We previously wrote about how fentanyl was confirmed to be the deadliest drug in America. It’s now over a year later, and fentanyl is still a significant issue across the world. The good news is that more and more supplies of this dangerous drug are being seized all over the world.
The latest report comes from the National Public Prosecutor’s Office of The Netherlands where what officials originally thought was a plastic bag filled with cocaine turned out to be more than a kilo of fentanyl. The agency was quoted as saying, “As far as is known, such a large amount of the extremely dangerous substance has never before been seized in the Netherlands.”
According to the report, “police officers found the plastic bag with unknown contents when they searched the shed in the garden of the man’s house in Eindhoven and confiscated it . An expert from the Netherlands Forensic Institute then examined the content and determined that it involved more than a kilo of fentanyl. There are no indications that the health of police officers who did the search was at risk.”
The article emphasized that even a small amount of Fentanyl can be deadly:
Fentanyl is on list I of the Opium Act. It is a substance with an effect similar to morphine but then 80-100 times stronger. The substance, also called morphinomimetic, is very addictive and can be fatal if you ingest a very small amount. In the medical world it is used on prescription as an anesthetic and painkiller. Fentanyl works by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed….
The possession or transportation of raw materials for the production of synthetic drugs and other substances that are on list I of the Opium Act is prohibited. List I contains drugs with an unacceptable risk that are enormously harmful to health.
The photo that accompanied the article showed the Fentanyl confirmed results on a handheld narcotics analyzer. This tool enables officers, customs, border control, and other personnel to scan more than 498 suspected controlled substances in a single, definitive test.
The handheld analyzer utilizes a well-established analytical technique called Raman spectroscopy – which can be used used to identify key drugs of abuse as well as common cutting agents, precursors and emerging threats such as fentanyl, numerous fentanyl compounds including carfentanil, common street fentanyl analogs, pharmaceutical variants as well as the fentanyl precursors, NPP and ANPP.
Using this technology, one can scan directly through plastic or glass for most samples to minimize contamination, reduce exposure and preserve evidence. An officer can scan a single sample for multiple narcotics, and receive the results within seconds. These handheld narcotics analyzers offer a presumptive test that is more accurate and reliable than colorimetric drug tests, providing law enforcement officials a quicker and safer method to identify suspected narcotics in the field. (You can read about these and other reasons handheld Raman strengthens law enforcement for narcotics identification here.)
Let’s hope that the growing use of handheld narcotics analyzers in the field will help keep drugs out of the sheds and off the streets.