Opioid abuse is a serious public health problem affecting many areas in the United States. Prescription opioids and synthetic fentanyls are responsible for thousands of fatal and non-fatal overdoses annually.‚Äč Building upon advanced analytical capabilities acquired through other toxicology and other clinical chemistry programs and knowledge of public health surveillance systems; the government public health laboratories are exploring how they might be able to contribute to the opioids response. One possible approach is to help identify emerging trends, by identifying the latest synthetic fentanyls to reach the "market".

APHL has established an Opioids Community of Practice, a space where government laboratories and their public health partners can meet to discuss issues, concerns, strategies and practices. It is also a place where invited guests with expertise in related areas can present to the group and answer questions. The Community of Practice will become whatever the group determines that it needs to be.

If you're interested in joining the Community of Practice and have not yet expressed interest, please send an email to eh@aphl.org with Opioids CoP in the subject line. Shortly, APHL will provide a communication and document sharing platform dedicated to this topic.