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Opioid “25 times more powerful than fentanyl” worries health authorities

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These tablets imitate appearance of Oxycodone, when in reality they instead contain protonitazepyne, an opioid 25 times more powerful than fentanyl,

  • Raphaël Beaumont-Drouin (View profile)Raphaël Beaumont-Drouin

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Quebec public health warns the population of a powerful new drug in circulation which presents serious risks to human health.

Dubbed “street oxycodone,” these greenish tablets mimic the appearance of Oxycontin, but they actually contain protonitazepyne: a synthetic opioid 25 times more potent than fentanyl. If ingested, the risk of overdose is “high”, according to the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale, which must take stock of this new drug on Saturday.

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These tablets mimic the appearance of oxycodone, when in reality they instead contain protonitazepyne, an opioid 25 times more potent than fentanyl,

In Quebec, this synthetic opioid was detected for the first time in the vicinity of Montreal at the beginning of 2024. The tablets identified by health authorities are green in color with the writing “80/OP”.

As these tablets are purchased on the black market, buyers are unaware that their tablets contain protonitazepyne, which increases the risk of overdose.

How to recognize an overdose and administer naloxone

The potency of this opioid is such that several doses of naloxone – a drug that helps counteract the effects of an overdose – must be administered to people who have consumed it. Protonitazepyne is not detected by fentanyl detection strips.

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Name : Protonitazepyne

Type : Synthetic opioid

Effects : Feelings of euphoria, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting.

Overdose : Slow and weak breathing, loss of consciousness, respiratory depression which can lead to respiratory arrest and death.

Source : Integrated university health and social services of the Capitale-Nationale.

Authorities are asking consumers to be careful. Reducing the doses consumed, obtaining Naloxone, avoiding mixtures and consuming alone are some of the practices to adopt.

  • Raphaël Beaumont-Drouin (View profile)Raphaël Beaumont-DrouinFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116