Chicago’s Rising Fentanyl Problem: A Randox Toxicology Report

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Chicago’s Rising Fentanyl Problem: A Randox Toxicology Report

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Chicago’s Rising Fentanyl Problem: A Randox Toxicology Report

Abuse of opioids, and in particular, fentanyl, has been on the rise in the United States in recent years. The number of patients being prescribed painkillers has almost quadrupled since the 90s from 76 million to 289 million in 2016. It has been described as a uniquely American problem, where pain relief prescriptions are about 40% higher than other developed countries.

Inevitably due to the high addiction rate of opioids, this has unfortunately led to increasing overdose deaths. In 2017 alone over 70,000 people died from drug overdoses in the USA with opioids being involved in 67.8% of cases.

Chicago Illinois is no exception to this crisis. The National Institute of Drug Abuse found that Illinois has a rate of 17.2 deaths per 100,000 people from opioid overdoses, compared to the national average of 14.6. It is not only prescription painkillers that are adding to the opioid addiction crisis in Chicago, but substances such as fentanyl that is illegally sold on the street.

Fentanyl is a cheaper, synthetic opioid which can be 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is commonly added to heroin to increase strength and cut costs. Many users believe they are purchasing heroin when in fact it can be mostly fentanyl, resulting in rising overdose deaths. The DEA’s Chicago lab have stated that the drug is making up a more of their workload than ever and becoming a regular drug they see.

Randox Toxicology

Randox Toxicology are world leaders in drug testing solutions with the capability of detecting over 500 drug and drug metabolites using our innovative Biochip Array Technology – the most comprehensive on the drug testing market. Using our revolutionary patented Biochip Array Technology, the Evidence MultiSTAT is a fully automated benchtop analyzer that enables on-site simultaneous detection of up to 21 classical, prescription and synthetic drugs of abuse from a single sample.

Designed to work across a variety of matrices including; whole blood, urine, and oral fluid our patented multi-analyte testing platform provides a complete and highly accurate toxicology profile in 17-20 minutes. Most impressively the MultiSTAT has been designed to be fully operated from sample input to results output by someone with absolutely no laboratory experience and in any environment.

To find out more about our Biochip Array Technology and our Evidence Series range of analysers, visit or email

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