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Florida AG Issues Emergency Rule Outlawing Eight Deadly Synthetic Opioids

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This emergency order makes it a felony for an individual to possess, sell, manufacture or deliver any of the eight drugs.

Tallahassee - Tuesday April 26, 2022: Attorney General Ashley Moody filed an emergency rule Tuesday adding eight deadly synthetic opioids to the Schedule I of controlled substances in Florida.

The drugs, categorized as nitazenes, have no medical use and can cause adverse health effects, including overdose deaths. These synthetic opioids are linked to at least 15 deaths in Florida since 2020.

This emergency order makes it a felony for an individual to possess, sell, manufacture or deliver any of these eight drugs.

The eight synthetic opioids are:

1. N-pyrrolidino etonitazene—10x more potent than fentanyl;

2. Etodesnitazene—Up to 10x more potent than fentanyl;

3. Isotonitazene—5x more potent than fentanyl;

4. Protonitazene—2x more potent than fentanyl;

5. Metonitazene—Equipotent to fentanyl;

6. Butonitazene—20x less potent than fentanyl;

7. Metodesnitazene—100x less potent than fentanyl; and

8. Flunitazene—100x less potent than fentanyl.

“I am taking immediate action to outlaw these eight deadly synthetic opioids in Florida, to prevent future deaths," said Attorney General Moody. "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. 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.”

Forensic labs in Florida first began identifying cases of netzines in 2020. Since then, 268 cases have been identified; however, the prevalence of these substances likely exceed those reported. The number of netzine cases rose to 171 in 2021, compared to 13 found in 2020. As of March 18, 84 cases had been identified in Florida. Nitazenes may appear in many common forms, including powder, liquid and counterfeit prescription pills.

To view the order, click here.

Attorney General Moody will work with state lawmakers during the 2023 legislative session to codify the nitazenes permanently as Schedule I controlled substances in Florida.

To educate Floridians on how to find help and how to spot someone who may be abusing drugs, Attorney General Moody developed the Dose of Reality Florida website. The site serves as a one-stop resource to learn about the dangers of opioid misuse, how to receive support for addiction and where to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs. To learn more about Dose of Reality Florida, click here.