Forget Fentanyl, Here Comes Isotonitazene

Emergency overdose in hospital

It seems like whenever the world gets a handle on one specific drug that is causing a bunch of problems, a new one shows up that needs to be addressed. We all know how the original opioid problem came to fruition; people got addicted to pills, the pills lead to heroin, the heroin lead to fentanyl, and all of them wound up leading to Suboxone and methadone at some point. The same thing happened with stimulants over the years. Back in the 1970s, amphetamine was all the rage. Amphetamine eventually went by the wayside and cocaine became the most popular stimulant in the 1980s. Crack came around and eclipsed the powder cocaine problem. Fast-forward 25 years and methamphetamine has taken most of the market share of stimulant users. Cocaine is barely talked about anymore.

As you can see, instead of getting a handle on the drug problem in the United States, it just keeps changing as far as what drugs are commonly abused instead of having the rates of drug use go down. Dropping the rates of substance abuse is the overall goal, but it doesn’t appear that we’re getting anywhere near that. We just keep finding different drugs popping up, causing overdoses, deaths, and chaos.

As if fentanyl wasn’t a bad enough problem, as global attention was directed at cutting the proverbial head off the snake as far as cutting the supply chain, another drug found its way into the mix.

What is Isotonitazene?

Drug Detection dog and a yellow bag

Isotonitazene is a new research chemical that has no currently approved clinical usages but is already causing overdose deaths in the United States. The drug is an analog of etonitazene, which is a Schedule 1 drug, meaning its highly dangerous with a high abuse potential and no medical use whatsoever.

“Isotonitazene is the most persistent and prevalent new opioid in the U.S.”

According to forensic toxicologist Barry K Logan, “Isotonitazene is the most persistent and prevalent new opioid in the U.S.” Logan reports seeing nearly 40-50 isotonitazene-related deaths per month in the U.S.

Synthetic Drug Addiction

The problem with some of these research chemicals is that they are all completely legal. In my opinion, we can’t go around and just ban substance after substance because no matter how many of these chemicals get banned, more and more will just be created. Look what happened with the drug Spice. The original chemical got banned by the DEA, resulting in chemists altering the chemical ever so slightly to create a different, unbanned substance. After a few cycles of changing the chemical, Spice is a far cry from what the original drug was. Spice now has completely unknown side-effects. So, clearly banning substances nilly-willy doesn’t work.

What will inevitably work to handle the global drug crisis is education, prevention, and rehabilitation. Those are our only shots to address the current addiction issues. I believe having a completely drug-free world is the ideal scene where people find different ways to cope and deal with life’s problems rather than picking up a pill, a joint, a pipe, or a syringe. And that’s exactly what I work for on a daily basis, one addicted person at a time.

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Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.