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Novel Synthetic Opioids in Oral Fluid: Analytical Methods and Prevalence

Event Dates
Event Duration
1 hour

Opioid use has risen dramatically, creating public safety concerns. Synthetic opioids can be hundreds of times more potent than heroin and can produce severe intoxications and even fatalities when abused. The fatality rate is increased dramatically when synthetic opioids are cut into heroin unbeknownst to the user. Synthetic drugs may also be abused by populations trying to evade positive drug tests aimed at detecting more traditional substances. Though all structures do not mimic morphine or traditional opioids, typical adverse side effects are opioid-like, including respiratory distress, nausea, and decreased consciousness. Despite legislative bans in some countries, the substances are still available on the Internet and continue to be discussed on drug user forums. From a toxicology standpoint, the drugs are often difficult to detect in biological samples with current methodologies due to the extreme potency of the substances. Oral fluid is a useful biological sample for determining recent drug use. Collection of oral fluid does not require a same-sex collector (like urine) or a trained medical professional (like blood) and can be collected under direct observation, deterring adulteration.

This webinar will discuss the analytical methodology developed and validated to identify and quantify novel synthetic opioids and traditional opioids in oral fluid. The presenter will also discuss targeted and non-targeted approaches using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods for detection of fentanyl- and non-fentanyl related novel synthetic opioids. Additionally, this webinar with cover sample preparation techniques for isolating synthetic opioids with various chemistries and structures. Further, analytical challenges regarding sample preparation and chromatography will be considered.

Lastly, the presenter will present and summarize analytical results from authentic oral fluid specimens collected from detainees, incarcerated persons, and those undergoing therapeutic drug monitoring.

Date Created: January 25, 2021