Doctors warn synthetic opioids are more dangerous than fentanyl

Known on the street as Frankenstein, it's 10 times more powerful than fentanyl
Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 7:31 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - New, powerful synthetics are throwing fuel on the fire that is the opioid epidemic.

The Journal of the American Medical Association Open Network published a study on drugs called nitazenes, which are known on the streets as “Frankenstein.” The study shows they could be 10 times stronger than fentanyl.

It also says patients who overdose on Frankenstein opioids require two or more doses of naloxone, also known as Narcan, to survive. Fentanyl overdoses usually need just one.

Patients who overdosed also experienced cardiac arrest or death at higher rates than people who overdosed on other opioids.

In the study, some of the people who overdosed on nitazenes thought they were using heroin or fentanyl.

Although synthetic opioids have been around for a while, researchers say doctors, hospitals, and first responders need to be ready to encounter more of them.