When a patient comes to the emergency department for a drug overdose or poisoning, toxicology testing panels are used to identify which drugs are in a patient’s system. These tests can inform treatment and track public health trends related to illicit drug use. Common substances typically included in routine toxicology screens are amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, cannabis, phencyclidine, and opiates, such as morphine. However, in recent years, there has been an 18-fold increase in overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, which is 100 times stronger than morphine. Because fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, it is not usually detected in routine toxicology screenings and typically must be ordered separately.
Q: As more states legalize ‘medical marijuana’, should it be recommended for patients? A: At Cleveland Clinic, we believe there