Alva Review-Courier -

Epidemic: DEA chemists race to identify synthetic opioids


December 23, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — Emily Dye walked down the echoing white hallway and into a dim room known as "the vault." The evidence was wrapped in plastic. She checked it out and placed it into a steel lockbox.

New drugs were appearing every other week in the Drug Enforcement Administration's Special Testing and Research Laboratory, an unmarked gray building in northern Virginia. Dye, a 27-year-old DEA chemist, knew her sample could be one of them.

"Man," she said. "I've got to figure out what this is."

The proliferation of rapidly evolving synthetic opioids has become so fierce that the DEA says th...

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