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Happy New Year from the Thermo Fisher Scientific Toxicology Team! We are excited to introduce the first quarterly Let’s Talk Tox newsletter. Our goal is to deliver relevant information to keep you abreast of current trends, current research and publications, educational content, technical tips and future events. This newsletter is the result of customer feedback, so we cordially invite you to send questions, comments or suggestions for topics to help us better serve you. Contact us at LetsTalkTox@thermofisher.com.

In the News

FDA and Kratom

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom, a plant which grows naturally in southeast Asia. The FDA is concerned that kratom, which affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine, appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence.

There are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, and the agency has received concerning reports about the safety of kratom. The FDA is actively evaluating all available scientific information on this issue and continues to warn consumers not to use any products labeled as containing the kratom or its psychoactive compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. The FDA encourages more research to better understand kratom’s safety profile, including the use of kratom combined with other drugs.

Since identifying kratom on an import alert for unapproved drugs in 2012 and on a second import alert in February 2014 regarding kratom-containing dietary supplements and bulk dietary ingredients, FDA has taken a number of additional actions, including:

  • In September 2014, U.S. Marshals seized more than 25,000 pounds of raw kratom material worth more than $5 million from Rosefield Management, Inc. in Van Nuys, California. 
  • In January 2016, U.S. Marshals seized nearly 90,000 bottles of dietary supplements labeled as containing kratom and worth more than $400,000. The product, manufactured for and held by Dordoniz Natural Products LLC, located in South Beloit, Illinois, is marketed under the brand name RelaKzpro. 
  • In August 2016, U.S. Marshals seized more than 100 cases of products labeled as containing kratom and worth more than $150,000. The products are distributed by Nature Therapeutics LLC, which does business as Kratom Therapy and is located in Grover Beach, California. The seized products are marketed under the brand name Kratom Therapy.

While the FDA evaluates the available safety information about the effects of kratom, the agency encourages health care professionals and consumers to report any adverse reactions to the FDA’s MedWatch program. 

Drug Court Review Volume II

Innovative approaches for the treatment court field

Published in the summer of 2019, the second issue of the Drug Court Review academic journal broadly focuses on innovative approaches, program implementation, and evaluation in adult treatment courts. The issue offers recommendations, principles, models, frameworks, and tools to help drug courts implement, manage and measure success. Additionally it is a collection of papers that, suggests a national research agenda for treatment courts; recommends a set of 10 principles to guide practice specific to opioid courts; recommends family-centered interventions rather than individuals for better outcomes; proposes a VA-VTC logic model to better clarify the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) distinct role in the veterans treatment courts (VTCs); and describes a framework for managing drug courts through performance management.  

Table of contents:

  • Introduction to the issue on innovative approaches for the treatment court field
  • Envisioning a national research program for substance abuse treatment courts
  • The 10 essential elements of opioid intervention courts
  • Family skills training programs for family drug court
  • Logic model of the department of Veterans Affairs’ role in Veterans treatment courts 
  • A framework for managing drug court performance

Q&A

Where can I locate cross-reactivity of a drug test to a certain drug or a medication that the participant may have taken?  

This question is quite common and the first place to look is in the test’s package insert, which is easily accessible on the product pages of thermofisher.com/dat-products

The package inserts for the drugs of abuse tests contain the most updated cross-reactivity lists which are conveniently divided into sections and may include the following information:

  • Interference with potential discordant substances
  • Endogenous substances
  • Parent compound and possible metabolites 
  • Interference with structurally unrelated compounds 

This information may also be described under Specificity and Interference sections of the package insert. 

Good laboratory practice calls for strict adherence to following instructions in the product’s package insert. This is important should the package insert provide instructions for additional testing requirements.

Did You Know?

Thermofisher.com offers a wealth of drugs of abuse information for. Here are a few popular links:

Drug Testing for Criminal Justice

We understand that successful recovery is rooted in consistent testing and monitoring. By working together, we can make a positive difference in the lives of your participants, and that’s the result that really matters. At thermofisher.com/drugcourts, you can find information to help you increase the productivity and success of your program.  

Drugs of Abuse Documents

The package insert for each test provides the most comprehensive information about the test and how to use it. Some key sections are: Specimen Collection & Handling; Testing Procedure; Expected Values; Interference Information plus much more. 

Drugs of Abuse Testing Resources

At thermofisher.com/dat-resources you can access educational content through on demand webinars, videos, resources and publications. 

Future Events

RISE20

Visit Thermo Fisher Scientific at NADCP’s RISE20, the world’s largest conference on addiction, mental health and justice system reform, May 27-30, 2020 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. More details to come.

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