State leaders are sounding the alarm about the emergence of dangerous “Frankenstein” opioids that are more potent than fentanyl and quickly spreading across the United States.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is pushing new legislation to add “nitazene compounds,” also known as Frankenstein opioids, to the Schedule I controlled substance list in the state, which would categorize the drugs as having a high potential for abuse with no acceptable medical use.
“Last year, I signed an emergency rule temporarily adding these deadly nitazene compounds to the Schedule I controlled substance list. I am proud to announce my support for SB 736, which will permanently add these incredibly deadly drugs to the Schedule I list,” Moody told Fox News Digital this week.
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“For years, I have been warning about how just one pill laced with fentanyl can kill, but with some of these nitazene compounds that message is becoming, one pill will kill. It is important to bring awareness to Floridians of all ages—do not take any illicit drug, just one use could cost you your life,” she said.
Moody’s office said compounds such as isotonitazene, known as “ISO,” have been found to be “significantly more potent than fentanyl.”
The first time Florida recorded incidences of nitazenes was in 2020. In 2022, Florida Department of Law Enforcement recorded 140 instances of finding the drugs in the state. So far in 2023, there have been 34 instances.
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The nitazene compounds, which are found in many forms such as powder, liquid and fake pills, have often been found in combination with other drugs, including fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and others, which makes a deadly combo.
Ohio first issued a warning last April about compounds that can be up to “40 times” more potent than fentanyl.
“Frankenstein opioids are even more lethal than the drugs already responsible for so many overdose deaths,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said at the time. “Law enforcement and the public need to pay attention to these emerging hazards.”
The nitazene drugs have reportedly been found across the nation, from San Francisco to the mid-Atlantic.
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Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares told Fox News Digital that “Frankenstein” opioids will have a “devastating” effect on Virginians if action isn’t taken swiftly.
“It’s no secret that the opioid epidemic has destroyed communities nationwide – including many Virginia localities. ‘Frankenstein’ opioids, which are even more powerful than the incredibly lethal and potent fentanyl, are the newest variation and are guaranteed to have a devastating effect on Virginians if we do not take swift and decisive action,” he said.
Miyares is leading a coalition of 21 state attorneys general to urge the Biden administration to declare drug cartels as “Foreign Terrorist Organizations” and is continuing the “One Pill Can Kill” campaign throughout the state.
In June 2022, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) warned residents in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area of the emergence of “ISO” in particular.
“First identified around 2019 in the Midwest, this dangerous drug has moved into the Southern states and, more recently, along the Eastern seaboard. Much more potent than heroin and morphine (similar to fentanyl), ISO is being mixed into and marketed as other drugs to make drugs more potent and cheaper to produce.”
“The major concern: This drug can and has caused deadly overdoses in unsuspecting victims,” the DEA warned. The agency also noted that although nitazene incidents are “still relatively low,” law enforcement officials are urging leaders and the public to keep an eye on the emergence of these compounds.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of overdose deaths in the U.S. reached 108,000 people, a record.