A synthetic opioid 40 times more potent than fentanyl and 800 times more potent than morphine is threatening the response of US health officials to the drug crisis in a growing number of cities across the country.
It is nitazine, a narcotic that can be found in powder, pill, or liquid form, and is sometimes mixed with heroin, cocaine, or even painkillers, giving the user its extreme potency. exposes in excess due to
This medicine is potentially fatal and may also cause a more severe onset of withdrawal symptoms. Experts point out that it requires a lot of lab work to detect and that hospital centers do not differentiate nitazine from fentanyl poisoning cases, Axios collects.
Nitazenes were originally developed from synthetic compounds about 60 years ago by researchers working for a pharmaceutical company to make a pain medication as a substitute for morphine. However, it was decided to cancel its development due to the high probability of overheating.
Currently several states in the US including Washington DC have detected the practice of this drug. In the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a public alert was issued after opioids showed up in four samples of street drugs. In Tennessee, nitazine-related overdoses increased from 10 cases in 2020 to 42 in 2021, while nitazine cases in Ohio increased nearly seven-fold (from 27 to 143) between the first quarter of 2021 and 2022.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has called the continued development of synthetic opioids such as nitzens a “public health concern”. “This is a drug that was never approved for medical use, Nitazen comes from China and is mixed with other drugs,” he warned.
“People should keep in mind that with all synthetic drugs and the way they’re mixed, you never know what you’re really buying,” said Maura Gaffney, a DEA intelligence analyst.