Nitazenes: What You Need to Know

Nitazenes: What You Need to Know

You’ve probably never heard of these highly toxic drugs, and neither have many Americans who use opioid street drugs. That lack of awareness could prove deadly because nitazenes are increasingly being added into heroin and street versions of opioid pills — and they are triggering fatal overdoses.

Laboratory tests indicate that the potency of certain nitazene analogs [e.g., isotonitazene, protonitazene, and etonitazene] greatly exceeds that of fentanyl, whereas the potency of the analog metonitazene is similar to fentanyl. 

Deaths linked to these drugs are on the rise. In a recent CDC report, it was reported that “four times as many nitazene-involved overdoses were identified in Tennessee in 2021 than in 2020, and this number could be underestimated because of low testing frequency.”

What’s worse, naloxone — the antidote injection that can save the life of someone suffering an opioid overdoes — may not help if given in a single dose in cases involving nitazenes. 

Nitazenes are a drug that was never approved for medical use. The DEA reports they are being sourced from China and being mixed into other drugs. to make drugs more potent and cheaper to produce. The major concern is that this drug can and has caused deadly overdoses in unsuspecting victims who think they are buying street heroin or counterfeit opioid pills like Dilaudid ‘M-8’ tablets and oxycodone ‘M30’ tablets. 

U.S. drug overdoses hit a record high in 2021 – more than 108,000 lives lost. Three-quarters of those deaths involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl or nitazenes. L.A. CADA reminds you that with all the synthetic drugs out there and the way they’re being mixed together, you never know what you’re actually buying.

If you or someone you know wants treatment, contact us at (562) 906-2676.

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