Randox Toxicology: The Next Wave in Drug Abuse
A letter published by The New England Journal of Medicine documented that officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Douglas C. Throckmorton, Scott Gottlieb and Janet Woodcock have warned that non-opioid painkillers could be at the forefront of the next wave of drug abuse.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that over 42,000 deaths in the US were due to opioid abuse in 2016, with 40% of all opioid related deaths having involved prescription opioids. As a result, the FDA are encouraging doctors to prescribe alternative opioid drugs when possible and are developing new therapeutics to help people dealing with pain.
However, fears have been raised that curbing prescription opioid abuse could lead to opioid substitutes being used. Substances that are being closely watched include over the counter treatments; benzodiazepines and kratom.
Benzodiazepines are minor tranquillisers used to treat anxiety and insomnia. The effects include sedation, suppressing fits and making the user feel calm and relaxed. When mixed with other depressant drugs like heroin or alcohol, benzodiazepines can cause short term memory loss and nasty withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, anxiety and vomiting. These tranquillisers come in tablet form which people may crush or melt to inject, making them extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal.
The tropical tree known as kratom, grows in marshy areas around Asia and contains the active chemicals mitragynine, mitraphylline and 7-hydroxymitragynine. The effects of taking kratom include an opiate like sedation and a stimulated state of alertness, whilst higher doses can trigger severe nausea and vomiting. Heavy use of the drug can also cause constipation, darkening of the skin, insomnia, dry mouth and anorexia.
Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in women? Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, accounts for 27% of all female deaths. That’s much higher than what is commonly thought to be the biggest killer of women – breast cancer. At Randox, we’re using our innovative technology to diagnose CVD cases as early as possible so appropriate treatment can be sought.
The Randox clinical product range offers a wide range of products to combat heart issues including the RX series extensive cardiac testing panel, reagents such as H-FABP, Adiponectin an TxB Cardio and an extensive cardiac QC range available in both liquid & lyophilised format.
You can find out more about how Randox is helping to diagnose women’s health issues, such as CVD, here.
What is CVD?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general terms for conditions that affect the heart and/or blood vessels. It is usually associated with the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries and an increased risk of blood clots.
CVD is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK but can often largely be prevented with a healthy lifestyle.
Types of CVD
Coronary heart disease
This occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is blocked or reduced
A stroke is where the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, which can cause brain damage and possibly death. A transient ischaemic attack (also called a TIA or “mini-stroke”) is similar, but the blood flow to the brain is only temporarily disrupted.
Causes of CVD
The exact cause of CVD isn’t clear, but there are lots risk factors that can increase your risk of getting it. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing CVD. Risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight or obese
- Family history of CVD
- Ethnic background
- Stop smoking
- Have a balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Cut down alcohol consumption
How is Randox helping to detect CVD?
Randox has developed the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers for superior semi-automated and fully automated testing. The RX series extensive dedicated test menu goes beyond routine testing and has many unique and high-performance tests available. Our range of tests covers many tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac diseases.
|Cholesterol||CRP Full Range(0.3-160mg/l)||Direct LDL Cholesterol||sLDL|
|CK-MB||CRP High Sensitivity||Heart-Type Fatty Acid Binding Protein (H-FABP)||Triglycerides|
|CRP||Direct HDL Cholesterol||Myoglobin||Adiponectin|
Our world leading test menu of high quality reagents guarantees excellence in patient care ensuring unrivalled precision and accuracy reducing costly test re-runs or misdiagnosis and offering complete confidence in results.
The RX series clinical chemistry analysers provide laboratories with a robust and smart solution ensuring you maintain a consistent workflow and can provide accurate results first time, every time. Offering excellent customer support services, our trained engineers are on hand to work with you in preserving the continuity of your operations while maximising the potential of your RX series instrument.
For more information visit: https://dev.randox.com/clinical-chemistry-analysers/
Psychoactive substances, formerly known as legal highs, are substances which produce the same or similar effects as many illegal drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine. With many psychoactive substances it is extremely difficult to know their potency and therefore how they will affect the user.
They are divided into four main groups:
Sedatives – Cause reduced concentration and slowing of reactions, leading user to feel physically unsteady and lethargic.
Hallucinogenic – These substances cause psychedelic reactions which can lead the user to act erratically, putting their own safety at risk.
Stimulants – Substance temporarily causes increase in alertness and energy, while also putting a strain on the nervous system.
Synthetic Cannabinoids – Large doses can lead to life-threatening intoxication. Also effects the central nervous system causing seizures, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate and increased body temperature.
Last month two men were arrested and jailed for four and a half years for selling psychoactive substances. The offences were committed in Scotland and eight of the men’s customers needed hospital treatment after taking the substances.
Free samples and loyalty cards were used by the men selling the psychoactive substances and two users were left in comas after taking a substance known as Psyclone. Court was told that the shops took in as much as £2,500 in sales every day.
The sister of a man who died from taking psychoactive substances said it changed her brother “mentally and physically.” BBC Scotland was told that he started dabbling with psychoactive substances because he believed they were legal. “Some of them were a substitute of heroin, others to mimic the effects of cannabis. He became very withdrawn with the family and just wanted to stay away.”
Randox Testing Services
At Randox Testing Services we reacted to the issues caused by psychoactive substances by releasing the world’s first Synthetic Cannabinoids (JWH/AM) and ‘Bath Salt’s’ (MPDV) tests in 2012. This enables companies to test for popular types of psychoactive substances and showed that it was possible to detect these substances.
However as new psychoactive substances emerged new tests also had to be created and next generation Synthetic Cannabinoids tests (UR144 and JWH250) were released in 2013. These tests represented a milestone in the fight against the highly dangerous psychoactive substances and provided a way for laboratories and companies to stay on top of the developing drug trends.
Psychoactive Substances we currently screen for;
Today, in the endless pursuit of creating innovative tests for new and emerging psychoactive substances, our expertise sets us apart from the rest of the industry. We will continue to develop our test menus and grow our range of tests.
For more information contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medico-legal testing for drugs and alcohol may be required by various professional bodies involved in child custody cases, care proceedings or child protection cases. In cases regarding divorce and children, a dispute may arise during the process of discussions involving the custody of children. In these cases drug and alcohol testing may be sought if there has been a substance abuse claim against a parent fighting for custody or visitation. In cases relating to child protection, social services may seek drug and alcohol testing if child welfare claims have been made regarding suspected substance misuse.
Normally in medico-legal cases a hair sample would be tested as it provides the longest detection window.
Why is Drug and Alcohol Testing in Medico-legal Cases Important?
Drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have a quality of life they deserve. In addition it is also important to enable parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment.
Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained. Drug and alcohol testing assists in these efforts and in such cases abstinence monitoring testing may be required to assess a parent’s recovery e.g. if a visitation case is being reassessed.
At Randox Testing Services we provide drug and alcohol testing to all professionals within the family law and medico-legal sector. Our hair drug testing service utilises accredited testing methods and is made more cost-effective through utilising patented testing methods developed by Randox.
We understand the impact a positive result can have on a parent, child, and extended family and ensure results of the highest precision and accuracy. With over 35 years’ experience in the diagnostic industry we have gained reputation as a trusted provider.
Our drug and alcohol testing solutions are flexible and can be tailored to our customer needs with a choice of testing methods. We offer a comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu and our service also includes expert witness reporting where applicable.
To speak to one of our experts about hair drug testing contact email@example.com or call +44 (0) 161 741 2760. We work with companies within the medico-legal sector along with a wide range of workplaces and also private individuals.
For further information on RTS, or to arrange interviews, please contact the Randox PR team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 9442 2413
Newly emerged figures from Public Health England have documented that the UK’s current approach to drug treatment has failed to reduce drug related deaths. With UK drug abuse now at an all-time high, 2017 saw a 23% increase in treatment presentations for crack cocaine use, according to The Conversation. An additional article by the Business Insider UK reported that seizures related to cocaine in Britain are now at their highest since 2008.
Crack cocaine is a powerful stimulant designed to temporarily speed up the mind and body. Freebase cocaine (powder cocaine) and crack cocaine (rock form cocaine) can both be smoked to reach the brain quicker, whilst snorting the substance causes a slower effect. A very addictive substance, cocaine is reported to make a user over confident and careless with risks including, breathing and mental health problems, depression and the risk of an overdose related death. When taken in conjunction with alcohol the dangers of cocaine are increased, as the mixture produces the toxic chemical, cocaethylene.
The Conversation highlighted “Cuts to drug treatment budgets are extremely shortsighted. Not only do effective services save lives, they reduce the spread of blood-borne viruses, including HIV. About half of people who inject drugs have hepatitis C. Getting them into treatment is an essential part of plans to eliminate the disease.” At Randox Toxicology we offer the most comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu across multiple matrices. Our DoA ULTRA panel detects up to 20 targeted drugs, offering the largest cross-reactivity profile of over 240 analytes, including Benzoylecgonine/Cocaine. Benzoylecgonine is the most common metabolite measured in urine drug screens to detect cocaine. Using our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology, Randox Toxicology provide cutting-edge multiplex testing capabilities for rapid and accurate drug detection from a single sample.
The price of cocaine has fallen by 13% since 2007 according to Business Insider UK. Price trends in addition to new and emerging UK supply routes have made the drug more appealing and readily available. Whilst the average age group using cocaine is 35 years old, a 30% increase has been seen in young people under the age of 25 years old. A rise which has not been witnessed in a decade.
The increase of cocaine use has shown how vital drug treatment is in responding to the ever-changing market, with services needing to adapt quickly to the needs of varied groups. Amidst the ongoing cocaine problem, Randox Toxicology are leading the way in developing new tests through significant research and development.
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