Floridians warned of new synthetic opioid more deadly than Fentanyl

Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 1:42 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB) - Floridians are warned of a new, deadly synthetic opioid found in Florida called Isotonitazene—commonly referred to as ISO.

According to reports, ISO is approximately 20 to 100 times stronger than fentanyl—an already incredibly dangerous opioid. Similar to fentanyl, this new synthetic opioid is being mixed with other drugs and appearing in the illicit drug market—possibly in powder or pill form.

“For years, we have been warning about the dangers of fentanyl and how just one pill laced with this synthetic opioid can kill. Now, there is a new, deadlier drug being found in Florida. Isotonitazene, also known as ISO, is so strong that it can kill just by coming in contact with someone’s skin or being accidentally inhaled. ISO has already been linked to overdose deaths in Florida, so please, never take any illicit drug and know that using just one time could cost you your life,” says Attorney General Ashley Moody.

The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that, beginning in April 2019, ISO entered the illicit drug market nationally and is responsible for numerous deaths. Like fentanyl, ISO can be laced with other drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and even counterfeit pills. A 2021 American Society of Addiction Medicine report shows at least 40 fatal overdoses involving ISO during a six-month time period in 2020 in the counties of Cook County, Illinois and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

Testing by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Lab revealed that ISO has been found in multiple Florida counties since 2020, and law enforcement linked this deadly-synthetic opioid to two deaths in Pasco County in 2021. Pasco County Sheriff’s Office released tips about how to recognize the signs of an overdose resulting from ISO, also known as Metonitazene and Etonitazene:

Floridians can find aid and learn how to spot someone who may be using drugs by visiting the Dose of Reality Florida website. Dose of Reality Florida contains information about the dangers of opioid misuse, how to receive support for addiction and where to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs.

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