Synthetic Opioids, (re)Emerging Problem in Europe and North America
Department of Pharmacology, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Czech Republic
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I would like to draw the reader´s attention to group of synthetic opioids, which have been increasingly appearing or re-emerging during the last few years on the black drug markets in many European countries, the USA, Canada and elsewhere. Newly encouraged interest in synthetic opioids has been observed for last 6-7 years and recently has grown intensively. Increasing number of European countries (Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech Republic etc.) have reported abuse of fentanyl (Janssen, 1962), which so far has been rather limited to Estonia (Fentanyl in Europe, 2012; Mounteney, 2015), fentanylrelated intoxications and deaths have markedly increased recently (to hundreds) in the USA (NIDA, 2015) and Canada (CCNDU Bulletin, 2014). Also the spectrum of different structures of synthetic opioids on the black market has significantly risen and many of these substances are already associated with serious or fatal overdoses (EMCDDA, 2009-12; European Drug Report, 2013-15).