Difficult to detect

Another problem is that in this stage of iso’s development, it’s difficult to detect in tests.

“Like other designer or novel psychoactive substances, iso is not detected in a standard opiate drug test,” Thompson said. “Special drug screens are currently being developed in order to detect the substance on a routine (drug screen).”

“Unique problems associated with iso is the lack of familiarity among law enforcement and even the medical community,” Thompson said. “If the ER does not suspect an iso overdose and opiate testing is negative, the correct diagnosis may be missed and potentially overlooked with deadly consequences.”

Naloxone is commonly used to treat opioid overdoses. Opinions vary as to its effectiveness on iso.

“Treatment of iso overdose is more difficult than that of other opiates,” Thompson said. “Reportedly, Narcan (a brand of naloxone) is effective but must be used in higher doses and perhaps multiple times.”

Huang said it’s important to note that naloxone only temporarily deals with the problem.

“Healthcare providers need to remain vigilant,” Huang said. “The development of this drug highlights a deeper concern. New drugs will continue to emerge as long as there is demand. We must continue to use resources to curb this demand with education surrounding judicious opioid use and addiction treatment.”