DEA Places Fentanyl Analog in Schedule I

Just days after we published news of DEA warnings about fentanyl’s danger, the Drug Enforcement Agency has issued a notice to “temporarily schedule the synthetic opioid, N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylfuran-2-carboxamide (furanyl fentanyl), into schedule I pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.”

The DEA has taken the action, not surprisingly, “to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety,” and will temporarily sanction and regulate the analog in accordance with schedule I substances of the Controlled Substances Act.

This could be the agency’s first step toward regulation of other analogs and would seem to represent, at least, an acknowledgment of the dangers of the 100-times-stronger-than-morphine opioid that is presently the most widely used synthetic narcotic.

An analog to the synthetic pain medication, the DEA had no record of furanyl fentanyl prior to 2015. Hower, 2015 and 2016 have seen the substance identified in labs in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

On a seemingly daily basis, the news wires brim with reports of overdose deaths, as the drug and its analogs are frequently used as a cutting agent in heroin. Recently, the city of Philadelphia

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