Heroin & Other Illicit Drugs
Cocaine availability, use, and deaths reached their highest levels since 2007 per reporting by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, this emerging cocaine threat will be unlike any previous cocaine epidemic America ever experienced. To continue developing responses similar to past cocaine epidemics would be inadequate, as the current cocaine problem is far more complex. Today’s cocaine, like opioids, is now increasingly cut with multiple, highly toxic adulterants, in some cases as many as 10 adulterants, irrespective of fentanyl. These toxic adulterants can cause numerous medical consequences including: severe blood disorders and cardiovascular reactions, renal failure, multiple malignancies, life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, and death. Unfortunately, these adulterants are not routinely tested by forensic laboratories on seized materials or in addicts undergoing treatment. Failure to identify these “atypical” toxic adulterants can hinder accurate clinical diagnosis and the development of appropriate treatment plans in addicts exposed to these poisons, resulting in a high financial burden on our health care delivery system for years to come.
This session will provide an overview of several projects funded by the U.S. Department of State that use state of the art technologies to test cocaine internationally and domestically, uncovering this emerging trend of unconventional toxic cutting agents. The presenters will identify the toxic cocaine adulterants driving overdose and life-threatening health problems; new lethal forms of cocaine, including a new hydrochloride form with the potential to rival the severity of “crack” addiction; specific adulterant health-related effects; and provide guidance to enable health professionals to accurately diagnose and treat contaminated cocaine exposure.
This session is accredited for the following accreditation types: CME, CNE, CPE, APA, AAFP, AAHCPAD*, NAADAC*, ASWB*
*State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.