The Lethal Emergence: Nitazene and Its Deadly Trail
Unveiling the Alarming Rise of Nitazene and Its Threat to Public Health
Much has been reported regarding the dangers of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. It’s 100 times more potent than morphine and kills tens of thousands of Americans annually.
Health authorities report that another synthetic opioid, nitazene, is now circulating in the U.S. It’s as potent as fentanyl but more deadly. Among other harmful effects, nitazene at about one-third of a dose of fentanyl causes breathing to stop.
Where did the synthetic opioid fentanyl come from?
A Disturbing Origin: Unraveling the Story of Fentanyl
The Swiss company Ciba Pharmaceuticals first developed it as a potent new painkiller in the 1950s, but the drug never made it to market. It’s suspected that labs manufacturing illicit drugs discovered old papers on the formulation and saw an opportunity.
Life-Saving Challenges: Navigating the Complexity of Nitazene Overdoses
Important note… A recent paper in JAMA Network Open[i] suggests that victims of an overdose on nitazene require two or more doses of the overdose drug naloxone instead of the one dose typically needed for a fentanyl overdose.
It’s critical to be aware that drugs like cocaine and benzos are also being adulterated with nitazene.
Just how much nitazene is on the street at present?
No one knows for sure. Most testing labs in the U.S. are not currently set up to test for the drug.
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