By: Rachel Clark, DanceSafe Contractor
A round, light blue pill with “E” and “8” on one side, separated by a score line, and no markings on the other side was sold in St. Paul, MN as Oxycodone, but actually contains fentanyl, 4-ANPP, and lidocaine. The sample was submitted from St. Paul, MN.
The sample turned light yellow in the presence of the Marquis reagent, and didn’t react with the Mecke or Mandelin reagents.
Fentanyl is active in minute quantities, which has made it a nationally-recognized contributor to the opioid crisis due to its concentrated (and often accidental) presence in pills and powders. Media speculation has propagated the rumor that powdered fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin and/or cause overdose in individuals who come in contact with others who have consumed it. In reality, fentanyl can only cause intoxication when it comes in contact with mucous membranes.
Since fentanyl is typically (if not always) distributed unevenly throughout a sample, it is essential to use proper dilution techniques to dissolve the whole sample in water (the water can be left to evaporate out over a few days, leaving powder again). Symptoms of opioid overdose include slowed or stopped breathing and heart rate, blue-tinged extremities, loss of consciousness, and often vomiting. If you suspect that a person has overdosed on an opioid, call 911, administer Narcan whenever available, and place the person in the recovery position (if they are still breathing) to prevent asphyxiation on vomit. If a person is not breathing, perform CPR.
4-ANPP is a manufacturing intermediate of fentanyl.
Lidocaine is typically used to adulterate cocaine and other substances where a person might try to determine the contents by gumming; as a topical anesthetic, lidocaine has numbing properties that may emulate the numbing of cocaine. It is not, however, intended to be consumed orally, and will likely induce vomiting and other potentially dangerous side effects if swallowed.
We urge our community to keep in mind that drug markets are expansive and that this adulterated Oxycodone pill may appear in places other than its source and submission location. Using a reagent test kit can help provide a first line of defense as a presumptive (and not affirmative) process. Additionally, samples may be sent in to www.ecstasydata.org for in-depth laboratory testing. Test before you ingest to avoid taking misrepresented substances, and so you can adjust your intention, set, and setting appropriately to minimize risks. You can purchase fentanyl strips here.
The purpose of #TestIt Alerts is to alert the public to misrepresented substances circulating in their region. We neither condemn nor condone drug use, but rather want people to be aware of what they are ingesting so they can take steps to minimize risks.
Since 1998, DanceSafe has been keeping the electronic music and nightlife communities safe. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we provide free harm reduction services at music festivals and nightlife events across the nation. All proceeds from the sales of our drug checking kits go back into the organization so we can continue to provide our services to our communities for free. By purchasing a kit, you are not only helping keep you and your friends safe, you are also contributing to the harm reduction movement. Thank you for your support!