The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis claiming hundreds of lives a day across our nation. Additionally, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports of increasing numbers of counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl are surfacing with some users overdosing and dying after taking just one pill. According to the National Institues of Health law enforcement across the country seized nearly 10 million counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl in 2021—up from 290,000 just three years earlier. Often, users have no idea that a lethal synthetic opioid is mixed into a drug until it is too late. Attorney General Moody is sounding the alarm and asking people to never take an illicit drug because just one pill can kill.
A new informational toolkit that highlights how digital drug dealers utilize social media to sell illicit substances and warns that those substances may contain deadly amounts of synthetic opioids. Download the free toolkit and learn about synthetic opioids—including the emerging threat of nitazenes.
The drugs, categorized as nitazenes, have no medical use and can cause adverse health effects, including overdose deaths. These synthetic opioids are linked to at least 15 deaths in Florida since 2020, including two in Pasco County. Forensic labs in Florida first began identifying cases of nitazenes in 2020. Since then, 268 cases have been identified; however, the prevalence of these substances likely exceed those reported. Nitazenes may appear in many common forms, including powder, liquid and counterfeit prescription pills.
In April 2022, Attorney General Ashley Moody filed an emergency rule to add eight of these deadly synthetic opioids to the Schedule I of controlled substances in Florida. The eight synthetic opioids are: