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 email@example.com
Scotland is set to introduce a new “zero tolerance” policy to those caught driving under the influence of drugs. Ministers in Scotland want to make it easier for police officers to target people driving with illegal drugs in their bloodstream. The policy will supersede the current need to prove that someone was driving in an impaired manner as a result of drug consumption. The law in Scotland currently states that it is illegal to drive if impaired by drugs, be it prescription or illegal drugs.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said “The introduction of drug driving limits will strengthen the power of Scotland’s police and prosecutors to tackle the minority of drivers who irresponsibly put themselves and other road-users at risk. Drug driving is completely unacceptable, and we will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to prevent the avoidable deaths and damage caused by those who drive under the influence of drugs. Together with our stringent drink-driving limits, these new laws will ensure that Scotland have the UK’s most robust laws against impaired and unsafe driving.”
Under the new plan, eight of the most commonly abuse illegal drugs – including heroin, ketamine and ecstasy – will have limits set very close to zero to rule out claims of accidental exposure. A further eight drugs, which can have medicinal purposes – such as diazepam and methadone – will have higher limits based on their ability to impair drivers. These proposals would mean just having drugs in your system that breach the limits, this is sufficient evidence to prosecute.
In the turn of the new year, we look at the current trends in drug abuse in 3 key continents and what their key 2018 figures say about drug use in their countries.
New psychoactive substances have been an emerging drug market in the Americas, with a total of 130 different new psychoactive substances being reported in seven South American countries in August 2017. This was more than a 50% increase within the year, as over 60 different substances had been reported in 2016 alone, according to the OAS and CICAD Report on Drug Use in The Americas 2019. Latin America have experienced a surge in LSD, synthetic cannabinoid, plant substance and ketamine use among the general population as well.
Meanwhile, opioids and prescription opioids have been a major cause for concern in the Americas, with opioid analgesics involved in more overdose fatalities than any type of illicit drug, exceeding cocaine and heroin-related fatalities in Canada and USA combined. Users are increasingly turning to street opioids as well, which are often mixed with heroin and other drugs. The major challenge noted in the same report is the complexity of the appearance of NPS and the counterfeit substances it contains.
Cannabis has had the highest use among males, with most cases being regular patterns of use. Around 1% of European adults are considered daily users according to the European Drug Report 2018. Regarding opioids, heroin is the most common drug of abuse in this category, and prevalence of high risk opioid use among adults is estimated to be at 0.4% of the EU population.
Synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, are growing in use in Europe. In 2016, over 18 European countries reported more than 10% of all opioid clients entering specialised services suffering from opioid addiction other than heroin.
Opioids present the largest drug problem in Asia, having the highest proportion of causes of drug users going to treatment centres, followed by amphetamine-type stimulants and cannabis. Production of drug substances in Asia have been significant in the last 3 years, with cocaine and opium production hitting record highs. Methamphetamine is also an emerging threat to Asia, with production of the synthetic drug overtaking heroin.
Our testing solution
Randox Toxicology are first to market when it comes to testing for the latest drugs of abuse and new psychoactive substances in the market. Our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology provides state-of-the-art drug detection, utilizing simultaneous drug detection from a single sample across multiple matrices.
Our ELISA kits provide a comprehensive test menu, covering a broad range of drugs of abuse, stimulants, analgesics and sedatives. Randox Toxicology develop the highest quality 96-well microtitre plates available to the market, with results providing excellent correlation with confirmatory methods.
To find out more email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website: www.randoxtoxicology.com
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or ELISA, has been utilised as a screening tool for some time. The immunoassay technique is a popular choice for the evaluation of various research and diagnostic targets including drugs of abuse testing.
As primary manufacturer of the Biochip Array Technology, Randox Toxicology also provide highly sensitive ELISA kits that are compatible with all microplate processing instruments. Our test menu covers a broad range of drugs of abuse and metabolites including new psychoactive substances, stimulants, analgesics and sedatives. With low specificity, our ELISA kits are available across whole blood, urine and oral fluid matrices. Randox Toxicology develop the highest quality 96-well microtitre plates available on the market, with results providing excellent correlation with confirmatory methods.
Our range of ELISAs are precoated with our own antibodies which are cultivated in the UK. The ready to use reagent format facilitates optimum laboratory efficiency and allows up to 80 samples to be analysed in 2 to 3 hours with ELISA procedures.
* EXCLUSIVE to Randox Toxicology
Randox Toxicology offers the most comprehensive Drugs of Abuse (DoA) test menu across multiple forensic matrices. Our level of expertise in toxicology research and development allows us to adapt quickly to the ever-changing market influences and develop assays for current and novel drugs trends. Excellent assay precision and performance eliminates false reporting, therefore reducing unnecessary confirmatory tests and time lost in the laboratory as a result. Our Biochip Arrays offer CVs typically less than 10%, producing an accurate drug profile to ensure confidence in results.
The Evidence Series of immunoassay analysers are powered by Biochip Array Technology and combine the latest technological advances for drug residue detection using immunoassay principles. The Drugs of Abuse II panel is available for both the Evidence and the Evidence Investigator analysers. The Evidence has a throughput of 90 samples per hour, testing up to 44 tests per sample. The Evidence is a fully automated batch immunoanalyser, allowing for 3960 tests per hour, while the Evidence Investigator is a semi-automated, bench top analyser with testing capabilities of 2376 tests in 70 minutes.
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.
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 email@example.com to be put in touch with a sales member or visit www.randoxtoxicology.com.
Southeast Asia’s economy is booming, increasing every year by 5% and is expected to continue to grow due to an expanding consumer market, a young workforce and increasing regional cooperation. However, these are not the only markets experiencing the boom. The region’s illicit markets are also enjoying a surge.
Drug labs in Southeast Asia are releasing two to six billion methamphetamine tablets a year into the black market, which NPR reports is more tablets than cups of coffee sold by Starbucks. A lot of these tablets go into China and Thailand, with more finding their way to Bangladesh each year. As a result, seizures of meth tablets have gone up in the last 10 years in Bangladesh by 80,000 percent.
China not only receives large quantities of drugs to be sold on the streets, it also produces them. As China is soon set to become the world’s largest economy it now has plenty of people who can afford the products. So the drug lords and dealers are moving towards this market. This means that drug cartels don’t have to go further afield to sell their drugs.
China’s “One Belt One Road” plan has also enabled the easier trafficking of drugs. The plan is to connect the world with highways, ports, airports, and train lines to allow commerce to move to and from China easily. This connected infrastructure has made it easier for smugglers to move their products from A to B.
Randox Toxicology’s DoA ULTRA panel detects 20 targeted drugs including methamphetamine and amphetamine. Utilising our patented Biochip Array Technology, DoA ULTRA offers the most comprehensive drugs of abuse screen across multiple forensic matrices and provides the largest cross-reactivity profile of over 240 analytes from a single sample.
|LOD: 10 ng/mL||PMMA HCI||291|
Figures released by the Home Office from the Crime Survey of England and Wales for 2017/2018 showed an 8.4 percent rise in 16-24 year olds using Class A drugs in the last year, compared to 7 percent in 2016/2017. As drugs are becoming more readily available due to the Dark Web, mobile phones and drug gangs, a broader network of distribution has been established and the price of cocaine has fallen.
Cocaine is a strong stimulant that comes in a powder (known as coke), freebase or crack form. With short lived effects, cocaine temporarily speeds up the mind and body. Freebase is a powder cocaine that has been prepared for smoking, whilst crack cocaine comes in a rock form. As both forms of cocaine can be smoked, they reach the brain quicker and have a stronger effect than powder cocaine. Injecting any form of the drug has serious risks including, damaged veins and the spread of blood-borne viruses, such as HIV and Hepatitis C. High doses of cocaine can cause the body temperature to rise, resulting in convulsions, a heart attack and heart failure.
The Telegraph recently reported that the fall in cocaine prices has now led to the highest number of young people using Class A drugs in over a decade, a rise from 4.8 percent in 2012/2013. The United Nation’s 2018 World Drug Report states that the street price for a gram of cocaine in the UK in 2016 was £41, the cheapest figure documented at the time since 1990. Compare this to cocaine prices in 2007 when it was £69 per gram.
“Our young people’s services have seen a significant rise in the use of Class A drugs”. Yasmin Batliwala, chair of London based drug and alcohol treatment charity WDP commented on the issue, “The primary drug of choice has always been alcohol, as well as cannabis, but certainly in the last two or more years the use of Class A drugs has increased substantially.” When cocaine and alcohol have been mixed it can cause particularly dangerous side effects and produce a toxic chemical called cocaethylene.
We have the Solution!
Randox Toxicology’s universally available patented Biochip Array Technology boasts cutting-edge multiplex testing capabilities, providing rapid and accurate drug detection from a single sample. Offering excellent cross-reactivity and unrivalled limits of detection, Biochip Array Technology’s intra and inter assay precision is typically <10% giving excellent correlation with confirmatory methods.
Persistently staying ahead of the ever-changing trends, Randox Toxicology are first to market with a range of tests for drugs of abuse, including the cocaine metabolite Benzoylecgonine (BZG). Utilising our Biochip Array Technology, Randox Toxicology’s DoA I, DoA I+, DoA ULTRA/DUID, DoA Evolution and DoA MultiSTAT panels all detect Benzoylecgonine.
Built on a foundation of continuous innovation, our research and development team continue to advance the future of toxicology through pioneering technology and novel tests. Offering the most advanced screening technology on the market, Randox Toxicology has transformed the landscape of drugs of abuse testing forever.
Cannabis continues to be the most reported drug abused in Sri Lanka, however cannabis related offences have decreased from 66.2% to 61.9% in April – May 2018. Heroin is the second highest drug abused at 28.8% of those arrested in April and 35.9% of arrestees in May engaging in heroin related offences. Hashish, babul, madana modaka, opium, methamphetamine and tablets are other prevalent drugs abused in Sri Lankan drug related offences that have been noted. Although cannabis related crime has decreased, drug prevalence and drug related offences are increasing in the country.
Sri Lanka has been taking measures to tackle the abuse of opium, cannabis and certain psychotropic substances since its independence in 1948. Opium is not cultivated in Sri Lanka, however over the past decade Sri Lanka has been used as a trans-shipment point for heroin from South West Asia and India to other destinations outside of the subcontinent. Heroin seized prior to reaching Sri Lanka is roughly two – three times the quantity of heroin seized in Sri Lanka itself.
Randox Toxicology are the leading manufacturer of the patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT). BAT is a precision multiplex testing platform allowing for the simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from a single sample. After the addition of a sample to the biochip, analytes present in the sample bind to the specific biochip bound ligands. The degree of binding is determined using a chemiluminescent light source and quantified using a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera and imaging system.
Additionally, our range of immunoanalysers include the Evidence, the Evidence Evolution, the Evidence Investigator and the Evidence MultiSTAT which individually utilise our Biochip Array Technology for the screening of drugs of abuse. Our extensive toxicology test menu covers a broad range of classical, prescription, synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances. With multiple matrices available, Randox Toxicology are a global leader in the Toxicology market.
Randox Toxicology offer the most comprehensive Drugs of Abuse (DoA) test menu across multiple forensic matrices. Our DoA II panel can detect opium and generic opioids. Our level of expertise in toxicology research and development allows us to adapt quickly to ever changing market influences and develop assays for current and novel drug trends.
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 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.
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.
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
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
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight or obese
- Family history of CVD
- Ethnic background
- 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.
|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|
|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/