The term designer drug is used to describe drugs that are synthesized as new forms of pre-existing or completely new drugs. These structural or functional analogs are meant to mimic the pharmacological effects of the original drug while avoiding classification as illegal and/or detection in drug tests. Examples include designer benzodiazepines such as flualprazolam and fentanyl analogs such as parafluorofentanyl. Designer drugs can be found alone or in combination with other traditional drugs of abuse such as cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and heroin.

The absence of formal pharmaceutical studies in humans causes ambiguity regarding drug potency, pharmacokinetic profiles, pharmacodynamics, and toxic concentrations. Furthermore, the limited duration that the drug may be observed translates to even less time for law enforcement, medical practitioners, and death investigators to collect and disseminate data in real-time.

This presentation will review the main designer drug categories such as novel opioids, stimulants, and synthetic cannabinoids with emphasis on those that are found with the greatest frequency in NY State.

Speaker: Laura M. Labay, Ph.D., F-ABFT, DABCC-TC

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