Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Potent New Drug Surpasses Fentanyl’s Threat, Emerges on Streets

Global health authorities have raised alarms about the emergence of nitazenes, a category of drugs surpassing fentanyl in potency, now detected in illicit street drugs. This development poses a significant threat to public safety, with potential for a drastic increase in drug-related fatalities.

Health experts worldwide are increasingly concerned as nitazenes, synthetic opioids far more potent than fentanyl, are identified within the illegal drug market. A person who formerly used heroin described an encounter with cocaine mixed with nitazenes as alarmingly potent, emphasizing the dire consequences if such substances infiltrate the drug supply more broadly.

Developed in the 1950s by a Swiss pharmaceutical company primarily for pain relief, nitazenes were never approved for human use due to their high risk. According to a leading Australian drug expert at the World Health Summit, nitazenes can be up to 50% stronger than fentanyl, which itself is significantly more potent than heroin.

Recent studies indicate that certain nitazenes can deliver pain relief at dramatically lower doses than fentanyl, escalating concerns over their potential for causing fatal overdoses with minimal amounts. Health officials list numerous severe side effects from opioid overdoses, including unconsciousness, respiratory failure, and even death.

Instances of nitazene-related incidents are rare but often severe. For example, in Sydney, three individuals were hospitalized after consuming counterfeit MDMA pills containing nitazenes, highlighting the unpredictable danger of street drugs.

As these potent substances become more widespread, drug safety experts stress the need for increased awareness and preventative measures to tackle this emerging crisis. In response to the escalating opioid deaths, countries like Canada are exploring innovative policies, including decriminalizing several hard drugs and enhancing public health strategies to mitigate harm and educate the population.

Related Articles

Latest Articles

Most Popular