Accession Number:



Characterization of the Synthetic Opioid Threat Profile to Inform Inspection and Detection Solutions

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), RAND CORP Santa Monica United States

Report Date:


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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security DHS asked the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center HSOAC to undertake an independent assessment and analysis of the synthetic opioid problem to help identify and inform inspection and detection process options. Specifically, DHS asked us to complete the following four tasks1. Explore available law enforcement data to evaluate general trends in seizures and the chemical profile evolution of the supply of synthetic opioids.2. Identify national overdose trends, based on analyses of available data.3. Characterize the delivery mechanisms used to transport, traffic, and distribute synthetic opioids, based on data from seizures and other data sources e.g., supplemental web scrapes and unsealed federal indictments.14. Assess chemical compounds associated with cutting and packaging synthetic opioids for retail, based on supplemental data collected. These findings should be of interest to agencies tasked with interdicting synthetic opioid sat U.S. ports of entry and the general public interested in learning more about the illicit supply of synthetic opioids. We focus most of our report and its findings for decisionmakers overseeing drug interdiction operations, particularly those at or near international mail and express consignment courier facilities.

Subject Categories:

  • Pharmacology
  • Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement: