Drug Trend Update: 2023

Knowledge is trending… stay up-to-date regarding substances, safety practices and upcoming concerns. Our Preventionist hosted a Drug Trend Update with more than 100 attendees joining the conversation. Highlighting various community supports (like Naloxone365), access to information (Prevention Hub) and proactive tools. Below are some brief highlights from the webinar, you can check out the whole webinar on Prevention Is Key – Resources.


Recent discoveries have led to the awareness that High-Intensity Drinking (HID) includes the consumption of “alcohol” at levels that are two or more times the gender-specific binge drinking threshold”.[1] Often noticed in individuals just entering the legal drinking age and in party scenes.


Preventionist reviewed EVALI (E-Cigarette/Vaping Associated Lung Injury), and with request from attendees the symptoms youth experience. Such as shortness of breath, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss — while some experienced more major symptoms such as passing out, convulsions, cases of seizures, and even collapsed or significantly compromised lungs.


Team Members emphasize the various cannabis and cannabis associated products – such as Delta-9 and THC-O. Placing emphasis on safeguarding of these products as a rise in poison control numbers and calls have been received – due to unintentional poisoning among children getting a hold of edibles and THC. [2]


Historically, every stimulant epidemic is followed by an opiate epidemic. Every opiate epidemic is followed by a stimulant epidemic.[3] Correlating with this history, PIK has received requests for presentations on stimulants from local colleges.


On July 11, 2023, the White House released a National Response Plan to address the emerging threat of fentanyl mixed with xylazine. In 2023 DEA seized more than 78.4 million fentanyl-laced fake pills.[4] However, fentanyl is not our only concern – Xylazine, Tianeptine, and Nitazenes have made appearances and remain on our radar.

An active voluntary recall has been issued for Neptunes Fix (a drinkable substance like 5-hour energy) as Tianeptine traces were identified. Considerably, recalls don’t necessarily take the product off the shelves, so we ask for vigilance in your community.

[1] Alcohol Abuse Statistics [2023]: National + State Data – NCDAS (drugabusestatistics.org Glossary | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (nih.gov))

[2] Alcohol Abuse Statistics [2023]: National + State Data – NCDAS. (n.d.). Drug Abuse Statistics. Retrieved February 7, 2024, from https://drugabusestatistics.org/alcohol-abuse-statistics/#new-jersey

[3] Graves, K. (2023, December 30). What’s in Store for the Illicit Drug Market in 2024 and the Top Stories of 2023. Drug Intelligence Bulletin. Retrieved February 7, 2024, from https://www.drugintelligencebulletin.com/p/whats-in-store-for-the-illicit-drug

[4] One Pill Can Kill. (n.d.). DEA.gov. Retrieved February 7, 2024, from https://www.dea.gov/onepill