This webinar will identify partnerships and innovative efforts in the whole of government approach to identify and interdict fentanyl analogues, as well as to heighten awareness and strengthen legal mechanisms for dealing with the illicit fentanyl crisis.
Illicitly manufactured fentanyl’s intrusion into drug markets in the United States is significantly contributing to an opioid epidemic that is claiming thousands of lives each year. Illicit fentanyl and its analogues are imported predominantly from China, with Mexico and Canada serving as trans-shipment points. Fentanyl is illegally ordered via the dark web and the open internet and is delivered by private express shippers or the United States Postal Service to businesses and residences across the U.S.
This presentation will review the prevalence, modes of importation, and availability of fentanyl in the U.S. illicit market based on de-identified drug seizure and post-mortem findings and unclassified law enforcement data. Challenges to identification of fentanyl in the law enforcement and medicolegal death investigation communities will be discussed, as will federal legal standards relating to fentanyl identifications and prosecutions. Using and sharing information on new fentanyl analogues, whether obtained through federal, state, local, or private testing of seized drugs and postmortem toxicology is essential to get a baseline understanding of the scope of the problem and the identification of new fentanyl analogues and novel psychoactive substances.