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December 2019 – United States: Increasing health concerns about the benzodiazepine flualprazolam

PENNSYLVANIA, United States – December 2019: Between 2018 and 2019, 30 reports of flualprazolam identified in seized material from 8 countries were recorded to the UNODC early warning advisory on new psychoactive substances. Moreover, 76 toxicology case reports associated with flualprazolam in post-mortem and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) cases were reported to UNODC. Flualprazolam, a benzodiazepine with no known therapeutic use, was reviewed at the 42nd World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug Dependence in October 2019 and has been recommended to be scheduled under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971.

A recent public announcement published by the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE) highlighted the detection of flualprazolam in at least 44 biological specimens associated with post-mortem death investigations and DUID investigations in the United States since June 2019. It was noted that, although flualprazolam was first identified in a case in March 2018, the substance has recently become more widely used. The public announcement also provides recommendations to public health and public safety officials, law enforcement, clinicians, medical examiners and coroners and laboratory personnel.

For more information, please see:

World Health Organization critical review of flualprazolam

Public Alert: Flualprazolam - Potent Benzodiazepine Identified Among Death and Impaired Driving Cases in the U.S.

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