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Street 'Norco' looks like the real thing but really, really isn't

By RoboCodeine7610, Jul 28, 2016 | Updated: Jul 28, 2016 | | |
  1. RoboCodeine7610
    [imgr=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=51363&stc=1&d=1469724542[/imgr]A paper published online yesterday in Annals of Emergency Medicine warns that a new street drug combining fentanyl and a novel synthetic opioid is being marketed illicitly as Norco but is much stronger and much more dangerous.

    "Street Norco is almost indistinguishable from brand-name Norco in appearance but can be lethal," said lead study author Patil Armenian, MD, of the University of California San Francisco-Fresno, in Fresno, Calif. "This new street drug's toxicity led to an unexpected cluster of fentanyl deaths in California this spring. These deaths in our area combined with an emergency patient who was concerned about pill appearance and exceedingly sleepy after her usual dose of medication led to our investigation."

    Dr. Armenian presents the case of a 41-year-old woman who treats her chronic back pain with regular doses of acetaminophen/hydrocodone she buys on the street as Norco. (Brand-name Norco contains acetaminophen and hydrocodone, an opiate.) Dr. Armenian's patient became unconscious 30 minutes after taking the fake Norco and was brought to the emergency department. She expressed concern to the emergency department staff that her usual medications did not affect her this way and showed them the pills she had taken. The fake pills have the manufacturer's imprint and looks-wise differ only in color from the real pills (beige versus white). Her blood tested positive for significant amounts of fentanyl and U-47700, a synthetic opioid, neither of which is an ingredient in brand-name Norco.

    From March to April, 2016, 12 fentanyl-related fatalities and 40 additional cases of toxicity were reported in Sacramento and Yolo counties in North California due to fake Norco pills containing fentanyl. Additional cases were identified in the San Francisco area.

    Many novel psychoactive substances are produced in China, then enter the U.S. market for pill production and sale. Since more than 100 psychoactive substances, including six fentanyl analogs, were banned by China in 2015, novel synthetic opioids such as U-47700 and W-18 have entered the market, replacing more established and outlawed drugs.

    "In cases where there is a reasonable suspicion of opioid or opioid-like ingestion, emergency providers should contact their local poison control center, medical toxicologist or public health department," said Dr. Armenian. "This case highlights that fentanyl-laced Norco is spreading to other regions, prompting emergency physicians to remain vigilant in their care."

    American College of Emergency Physicians.
    ScienceDaily, 28 July 2016


  1. ladywolf2012
    This article is a sad reminder that street drugs and online drugs are likely to be fake. One should be strongly tipped-off if the color of the pill is wrong, as they were in the above article. Even if the size, color, imprint, etc. are all EXACTLY right, such pills should be treated with great caution. If you MUST take street pills, start out with a very little bit initially and wait awhile to see if you start having adverse reactions before taking any more.
  2. RoboCodeine7610
    But they're not exactly right. If you look closely, you can see that every line is actually thicker in the fake set of pills, meaning they used a different kind of pill press. They do look very close to the real thing though.
  3. Booty love
    oh wow...i always used pill identifier to snuff out fake pills but in this case there is no way to know before hand
  4. Name goes here
    Hydrocodone pills are so generic looking that faking them isn't hard.

    The asshole who makes the fake pills can very, very easily clone the stamping, snapping line and texture. Hell, Tylenol looks like hydrocodone if you're not paying attention. There's currently no way easy to test for different opioids. It's a scary time to be a street drug user.
  5. scartissue_68
    A sad and maddening unintended consequence of sending Hydrocodone into Schedule II by ignorant legislators pushed by the the DEA and FDA.

    Before October 2014, the family doc could write up to 5 refills for hydro. After that, it was one written script at a time (no call-ins) and new restrictive prescribing practices were initiated in my home state, making it very work intensive for a PHP to write hydro, so they started sending patients to pain management.

    At pain management you get random UA's, opiate contracts, and strict doctor visitation policies making that simple, cheap prescription for chronic pain more expensive and a major hassle to get a script each month from your doc. Once you have the written script, you'll have to hand deliver that script to your pharmacy and wait to get your refill. PM clinics can also be very strict and you can be cut off for only one dirty UA or short "pill count".

    So, people (as mentioned in the article) sought their hydro on the street. Those customers soon realized that their "dealer" also had a cheaper, more potent/euphoric drug: Heroin. So, what was once a chronic pain patient was now a heroin addict and many died.

    Now, we have "fake" hydro that's killing people...directly. All becasue some hysterical Law Enforcement and uneducated legislators thought more "Law" was better than treating pain compassionately.
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