Synthetic Drug 85 Times More Potent Than Marijuana Caused 'Zombie' Outbreak In New York

Dec. 2016  A designer drug known to be 85 times more potent than marijuana has been identified as the cause for the mysterious, “zombielike” mental state that afflicted several New Yorkers this past summer. While the exact cause of the overdose was not immediately known to investigators, researchers say that they have finally pinpointed the culprit drug after testing the blood and urine samples of the victims. [Full Story]

Opioid Crisis Worsened by Illicitly Manufactured Fentanyl

Dec. 2016 – America’s already serious opioid crisis is being complicated by a new—and deadly—drug. Fentanyl is a powerful pain medication long prescribed for patients with advanced cancer. But now an illicit version of the drug, one that is illegally manufactured, is flooding some communities across the United States, with overdoses and deaths steadily climbing in its wake. In fact, the Drug Enforcement Administration reported more than 700 deaths from 2013 to 2014 related to illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF). [Ful Story]

DEA Bans a Cousin of Deadly Synthetic Opioid Fentanyl

Nov. 2016  The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Tuesday added furanyl fentanyl, a deadly cousin of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, to its most restrictive list of controlled substances. The ban comes as the DEA tries to thwart the fast-evolving market for synthetic opioids, including several fentanyl analogues and relics from old pharmaceutical research like the chemical U-47700. Production and use of illicit synthetic opioids are on the rise. [Full Story]

DEA puts deadly synthetic drug ‘Pink’ in same category as heroin or LSD

Nov. 2016 – The Drug Enforcement Administration said on Thursday it had temporarily categorized a synthetic opioid nicknamed “pink” as a dangerous drug, after receiving at least 46 reports of deaths associated with its use. The abuse of opioids – a class of drugs that includes heroin and prescription painkillers – has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 78 Americans die every day from opioid overdose. “Pink,” known to chemists as U-47700, comes from a family of deadly synthetic opioids that are far more potent than heroin, and is usually imported to the United States mainly from China. [Full Story]

This Is U-47700, Once a Lab Experiment, Now a Killer Opioid

Nov. 2016 – In a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse, overseas labs are churning out new synthetic drugs at a furious pace, often staying a step ahead of authorities and helping to fuel America’s rampant opioid crisis. The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs estimates that “new psychoactive substances”—a broad list that includes synthetic opioids—are emerging globally at an average rate of one a week. [Must login for full story]

2 Utah Teens Overdose On Synthetic Opioid U-47700

Sept. 2016 – Just as the Drug Enforcement Agency announced plans to criminalize U-47700, two eighth graders in Utah have reportedly overdosed from the synthetic drug. While a specific number of overdoses caused by U-47700 has not been determined — because the drug is considered new and isn’t easily recognizable on autopsy examinations — the drug is predicted to be linked to nearly 50 deaths in the Unites States so far. [Full Story]

An Even Deadlier Opioid, Carfentanil, Is Hitting The Streets

Sept. 2016 – A powerful drug that’s normally used to tranquilize elephants is being blamed for a record spike in drug overdoses in the Midwest. Officials in Ohio have declared a public health emergency, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says communities everywhere should be on alert for carfentanil. [Full Story]

Progress against Chinese chemists selling dangerous synthetic drugs in US

Sept. 2016 – Synthetic cannabinoids — commonly known as K2 or spice — stimulants similar to cocaine or MDMA and the notoriously dangerous synthetic known as flakka have fallen dramatically from they were last summer. [Full Story]

24 Hospitalized From Drug Overdoses After Consuming THC-Laced Candies at Ohio Music Festival

Aug. 2016 – Synthetic cannabinoids can be anywhere from two to 100 times more potent than natural THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This general unpredictability is due to the unknown chemical composition of these drugs, which, the National Institute on Drug Abuse noted, may change from batch to batch. [Full Story]

Florida Zombie Drug Flakka: Everything You Need to Know

Aug. 2016 – Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Austin Harrouff, a 19-year-old Florida State University student, stabbed a married couple to death in their Jupiter, Florida home, and then gnawed at the male victim’s face. Authorities believe Harrouff was high on flakka, a highly addictive designer drug that causes paranoia and psychosis. Flakka, sometimes known as gravel, is closely related to bath salts, a synthetic cathinone that police linked to the infamous face-eating attack in Miami four years ago. [Full Story]

‘Darkness’ drug sends 20 people to ERs with violent outbursts

August 2016 – HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Nearly two dozen people went to emergency rooms in two days after using a potent batch of synthetic marijuana. Dr. Anthony Guarracino, a PinnacleHealth emergency room physician, said the hospital received about 20 patients in a 48-hour span with similar reactions to synthetic marijuana. “It stimulates your heart rate, drives your blood pressure up, and basically makes you psychotic,” he said. [Full Story]

Dangerous Drugs: Why Synthetic-Cannabinoid Overdoses Are On the Rise

July 2016 – Overdoses from synthetic cannabinoids are on the rise, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Synthetic cannabinoids, sometimes called K2 or spice, were first found in the U.S. by authorities in 2008, according to the CDC. Since 2010, the number of overdoses from these compounds has increased each year, according to the new report, published today (July 14). [Full Story]

Dozens hospitalized in NYC for apparent K2 overdoses

July 2016 – NEW YORK — Police said at least 33 people were hospitalized Tuesday after showing signs of overdosing on synthetic marijuana in Brooklyn, CBS New York reported. The incident happened in the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, in the same area where the station reported on the problem last month. [Full Story]

Bath Salts, Smiles and Spice: The Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

Jun. 2016 – They are a serious public health threat. In order to circumvent existing drug laws — as well as evade urine testing that would identify them — unscrupulous manufacturers are constantly creating new formulas, which means no one knows what these drugs consist of, what the health effects are or what dosages are dangerous. [Full story]

Scientists, US Post Office team up to fight synthetic drug

Jun. 2016 – Investigators at the National Forensic Lab with the US Postal Inspection Services are now working together to fight back against the trafficking of illegal synthetic drugs through the mail. [Full story]

How dealers are evading police with deadly synthetic drugs

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 1.04.51 PMMay 2016 -A new strategy by drug dealers to evade the law is catching up to them. A mother and son duo recently pleaded guilty to distributing about $6 million worth of drugs. Yet dealers continue playing a shell game in hopes of making new users out of people who might not normally try drugs. [Full story]

This new street drug is 10,000 times more potent than morphine

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 10.17.45 AMMay 2016 -It was first developed in a Canadian lab more than three decades ago, promising and potent — and intended to relieve pain in a less addictive way. [Full story]

‘Not for Human Consumption’ — The Glut of Synthetic Psychoactive Drugs on the Horizon

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 12.30.47 PMApr. 2016 -We have heard a lot about K2 (Spice, Black Mamba and other quaint names), the synthetic “marijuana” that has been ravaging people and cities. The use and abuse of synthetic, illicit drugs has become a public health crisis that is not going away, and in fact it may become more serious. [Full story]

Officials sound the alarm over deadly synthetic fentanyl in Minnesota
1459594382_10001741+FENTANYL+EPIDEMIC+2Apr. 2016 – Preliminary tests by federal investigators have confirmed fears that a deadly synthetic drug nearly 50 times stronger than heroin has arrived in the Upper Midwest — often with fatal consequences for users. [Full story]  
Why synthetic drugs are as scary as you think

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.54.55 AMApr. 2016 – Synthetic drugs such as “bath salts,” “K2” or “Spice” have made unsettling headlines lately, with reports of violent, erratic behavior and deaths after people have used the substances. Why are these synthesized drugs so dangerous, and why aren’t there more regulations? [Full story]

2 accused of link to 'spice' sales at Brainerd High School

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 11.31.36 AMMar. 2016 – According to criminal complaints filed against 26-year-old Cassandra Marie Kruger and 21-year-old Gabriel Levi Chips, both of Brainerd, the pair was involved in the sale and distribution of a variety of illegal substances. [Full story]

Experts: Minnesota's Synthetic Drug Problem Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 8.58.30 AMMar. 2016 -A judge sentenced 23-year-old Tyler Caputo to almost 10 years behind bars Wednesday, after prosecutors argued Caputo sold a synthetic LSD—also called 2-C—that killed two people in 2014. [Full story]

 

‘Dateline’ highlights story of MN teen who overdosed on synthetic drugs


Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 3.27.02 PMFeb. 2016
 –“Dateline” turned a national spotlight on the story of 17-year-old Tara Fitzgerald, a Woodbury teenager who died of an overdose in 2014, to highlight the growing problem of synthetic drugs in Minnesota and across the United States. [Full story]

Synthetic marijuana in pro sports


Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.20.31 AMFeb. 2016
 – Synthetic marijuana is also known as spice or K2. Even though it’s sold in many local bodegas, delis and gas stations, it’s illegal under federal law, but varies state to state. [Full story]

2 sentenced for dealing synthetic drug that led to overdoses

Feb. 2016 – FARGO, N.D. (AP) – A federal judge on Monday gave two 19-year-old men prison sentences of more than three years for dealing a powerful synthetic drug that led to numerous overdoses and at least one death in northeastern North Dakota. [Full story]

Synthetic marijuana caused Chandler Jones’ hospitalization

350x-1132-e1354152052659Jan. 2016 – A little more light has come to the curious case of Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones. According to Christopher Gasper of the Boston Globe, Jones’s “confused” reaction which required hospitalization was triggered by synthetic marijuana. [Full story]

What’s in that synthetic drug? An unknown grab-bag of toxic chemicals
Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 10.04.51 AMJan. 2016 -The synthetic drug Spice is known as “fake pot,” but its effects are completely different from marijuana. The hard-to-detect substances are often made in foreign facilities with an ever-changing cocktail of chemicals, meaning you can never be sure of what you’re taking. This year, poison control hotlines have seen a record number of calls across the country. William Brangham reports.  [Full story]
Everything you need to know about the new street drug 'flakka' — its insane side effects aren't even the worst part


bath-salts1 2Jan. 2016
 – There’s a new drug in town called flakka. Many reports are saying this new designer drug is sweeping the state of Florida: Broward Health Medical Center — Florida’s public hospital system and one of the largest in the nation — now sees an estimated 25 to 30 flakka patients a day, NBC News reports. [Full story]

Duluth forum to focus on addiction

Dec. 2015 – Sponsored by the nonprofit Minnesota Recovery Connection, the event will feature people in long-term recovery, family members and their allies sharing their stories with a “listening panel” comprised of individuals from the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services… [Full story]

Deadly K2 Drug Hits Local Teens Hard

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 9.42.53 AM Dec. 2015
– Some may call it synthetic marijuana, but this new chemical concoction sweeping the nation is more potent than the drug it is named for, often causing hallucinations, rapid heartbeats and seizures. It can also be deadly.  [Full story]
Labs make new, dangerous synthetic cannabinoid drugs faster than we can ban them

Nov. 2015 – XLSR-11, PB-22, AB-FUBINACA, MAB-CHMINACA, 5F-AMB. These are the cryptic and sometimes unpronounceable names of the most dangerous drugs you’ve never heard of. They are responsible for kidney injury, psychosis, seizures, coma and death. [Full story]

Teen faces trial in high schooler's synthetic marijuana death

Crash-emergency-graphicNov. 2015 – An April trial has been scheduled for an 18-year-old in the drug death of a Sioux City high school student. [Full story]

W.D.M. man guilty of distributing synthetic drugs

635820791785852074-muhammad-anwar Nov. 2015 -A West Des Moines man was found guilty in federal court last week for wholesaling synthetic drugs commonly known as K2 and bath salts. [Full story]

Inside Your Health: The Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

KSTP-SyntheticDrugsOct. 2015 – Synthetic drug use is a dangerous and growing trend, according to the Minnesota Poison Control System. In fact, the organization reported 102 instances of synthetic marijuana use just last year. [Full story]

Federal agents launch nationwide crackdown on synthetic drugs

RTX1O3WX-1024x692 2
 Oct. 2015 –  Federal drug agents have arrested more than 100 people across the country in the latest phase of a national crackdown on manufacturers and purveyors of synthetic drugs. [Full story]
Teen found in marsh dies, synthetic drug suspected


Oct. 2015
-Authorities say synthetic drugs could be the cause of a 17-year-old’s death, after he was found face-up in a marsh having a seizure. [Full story]

K2, a Potent Drug, Casts a Shadow Over an East Harlem Block

K2, a Potent Drug, Casts a Shadow Over East Harlem BlockSept. 2015 – The people here on this stretch of 125th Street in East Harlem may change, but the drug remains the same: K2, also called synthetic marijuana, a potent mix of herbs and chemicals that has become widely used among homeless people in New York City. [Full story]

Duluth seeing resurgence of synthetic drug overdoses

Aug. 2015 – An increasing number of people are being treated in Duluth’s emergency rooms after using a synthetic drug with an unknown chemical composition, authorities say. Although no one has died from the drug in Duluth, patients are ending up in intensive care units, needing breathing tubes and central lines, with continual observation by nurses due to low heart rates and low blood pressure until they recover, said Elisabeth Bilden, a medical toxicologist at Essentia Health. [Full story]

Synthetic Drugs Believed to Cause Mental Illness

Emerging TrendsAug. 2015 – A stabbing on a Metro train, a baby abandoned in the District, and a woman who pointed a knife at D.C. police and was shot last weekend are three cases that may have a common thread: all three suspects are believed to have been using synthetic drugs. Often sold as relatively harmless looking potpourri in stores, synthetic drugs have been named a possible cause for the rise in crime both regionally and across the country. [Full story]

The rise of Synthetic Drugs in the US: What Growing Trends Mean for Public Health

Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen deathAug. 2015 – Since their first documented appearance in the United States in 2008, synthetic drugs have created a trend that both authorities and health care officials alike are struggling to contain. Due to the ever-changing formulas of these substances, lawmakers find it difficult to pass all-encompassing legislation that makes these new drugs fully illegal. And with these changing formulas comes new chemical combinations that are unknown, unstudied, and extremely dangerous. [Full story]

Cities Across U.S. See Rise in Synthetic Marijuana Overdoses

August 2015 – Officials in cities across the United States are reporting a rise in overdoses related to synthetic marijuana, CNN reports. Police chiefs meeting in Washington this week said they need field tests to help them quickly determine whether suspects have taken the drug. [Full story]

The scariest thing about synthetic drugs is everything that's unknown

July 2015 – Synthetic drugs have been around for years. Also known as “synthetic cannabinoids,” the term encompasses a range of mind-altering chemicals that are constantly evolving and are marketed in wildly divergent ways, sometimes as marijuana substitutes on the streets and as incense in convenience stores. [Full story]

Authorities break synthetic drug ring with North Dakota ties

Emerging TrendsJuly 2015 – Federal officials in North Dakota say they’ve broken an international synthetic drug ring. Daniel Vivas Ceron, 34, is accused of moving fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate, and other synthetic drugs into the U.S. The Columbian national has been arrested in Panama and is awaiting extradition to the U.S., Acting U.S. Attorney Chris Myers said Tuesday. [Full story]

Bismarck jury finds owner, manager of ND skate shop guilty of selling synthetic drugs

Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen deathJuly 2015 – A jury has found the owner and manager of a skate shop in Bismarck guilty of operating a business where synthetic drugs were sold. Jurors found Discontent owner Thomas Teply, of Moorhead, Minnesota, guilty of four counts related to the sale of synthetic drugs and paraphernalia. The jury convicted manager Steven Johnson, of Bismarck, three charges, including possession of synthetic cannabinoids with intent to deliver. [Full story]

Sen. Klobuchar Introduces SALT Act to Fight Synthetic Drugs

June 2015 – Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is making another push to battle the growing epidemic of synthetic drugs. The Democrat spoke on the Senate floor to tell colleagues about a bipartisan bill she’s introduced with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina). [Full story]

Emerging Trends: Increasing Overdoses From Synthetic Cannabinoids in Several States

Emerging TrendsMay 2015 – Updated May 8, 2015 – Recent surges in hospitalizations and calls to poison control centers linked to consumption of synthetic cannabinoid products–sold under brand names like “Spice,” “K2,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and others–are being reported in several southern and northeastern U.S. states and have prompted officials to issue health warnings. [Full story]

Autopsy Shows That UND Student Died From Fentanyl Overdose

May 2015 – A University of North Dakota student who was found unresponsive in a home near campus last month died from an overdose of powdered fentanyl, an autopsy released Wednesday shows. Alex Davis, 22, of West Saint Paul, Minnesota, is believed to be the third person in the Grand Forks area who has died this year from ingesting the powerful synthetic drug. A half-dozen people are facing federal charges for dealing fentanyl and other drugs that made people sick. [Full story]

Flakka '$5 insanity,' is increasingly popular synthetic drug kids are using with e-cigarettes

Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen deathApril 2015 – It is the latest in a series of synthetic drugs that include Ecstasy and bath salts, but officials say flakka is even easier to obtain in small quantities through the mail. Flakka’s active ingredient is a chemical compound called alpha-PVP, which is on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of the controlled substances most likely to be abused. It is usually made overseas in countries such as China and Pakistan. [Full story]

Judge hands down harsh 1-year sentence to northern Minnesota man who sold synthetic marijuana

Minnesota City drug bustApril 2015 – A 54-year-old northern Minnesota man has been sentenced to a year in state prison for selling synthetic drugs. Kevin John Lecalire of Taconite was charged after the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office found more than three pounds of a type of synthetic marijuana known as “spice” at his home last year. [Full story]

Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen's death

Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen deathMarch 2014 – Woodbury teenagers Brian Phillip Norlander and Tara Fitzgerald had known each other for several years and had developed, in his words, a “special” relationship. “I’ve never had a friend like her who I could confide in so deeply,” Norlander recalled Wednesday before being sentenced in Washington County District Court for selling Fitzgerald the synthetic drug that killed her. Fitzgerald told Norlander that she was planning to take the drug that weekend. Soon after she did, she began convulsing violently. “The outcome has been the most horrible thing that I could ever imagine,” Norlander told Judge John McBride at Wednesday’s sentencing in Stillwater. [Full story]

Father of Dead Woodbury Teen Talks About Drug Dangers

March 2014 – The father of a teen who died of a synthetic drug overdose last year spoke about the dangers of drugs as part of a community forum. Thomas Fitzgerald spoke at Woodbury High School Thursday night where his daughter, Tara, was a student. It’s part of a series of meetings at schools around Washington County to raise awareness. Last year there were 15 overdose deaths of people age 15 to 30 in the county. There are seven so far this year. Fitzgerald shared a message with parents. [Full story]

Minnesota City drug bust nets five, after suspects show up to house being raided
Minnesota City drug bustJanuary 2015 – Members of the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force, along with the Winona County Emergency Response Team, employed a flash-bang device on entering the residence of Anthony Alfonso Simonic in Minnesota City Dec. 26, according to court documents. Law enforcement officers found Simonic, 45, on the living room sofa and Taylor Elizabeth Paetzel, 22, in an upstairs bedroom. Pipes, scorched aluminum foil, and other items associated with drug use were found throughout the house, many coated with a white powder identified as Alpha-PVP, an illegal synthetic drug often referred to as bath salts on the street. [Full story]
Deadly High: How Synthetic Drugs are Killing Teens

December 2014 – In the past four years, more than 300 synthetic designer drugs with names such as Spice, N-bombe and K2, have flooded into the United States. A new CNN report special reveals several stories of lives lost to synthetic drug use and what you need to know. “It’s never going to be done. Christian was — he was a child, he was our flesh and blood, he was someone who was so important to us that we would’ve given our lives for him,” Keith Bjerk said. “It is now our job to get the word out there to the rest of the people so that no other families have to go through this kind of thing and to honor our son.” [Full story]

N bomb drug prevalent in Minnesota schools

N bomb drug in Minnesota schoolsNovember 2014 – Officials with the Lakeville School District are warning parents and students about the presence of a synthetic drug among students that has already proven to be fatal for one Minnesota teenager. The drug, technically known as 25i-NBOMe, is a synthetic hallucinogen with properties similar to LSD – but “much more potent,” according to Lakeville Police Chief Jeffrey Long. [Full story]

Federal authorities single out North Dakota investigation into synthetic drug deaths of teens
North Dakota drug caseOctober 2014 – The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday honored law enforcement officials who investigated and prosecuted the region’s first large-scale synthetic drug case following the overdose deaths of two Grand Forks-area teenagers. The synthetic drug case involved 15 defendants, all of whom were convicted. The investigation began after Christian Bjerk, 18, of Grand Forks, and Elijah Stai, 17, of Park Rapids, Minnesota, died within a week of each other in June 2012 after ingesting the hallucinogens. Three other young people were hospitalized. [Full story]
Second adult pleads guilty in overdose death of Woodbury teenager
September 2014 – A 19-year-old man from St. Cloud acknowledged quietly in court Monday that his drug dealing was responsible for the overdose death of a promising Woodbury High School honor student last winter. Alexander Lee Claussen pleaded guilty in Washington County District Court in Stillwater to third-degree murder for selling a synthetic drug, marketed as LSD, that killed 17-year-old Tara Fitzgerald on Jan. 11, just hours after she took it. Claussen is the second of five teenagers who prosecutors say were part of a county drug-dealing chain to plead guilty in the case. [Full story]
Synthetic drug dealer in Mankato deaths arrested in Chicago suburb
Mankato Dealer Arrested in ChicagoJuly 2014 – A man suspected of selling synthetic drugs linked to two deaths in Mankato, Minn. was arrested Monday morning in a Chicago suburb. Tyler Anthony Caputo, 21, of Mankato was one of 4 people arrested in March in connection with the deaths of 17-year-old Chloe Moses and 22-year-old Louis Folson. [Full story]
28 arrests for synthetic drugs in 30 hours
28 Arrests in St LouisJune 2014 – U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan had a different agenda when he called a news conference to announce the arrest of 28 people for manufacturing and selling synthetic drugs. He and others gathered at the federal court house in downtown St. Louis wanted to make sure moms and dads in the region not only knew these drugs were still being sold, but that they were being altered with toxic chemicals coming in from Asia in an attempt to avoid prosecution. [Full story with video]
DEA arrests at least 150 people in synthetic drug operation in 29 states
DEA ArticleMay 2014 – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other federal, state, and local partners announced the culmination of Project Synergy Phase II, an ongoing effort targeting every level of the dangerous global synthetic designer drug market. Since January and leading up to this week, nationwide enforcement operations have taken place targeting these drug trafficking organizations that have operated in communities across the country. [Full DEA article]
Minnesota, Wisconsin poised to enact new laws on synthetic drugs

MN and WI legislation storyMay 2014 – It appears that both Minnesota and Wisconsin will emerge from their current legislative sessions with new laws in place to combat the scourge of synthetic drugs. And lawmakers from the Duluth-Superior region have played a leading role in putting new enforcement tools into the hands of local authorities struggling to keep pace with an industry that is rapidly evolving and highly lucrative, even if socially destructive. [Full MN and WI legislation story]

Five teenagers charged with murder in Woodbury drug overdose
May 2014 – Five people, including three high school students, have been charged with murder in connection with the January death of a 17-year-old girl who ingested a synthetic drug she purchased from a high school classmate, prosecutors announced Wednesday. [Full Woodbury synthetic drug article]
DEA chief to visit China for talks on synthetic drugs

Jan. 2017 – The nation’s top drug officer is visiting China for the first time in more than a decade to discuss banning more of the synthetic drugs being manufactured by chemists there and illegally sold in the United States. Carreno said the purpose of the visit is to push for more substances to be banned, especially synthetic fentanyl, an incredibly deadly drug that can poison and kill in very small doses. [Full Story]