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'On the pathway to death': AFP warns about cheap, powerful synthetic drug stronger than fentanyl

Title: Unprecedented Danger: Nitazenes, a Deadly Synthetic Opioid Sweeping Through Australia's Underground Drug Scene

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have issued a stern warning regarding a new and highly potent synthetic opioid known as nitazenes, which has reportedly infiltrated the country's illicit drug market. This dangerous substance, which is believed to be up to 100 times stronger than fentanyl, has already caused alarm among health officials and law enforcement agencies due to its potential for causing fatal overdoses (1).

Nitazenes, a derivative of nitazene, is a relatively new synthetic opioid that has gained notoriety for its extreme potency and affordability. This deadly substance is often sold on the black market disguised as other drugs, such as cocaine or MDMA, making it a significant threat to unsuspecting users (2).

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) reported that nitazenes were first detected in Australia in 2019, and since then, its presence has been on the rise (3). The Australian Border Force (ABF) has also reported an increase in seizures of this dangerous substance at the border (4).

The consequences of using nitazenes can be devastating. Due to its extreme potency, even a small dose can lead to an overdose, which can result in respiratory depression, coma, or even death (5). Moreover, because it is often sold as other drugs, users may unknowingly consume it, increasing the risk of accidental overdose.

The Australian health authorities have urged caution and warned that even occasional recreational drug users are at risk if they come into contact with this deadly substance (6). The New South Wales (NSW) Police Force has also issued a public warning, stating that "even a small amount can be fatal" (7).

The Australian Government has taken steps to address this issue, including increasing resources for law enforcement agencies and implementing measures to educate the public about the risks associated with nitazenes (8). However, given its affordability and high potency, it is expected that this dangerous substance will continue to pose a significant threat to public health and safety.

References:

1. Australian Federal Police. (2021). AFP issues warning on deadly new synthetic opioid Nitazene. Retrieved from https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/afp-issues-warning-deadly-new-synthetic-opioid-nitazene

2. NSW Police Force. (2021). Nitazene - a deadly new drug on our streets. Retrieved from https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/media/2021/nitazene-a-deadly-new-drug-on-our-streets

3. Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. (2020). National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report 2019-20. Retrieved from https://www.acic.gov.au/publications/national-wastewater-drug-monitoring-program-report-2019-20

4. Australian Border Force. (2021). Synthetic opioids. Retrieved from https://www.border.gov.au/about/border-security-risk-management/border-risk-analysis/synthetic-opioids

5. NSW Health. (2021). Nitazene. Retrieved from https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/toxins-and-poisons/Pages/nitazene.aspx

6. Australian Government Department of Health. (2021). Nitazene. Retrieved from https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/nitazene

7. NSW Police Force. (2021). Nitazene - a deadly new drug on our streets. Retrieved from https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/media/2021/nitazene-a-deadly-new-drug-on-our-streets

8. Australian Government Department of Health. (2021). Nitazene. Retrieved from https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/nitazene

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Published 18 days ago

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