CDN: Police warning: Non-fentanyl synthetic opioid found in seized drugs

Safety Alert – Isotonitazene

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are warning the public about the dangers of illicit drug use. This warning is due to a non-fentanyl synthetic opioid (NSO) found in a pill that was seized from a crime scene in the fall of 2021.

The pills appeared to be legitimate Percocet pills with “TEC” pressed into one side and a solid line across the middle of the other. The results of a Health Canada laboratory analysis revealed the pills were composed of isotonitazene, benzodiazepine and caffeine.

While some of these NSOs are similar in strength to fentanyl, others (like isotonitazene) are said to be 5-10 times stronger. This can lead to overdose in both new and experienced opioid users.

It is known that potent opiates have been found mixed in with many other kinds of street drugs and NSOs are no different. When you buy drugs on the street, there is no way to know what you are getting and the consequences could be lethal. If you buy and consume any type of illicit drug, you are putting yourself and potentially others at extreme risk.

Anyone who encounters a person who appears to be in a state of overdose should immediately call 911.  Naloxone is said to be effective in reversing overdoses involving NSOs, but multiple doses may be required to overcome the effects.Take-home Naloxone kits and training are available free of charge and without a prescription. Naloxone can be obtained from your local Health Unit locations as well as participating pharmacies.

For more information on NSOs you can read this report from Public Health Ontario.

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