Fentanyl Analogues Causing the Convergence of Science and Law: The Truth of the Evolving Fentanyl Analogue Epidemic
Date & Time
Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
M.J. Menendez, JD, National Opioid Coordinator, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, U.S. Department of Justice
Barry Logan, PhD, F-ABFT, Sr. Vice President of Forensic Science Initiatives, Chief Scientist, NMS Labs
Moderator: Rita Noonan, PhD, Branch Chief, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CE Certified By: AMA,AAFP,ACPE,ADA,ANCC,APA,GA Bar,GA POST,NAADAC,NASW,NBCC
“Why can’t we fix this fentanyl crisis? What is the government doing?” The media and public often discuss fentanyl as a single, unified drug. While “fentanyl” is a single drug listed as a Schedule II controlled substance, fentanyl analogues are an ever-evolving and multiplying number of illicit compounds that evade detection, identification and understanding. Embracing the critical distinction between fentanyl, illicit fentanyl and fentanyl analogues is a vital step in understanding the scope of the fentanyl problem.
In this session, a forensic toxicologist will explain this distinction with understandable scientific principles. Once the sophistication of the methodologies of fentanyl core structure adaptation is understood, then the immense potential for fentanyl creation is visible. When that understanding is married with explanation of complexities posed by illicit market importation, expense of equipment and expertise needed for identification, and challenges in testing for substances, then the whole of the fentanyl analogues crisis comes into stark contrast and view.
An Assistant United States Attorney will discuss the legal challenges of prosecuting new fentanyls compared to those inherent in prosecution of diverted pharmaceutical fentanyls (and opioids). Topics will include the availability and sources for illicit fentanyl analogues, the difficulties in their detection and identification, and the current status of fentanyl scheduling under the United States Code and under the laws of constituent states.
Together, the presenters will provide a legally and scientifically accurate — yet practical and comprehensible — summary of the fentanyl analogues from evolution, to identification, to prosecution. Their goal is that participants will gain a new fearlessness of approach, grounded in fact and common sense, that can be applied to working toward interventions in public health and public safety response to meet the deadly scourge of the fentanyl analogues.
UPON COMPLETION OF THIS COURSE, PARTICIPANTS WILL BE ABLE TO:
- Discuss the characteristics of fentanyls, particularly in regard to their rapid evolution, and the currently identified fentanyls in the United States and the world.
- Outline strategies for staying abreast of the evolution of new fentanyls.
- Identify the legal challenges of prosecuting new fentanyls compared to those inherent in prosecution of diverted pharmaceutical fentanyls (and opioids).