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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / Nitazenes: The “New” Drugs On The Block

Nitazenes: The “New” Drugs On The Block


The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) oversees the classification of newly discovered or developed drugs, assigning each one a category based on its medical use potential and capacity for addiction. While it can take some time to classify a substance, this does not mean that the substance is not already available on the street and potentially harming people. This is true of a new category of synthetic opioid, referred to as nitazenes.

Only Recently Popular

According to the DEA, nitazenes are an “emerging” group of synthetic opioids, on track to become as potent as fentanyl, if not more so. They are, as of this writing, allegedly already available with only ‘minor chemical modifications’ on the so-called illicit market, and are often found mixed with cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl. Synthetic opioids are popular because with modern chemistry, they can be made far stronger than natural opioid based solutions.

Nitazenes were first developed in the 1950s in Switzerland, with the intention that they be used as painkillers, but were shelved because the therapeutic dose would have been far too large to be safe. They have only recently (within the past decade or so) become more popular as designer drugs, but the number of deaths they have caused have been enough to get more and more legislatures to regulate them.

If You Are Charged

Up until recently, nitazenes were not specifically covered under U.S. drug law, but in 2023, the legislature passed a law banning most forms of synthetic opioids, including eight drugs classified as nitazenes. The strongest of these compounds is stronger than fentanyl, and possession or sale of these compounds will be taken seriously. Florida prosecutes drug offenses harshly, given its history of problems with the drug trade, so if you are charged with an offense related to nitazenes, it is crucial you approach it with the seriousness it deserves.

Unlike with some other drugs – for example, cannabis – possession of any amount of a nitazene or nitazene-based compound will be prosecuted as a felony, which carries a minimum of five years in prison. If you are found guilty of trafficking these substances, the sentence can be as long as 30 years behind bars. It is absolutely imperative to have knowledgeable legal help on your side if you have been charged with this kind of offense – it can make all the difference.

Contact A West Palm Beach Drug Offenses Attorney

Synthetic opioids can pose a serious threat to innocent people, and if you have been charged with a nitazene-related offense, a West Palm Beach drug offenses attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help protect your rights. Contact our office today to speak to an attorney.



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