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SENTRY Watches

SENTRY Watches rely primarily on qualitative or anecdotal information and involve the collection of incident reports from a wide network of sources from the SENTRY electronic submissions. A DrugAlert Watch will inform and alert agencies to a newly recognized drug-related issue so that these agencies can take initial action.

Please note: the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) regrets to inform SENTRY users that the agency will no longer operate the SENTRY program as of November 1, 2011. However, NDIC will continue to produce and disseminate current intelligence reporting on new drugs and emerging trends to its customers, including former SENTRY users. Such reports will be listed below. While SENTRY users can continue to provide input to NDIC via the SENTRY email address at, individuals are encouraged to provide information to NDIC via

Many federal agencies, including NDIC, are operating with decreased funding and making difficult decisions to balance agencies' missions with fiscal reality. NDIC appreciates the past participation of all SENTRY users and encourages them to continue providing drug-related information to NDIC.

Portable Document Format files (PDF) may be viewed with a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Listed By Date

Oxymorphone Abuse: A Growing Threat Nationwide
Law enforcement and public health officials throughout the country are reporting that oxymorphone abuse is increasing. Oxymorphone is most commonly known by the brand name Opana®. The deaths of at least nine Louisville area residents between January and April 2011 have been linked to polydrug abuse of oxymorphone in combination with alprazolam and/or alcohol; more oxymorphone-related deaths are expected to be confirmed as toxicology testing is completed on other decedents.
May 19, 2011  EWS 000011   pdf  (586 KB)

2C-E Causes Death in Minnesota
Law enforcement authorities in Minnesota reported the death on March 16, 2011, of a 19-year-old male, and the hospitalization of 10 others between the ages of 16 and 21, caused by the use of a synthetic hallucinogen, 2C-E. This marks the first reported death in the United States related to this substance.
March 25, 2011  EWS 000010   pdf  (381 KB)

Misuse of Buprenorphine-Related Products
Law enforcement authorities in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and West Virginia are reporting an increase in seizures of buprenorphine in concert with other controlled prescription drugs. Buprenorphine, a Schedule III controlled synthetic prescription drug used in office- and clinic-based treatment of opioid dependence and pain management, is approximately 20 to 30 times more potent than morphine. The most commonly abused buprenorphine product is Suboxone®. Suboxone® is an orange, hexagonal-shaped tablet or sublingual film that when used properly is placed under the tongue until it dissolves. However, buprenorphine abusers typically snort or, less often, inject the drug. When buprenorphine is taken in conjunction with alcohol, other opioids, or benzodiazepines, the combination can result in loss of consciousness, respiratory distress, or death. Common street terms for buprenorphine include "Bupe," "Subs," "Subbies," and "Orange Guys."
February 22, 2011  EWS 000009   pdf  (167 KB)

Resurgence in Abuse of 'Purple Drank'
Law enforcement authorities and treatment providers primarily in Houston and San Antonio (TX), Alabama, and other areas of the southern United States, are reporting that abuse of a readily available prescription-strength cough syrup containing promethazine (an antihistamine antiemetic) and codeine (a prescription opioid) appears to be increasing. This cough syrup is the main ingredient in a drink mixture commonly known as Purple Drank. Effects of Purple Drank are consistent with the abuse characteristics of other opioids and result in a sedative and woozy or swooning euphoria. The narcotic drink mixture is highly addictive and has contributed to overdose deaths.
February 15, 2011  EWS 000008  pdf  (381 KB)

Increasing Abuse of Bath Salts
Law enforcement officials throughout the country are reporting that products promoted as bath salts have become prevalent as a drug of abuse. Bath salts have recently appeared in some of the same retail outlets that previously sold synthetic cannabinoid products such as K2 and Spice, and also are available via the Internet. Bath salts are abused as recreational drugs typically by injection, smoking, snorting, and, less often, by the use of an atomizer. Effects include agitation, an intense high, euphoria, extreme energy, hallucinations, insomnia, and making abusers easy to anger. Preliminary testing indicates that the active ingredients in many brands contain MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and/or mephedrone.
December 17, 2010  EWS 000007   PDF  (283 KB)

Use of Synthetic Cannabinoid Products by Teens and Young Adults Increasing
Law enforcement officials in many areas of the country are reporting increasing use of synthetic cannabinoid products by teens and young adults as these products are widely available. Often hyped as a legal alternative to marijuana, individuals subject to scheduled or random drug screening tests allegedly also have used synthetic cannabinoid products to avoid a positive test for cannabis and the resulting consequences. Many synthetic cannabinoid users also abuse marijuana.
May 18, 2010  EWS 000006   PDF  (216 KB)

Possible Heroin/Fentanyl Combinations--Street Name: Kill or Keel
New Jersey Department of Health personnel near Camden, New Jersey, reported two incidences of a substance referred to as "kill" or "keel" that has appeared in their area. They believe the substance to be a narcotic, possibly heroin, laced with another substance, likely fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate, approximately 50 times more potent than heroin.
May 13, 2010   PDF  (226 KB)

A SENTRY subscriber in North Dakota reported that since the beginning of 2010, several individuals in the Bismarck area ingested or injected illicit products containing mephedrone and required hospitalization. In addition, the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory (Bend, Oregon) received two submissions of white powder that users referred to as “sunshine.” Originally suspected as 3,4-methylenedioxymethcathinone (MDMCat), both submissions tested as mephedrone.
April 27, 2010  EWS 000004   PDF  (255 KB)

BZP/TFMPP Combination Tablets Marketed as MDMA
SENTRY subscribers in Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas reported seizures of tablets containing the synthetic stimulant drug BZP (N-benzylpiperazine), TFMPP (1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine), and other substances, including caffeine. The tablets were marketed to abusers as MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as ecstasy). A number of law enforcement agencies throughout the country also have made similar reports. Therefore, NDIC SENTRY is issuing this watch.
April 07, 2010  EWS 000003   PDF  (240 KB)

Opium Tea
Several SENTRY subscribers in Colorado, Texas, and Washington have reported the emergence (or resurgence) of tea brewed with various parts of opium poppy plants (poppy tea). According to medical examiners in these states, five adult male decedents ingested poppy tea shortly before their deaths; most also tested positive for other illicit substances. Since several deaths have occurred in which the ingestion of poppy tea was identified, SENTRY is issuing this watch.
March 2, 2010  EWS 000002   PDF  (245 KB)

Salvia Divinorum
Several SENTRY users in the Midwest have reported the emergence (or resurgence) of Salvia divinorum (Salvia) abuse in their areas through the SENTRY system. A number of these and other users were unfamiliar with Salvia and requested additional information through a SENTRY Watch.
March 2, 2010  EWS 000001   PDF  (487 KB)

If you have questions or comments about SENTRY or NDIC intelligence products, please e-mail us at

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National Drug Intelligence Center General Informtion
NOTE: On June 15, 2012, the National Drug Intelligence Center will close. This web site will no longer be maintained. The documents that are currently on this site may contain dated information. They remain available to provide access to historical materials.
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