Florida AG Moody Outlaws Eight Deadly Synthetic Opioids

April 27, 2022 Updated 2:37 PM ET


April 27, 2022 Updated 2:37 P.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed an emergency rule Tuesday to outlaw eight deadly synthetic opioids. 

The order would add those opioids to the Schedule I of controlled substances in Florida. 

Moody said the drugs have no medical use and can cause adverse health effects including overdose deaths. They have been linked to at least 15 deaths in Florida since 2020. These eight drugs are categorized as nitazenes. 

“Not only are we seeing an increase in the number of nitazene cases identified in Florida, but we also suspect these substances are being mixed with more common street drugs and sold to unsuspecting users,” Moody said. “Some nitazenes are many times more lethal than fentanyl and we must make sure they do not become more prevalent in our state, or I am afraid we will see overdose deaths skyrocket.”

The emergency order makes it a felony for an individual to possess, sell, manufacture or deliver any of these eight drugs. Nitazenes may appear in many common forms, including powder, liquid and counterfeit prescription pills.

Florida forensic labs found 268 cases of nitazenes since 2020. There were 13 found in 2020 compared to the 171 cases found in 2021. As of March of 2022, there have been 84 identified cases. 

The eight synthetic opioids Attorney General Moody is emergency scheduling are:

  • N-pyrrolidino etonitazene—10x more potent than fentanyl;
  • Etodesnitazene—Up to 10x more potent than fentanyl;
  • Isotonitazene—5x more potent than fentanyl;
  • Protonitazene—2x more potent than fentanyl;
  • Metonitazene—Equipotent to fentanyl;
  • Butonitazene—20x less potent than fentanyl;
  • Metodesnitazene—100x less potent than fentanyl; and
  • Flunitazene—100x less potent than fentanyl.

To view the order, click here.

The Attorney General plans to work with state lawmakers during the 2023 legislative session to put nitazenes permanently on the Schedule I controlled substances list in Florida.

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