Designer Opioids act on opioid receptors in the brain, often with psychotropic effects like traditional opioids depending on dosage, and are highly addictive and dangerous, especially when mixed with alcohol and other drugs.

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"NMS is developing tests which screen for emerging designer opioids to increase legal awareness and help prevent unnecessary deaths related to drug use."
- Wall Street Journal



Activating the opioid receptors in users, designer opioids yield strong effects, typically euphoric with an associated high risk of respiratory depression. Many familiar licit and illicit opiate drugs are derived from morphine and codeine including heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. NPS opioid derivatives are developed by making minor modifications to an original opiate, like fentanyl and are equally if not more addictive. These compounds may have similar effects and can be more potent which makes them more deadly. They may be scheduled or unscheduled at the state and federal levels. NMS Labs is partnering with the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE), constantly looking to provide results that are both actionable and accurate.

The clandestine production, distribution, and abuse of synthetic opioids today echoes the similar histories of both heroin and prescription opioid analgesics. Because many of these illicitly produced synthetic opioids are more potent than morphine and heroin, when unpredictably mixed or cut, they carry an added potential risk of fatal overdose.

As a leading national forensic toxicology laboratory, NMS Labs conducts forensic and clinical toxicology testing for various derived or synthetic opioids such as codeine, morphine, methadone, hydrocodone (Vicodin®), oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydromorphone, heroin, U-47700, fentanyl, and dozens of fentanyl analogues including carfentanil, cis-3-methylfentanyl, cyclopropylfentanyl, methoxyacetylfentanyl, para-fluorofentanyl, trans-3-methylfentanyl, and valerylfentanyl.

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Discuss your toxicology laboratory testing needs and our postmortem toxicology services for NPS, designer drugs, and synthetic analogs with our staff of licensed forensic toxicologists. New and returning clients get phone and email support and can set up exclusive secure access to their account in our convenient online client portal.

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