Florida attorney general bans eight designer drugs

As Florida continues to grapple with deadly opioids such as fentanyl, Attorney General Ashley Moody on Tuesday issued an emergency rule banning eight synthetic drugs. The order was for drugs known as nitazenes, which Moody’s office said have been linked to at least 15 deaths in Florida since 2020.

The order makes it a crime to possess, sell, manufacture or deliver drugs, which have no medical use and can be 10 times more potent than fentanyl. Moody’s said she would also work with lawmakers in next year’s legislative session to ban the drugs permanently.

“These synthetic opioids are evolving, becoming more deadly, and they’re often paired with traditional drugs,” Moody told the News Service of Florida.

Moody’s said nitazenes were first discovered in Florida in 2020, with 13 reported cases. That number rose to 171 cases last year and 84 so far this year. Moody said the prevalence is likely higher than reported.

“As more and more synthetic opioids come to the United States, people need to be careful and understand that more people are dying from overdoses than we’ve ever seen before,” she said. .

The emergency rule said nitazenes are commonly available online, in illicit drug markets. He said they are often found in association with drugs such as cocaine and fentanyl. According to the state of emergency, nitazenes would be mainly produced in China and shipped to the United States.

The rule added the eight drugs to a list of so-called Schedule I controlled substances.

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Alvin J. Chase