Ashley Moody Wants to Ban Frankenstein Opioids

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody recently announced she is pushing new legislation to permanently add nitazene compounds, also known as Frankenstein opioids, to the list of Schedule I substances in Florida.

Nitazene compounds are synthetic opioids that currently have no accepted medical use in the United States or anywhere in the world. Compounds such as isotonitazene have been found to be significantly more potent than fentanyl—a drug that is currently killing record numbers of Americans. State Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Lake Mary, is sponsoring the legislation.

“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. 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,” Moody said.

“Attorney General Moody is a leader in the fight to end the national opioid crisis claiming lives in our great state. When Nitazene began to surface in Florida, she took swift action to temporarily ban these deadly drugs, and I am proud to fight with her this legislative session to permanently ban these substances and any additional compounds that could be abused and kill Floridians,” Brodeur said.

Drug overdose deaths topped 100,000 in 2021. Many of these deaths are directly attributable to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Some of the nitazene compounds Moody previously outlawed are several times more powerful than the already deadly fentanyl:

Etonitazene—10 times more potent than fentanyl and 1,000 times more potent than morphine;
Isotonitazene—Five times more potent than fentanyl and 500 times more potent than morphine; and
Protonitazene—Two times potent than fentanyl and 200 times more potent than morphine.

Forensic labs in Florida first began identifying incidences of nitazenes in 2020. Last year, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement identified more than 140 incidences of these synthetic opioids across the state. State lab results showed 34 incidences of nitazenes so far in 2023. Nitazenes may appear in many common forms, including powder, liquid and counterfeit prescription pills.

In addition to permanently banning the temporarily-banned chemical compounds, SB 736 would also create a nitazene derivatives class that controls substances based on chemical structure and will include current emergency-controlled substances, thus reducing the need for emergency-drug-schedule requests and will encompass new drugs that are created under the same structure.

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