Saturday, May 18, 2024
Saturday May 18, 2024
Saturday May 18, 2024

Deadly new drug, 10 times potent than fentanyl, claims first victim in US



A harrowing overdose linked to a drug dubbed ’10 times more deadly than fentanyl’ has led to a tragic fatality in Boulder, Colorado, marking the substance’s first lethal impact in the United States.

Known as N-Desethyl etonitazene, this synthetic nitazene opioid surfaced in an autopsy conducted by the Boulder County Coroner’s Office. Originating from the family of nitazenes developed six decades ago as a variant of morphine, these contemporary drugs, largely originating from China, have now evolved into a menacing danger.

Cmdr. Nicholas Goldberger of the Boulder County Drug Task Force emphasized the multifaceted nature of these nitazenes, expressing concerns over their various structural compositions. He noted an ongoing investigation into cases involving nitazenes, potentially sourced from the dark web, indicating the challenge of tracking their origin and distribution.

Sgt. Patrick Compton, also from the same drug force, suggested a victim might have overdosed after purchasing quaaludes from the dark web. The tablets, popular in the ’80s as a type of hypnotic sedative, were unknowingly contaminated with nitazenes, leading to devastating consequences.

Highlighting the drug’s increasing lethality, the Drug Enforcement Administration flagged China as the primary source of these deadly opioids, posing a significant challenge to law enforcement and medical authorities.

Goldberger likened the distribution of nitazenes to a precise surgical operation, unlike the spread of fentanyl, which he compared to a widespread “spider web of hubs” across the United States, according to the Denver Post. He underlined the challenge of law enforcement in scenarios where individuals use drugs and survive without any incident reported.

Compton highlighted the steep learning curve for forensic experts and medical practitioners in understanding and addressing the implications of this new drug, indicating a significant gap in knowledge that needs urgent attention.

As the US grapples with the introduction of this lethal drug, there remains a crucial need for deeper insight and effective measures to tackle its spread and mitigate the devastating consequences it inflicts on individuals and communities.


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