Kratom: The Emerging Drug of Abuse

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Kratom: The Emerging Drug of Abuse

Amidst growing concerns of an opioid-abuse epidemic in the United States, it has been established that kratom (Mitragynine) is increasing in popularity amongst opioid users and has been reported as the new ‘legal high’.

Kratom is an unendorsed herb substance which has not yet been criminalized in the United States and is considered a powerful analgesic with opioid-like effects at high doses and acts as a stimulant at lower doses. Often used as a treatment for chronic pain or opiate withdrawal patients, it also comes in the form of a dietary supplement. As there are no Federal regulations monitoring the sale and distribution of Kratom the substance continues to be readily available and easily accessible via the internet, increasing its abuse by chronic pain patients on prescription opioids.

Kratom has been associated with psychosis, seizures, and has recently cited 100 deaths over a 17-month period by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In previous reports, the Food and Drug Administration had warned against the use of Kratom to ease opioid withdrawal, as many pain physicians are not familiar about its addictive properties. Further the DEA plans to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 substance.

Are you testing for Kratom?

Randox Toxicology are the only suppliers for the detection of Kratom. Alongside our exclusive highly sensitive kratom ELISA test, this drug of abuse is available on our New Psychoactive Substances II panel, which utilises our universally available patented Biochip Array Technology.

Offering excellent cross-reactivity and unrivalled limits of detection over a range of routine and novel assays Biochip Array Technology is the world’s first multiplex screening technology. Designed to work across multiple matrices such as urine, blood, and oral fluid its intra and inter assay precision is typically <10% giving excellent correlation with confirmatory methods.

For more information regarding our Kratom tests get in touch with us by emailing info@randoxtoxicology.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


International Cannabis Abuse

The 2018 UN World Drug Report calculated that around 275 million people worldwide used drugs at least once in 2016 and some 31 million of those suffer from a drug use disorder.

http://www.unodc.org/wdr2018/prelaunch/WDR18_Booklet_1_EXSUM.pdf

Cannabis was the most commonly used drug in 2016, with 192 million people using it at least once that year. The global number of cannabis users continues to rise and appears to have increased by roughly 16 per cent in the decade ending 2016, which is in line with the increase of the world population.

The quantities of cannabis seized worldwide fell by 27 per cent, to 4,386 tons in 2016. This decline was particularly noticed in North America, where the medical cannabis in many states and the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use may have played a role in the declining figures. There is evidence from Western countries that the perceived easy availability of cannabis, coupled with perceptions of a low risk of harm, makes the drug among the most common substances whose use is initiated in adolescence. Cannabis is often used in conjunction with other substances and the use of other drugs is typically tried after recreational cannabis use.

As the need for vital drug screening continues to increase, Randox Toxicology are leading the way in developing new and novel drugs of abuse tests. Capable of detecting up to 21 classical, prescription and synthetic drugs from a single sample including cannabinoids, our fully automated Evidence MultiSTAT analyser utilises our Biochip Array Technology to deliver reliable and accurate results in under 20 minutes.

For further information about the Evidence MultiSTAT and our cutting-edge multiplex testing capabilities, contact info@randoxtoxicology.com to be put in touch with a sales member or visit www.randoxtoxicology.com.

 

 


Randox Toxicology: The Next Wave in Drug Abuse

A letter published by The New England Journal of Medicine documented that officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Douglas C. Throckmorton, Scott Gottlieb and Janet Woodcock have warned that non-opioid painkillers could be at the forefront of the next wave of drug abuse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that over 42,000 deaths in the US were due to opioid abuse in 2016, with 40% of all opioid related deaths having involved prescription opioids. As a result, the FDA are encouraging doctors to prescribe alternative opioid drugs when possible and are developing new therapeutics to help people dealing with pain.

However, fears have been raised that curbing prescription opioid abuse could lead to opioid substitutes being used. Substances that are being closely watched include over the counter treatments; benzodiazepines and kratom.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are minor tranquillisers used to treat anxiety and insomnia. The effects include sedation, suppressing fits and making the user feel calm and relaxed. When mixed with other depressant drugs like heroin or alcohol, benzodiazepines can cause short term memory loss and nasty withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, anxiety and vomiting. These tranquillisers come in tablet form which people may crush or melt to inject, making them extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal.

 

 

 

 

Kratom

The tropical tree known as kratom, grows in marshy areas around Asia and contains the active chemicals mitragynine, mitraphylline and 7-hydroxymitragynine. The effects of taking kratom include an opiate like sedation and a stimulated state of alertness, whilst higher doses can trigger severe nausea and vomiting. Heavy use of the drug can also cause constipation, darkening of the skin, insomnia, dry mouth and anorexia.

As the primary manufacturer of Biochip Array Technology, our cutting-edge multiplex testing capabilities offer rapid and accurate drug detection. Providing the most comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu across multiple forensic matrices, our multi-analyte testing platform allows toxicologists to achieve a complete immunoassay profile in the initial screening phase from a single sample and CVs are typically less than 10%.

With new designer drugs appearing all too frequently, it’s essential to react and create new tests. Our level of expertise in toxicology research and development allows us to do exactly that, evident through our NPS II panel which detects the latest designer drugs including Mitragynine. As new psychoactive substances are proliferating at an unprecedented rate the rapid evolution of adequate equipment remains vital.

Alongside our NPS II panel, Randox Toxicology provide the highest quality ELISAs available on the market including our exclusive mitragynine ELISA and results provide excellent correlation with confirmatory methods.

By adapting quickly to the ever-changing market influences and developing assays with optimum target compounds and excellent specificities for current and novel drug trends, Randox Toxicology continue to advance the future of toxicology and minimise laboratory workflow constraints.

For more information about our unrivalled toxicology test menu, email info@randoxtoxicology.com or visit www.randoxtoxicology.com

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in women? Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, accounts for 27% of all female deaths. That’s much higher than what is commonly thought to be the biggest killer of women – breast cancer. At Randox, we’re using our innovative technology to diagnose CVD cases as early as possible so appropriate treatment can be sought.

The Randox clinical product range offers a wide range of products to combat heart issues including the RX series extensive cardiac testing panel, reagents such as H-FABP, Adiponectin an TxB Cardio and an extensive cardiac QC range available in both liquid & lyophilised format.

You can find out more about how Randox is helping to diagnose women’s health issues, such as CVD, here.

What is CVD?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general terms for conditions that affect the heart and/or blood vessels. It is usually associated with the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries and an increased risk of blood clots.

CVD is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK but can often largely be prevented with a healthy lifestyle.

Types of CVD

Coronary heart disease

This occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is blocked or reduced

Stroke

A stroke is where the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, which can cause brain damage and possibly death. A transient ischaemic attack (also called a TIA or “mini-stroke”) is similar, but the blood flow to the brain is only temporarily disrupted.

Causes of CVD

The exact cause of CVD isn’t clear, but there are lots risk factors that can increase your risk of getting it. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing CVD. Risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Inactivity
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Family history of CVD
  • Ethnic background

Preventing CVD

  • Stop smoking
  • Have a balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Cut down alcohol consumption

How is Randox helping to detect CVD?

Randox has developed the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers for superior semi-automated and fully automated testing. The RX series extensive dedicated test menu goes beyond routine testing and has many unique and high-performance tests available. Our range of tests covers many tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac diseases.

Cardiac Panel

Cholesterol CRP Full Range(0.3-160mg/l) Direct LDL Cholesterol sLDL
CK-MB CRP High Sensitivity Heart-Type Fatty Acid Binding Protein (H-FABP) Triglycerides
CK-NAC Digoxin Lipoprotein(a) TxB Cardio
CRP Direct HDL Cholesterol Myoglobin Adiponectin

 

Our world leading test menu of high quality reagents guarantees excellence in patient care ensuring unrivalled precision and accuracy reducing costly test re-runs or misdiagnosis and offering complete confidence in results.

The RX series clinical chemistry analysers provide laboratories with a robust and smart solution ensuring you maintain a consistent workflow and can provide accurate results first time, every time. Offering excellent customer support services, our trained engineers are on hand to work with you in preserving the continuity of your operations while maximising the potential of your RX series instrument.

For more information visit: https://www.randox.com/clinical-chemistry-analysers/

 

 

 


Alprazolam and Prescription Drug Abuse

Alprazolam, also known as the trade name Xanax, is a widely prescribed anxiety drug in the US. Alprazolam is a minor tranquilliser which can cause sedation, short term memory loss and depress the nervous system, slowing down the brain and body. Recommended for short term use, the drug can be highly addictive and only be obtained on private prescription in the UK.

People have been known to crush or melt the dangerous tranquilliser that comes in a tablet form, to inject the substance. Extremely dangerous and fatal, the chalk in the tablets can cause collapsed veins and lead to an abscess and infection.

A recent article by BBC News uncovered that Alprazolam is being purchased online and abused by children as young as 13. The news comes after reports of social media sites being used to buy dangerous substances and locate drug dealers. In 2017, up to 20 teenagers from Wiltshire needed treatment after using Alprazolam. This year in Sussex alone, several young people have been admitted to hospital after taking the prescription drug.

A spokesperson from Pfizer, a Xanax manufacturer, expressed concerns over the alarming rise of counterfeit Xanax drugs and the growing availability on the dark web. Discussing the issue, they mentioned that ingredients such as boric acid, heavy metals and floor polish have been found in counterfeit Xanax medications. Defined as “part of our youth culture” Nick Hickmott from Addaction states, it is currently debatable how many people are currently using Alprazolam. London’s MP Bambos Charalambous has called for awareness campaigns and further research to be conducted in order to support services.

Alprazolam is not the only widely abused prescription drug, as criminal gangs were reported smuggling tens of millions of prescription drugs out of the UK’s protected supply chain. Northern Ireland have also expressed concerns over the rise of pregabalin, with BBC spotlight revealing a 46% rise from a data base of 20 million prescription records written by GPs across the country in the past four years. However, the biggest killer in Northern Ireland is tramadol, a prescription painkiller taken by thousands daily.

Randox Toxicology offer the most comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu across multiple forensic matrices. Our level of expertise in toxicology has enabled us to provide the DoA ULTRA panel, which can screen for a wide range of prescription drugs of abuse, including Alprazolam and Tramadol. Using our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology, Randox Toxicology provide a complete immunoassay profile in the initial screening phase.

For more information about our DoA ULTRA panel and how Randox Toxicology are fighting drugs of abuse, email us at info@randoxtoxicology.com

For further information, please contact the Randox PR team via email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413

 


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