saving lives and promoting awareness. One such program, Florida-based Project Save Lives, provides specialized, coordinated services for the treatment of opioid addiction and misuse while offering immediate in-hospital treatment for overdose patients.
Since the Project Save Lives program was enacted in November of 2017, Premier Biotech has offered preliminary Fentanyl urine tests and run extensive LC-MS/MS confirmation testing for the presence of Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogs on all urine samples provided by Project Save Lives participants.
“The data we are capturing through the Project Save Lives pilot program supports the need for Fentanyl testing, both for the parent drug and the synthetic analogs. If emergency departments, treatment providers and other programs are not testing for Fentanyl, we could be missing critical information that enables the most effective treatment for patients,” says Casey Michalik, vice president of Premier Biotech.
Industry Leading Detection
The supply, distribution, and potency of illicitly manufactured Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogs in the U.S. drug market is continuously evolving. To effectively fight in this war, we must also adapt our weapons and advance our understanding of the enemy. As long as clandestine labs are combining elements and synthesizing new drugs, Premier Biotech will continue pioneering new methods to detect them. To learn more about our innovative products and laboratory solutions for the detection of Fentanyl, contact Premier Biotech.
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