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Warning of potent opioid drug found in powder on NSW Central Coast

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16th May, 2023

Health authorities are warning a potent opioid, isotonitazene, has been detected in drugs in a yellow powder form on the NSW Central Coast. The drug may be related to recent deaths which are under investigation.

NSW Health Pathology’s Foren­sic & Ana­lyt­i­cal Sci­ence Ser­vice has col­lab­o­rat­ed with NSW Health, NSW Police and NSW Poi­sons Infor­ma­tion Cen­tre to release the lat­est drug warning.

Med­ical Direc­tor of the NSW Poi­sons Infor­ma­tion Cen­tre, A/Prof Dar­ren Roberts, said drugs con­tain­ing a potent opi­oid such as iso­toni­tazene can cause unex­pect­ed and severe over­dose or death.

Nitazenes can be as strong, or stronger than fen­tanyl and may be more like­ly to affect breath­ing than oth­er opioids.

NSW Health Pathology’s Illic­it Drug Analy­sis and Foren­sic Tox­i­col­o­gy teams work every day to keep the com­mu­ni­ty safe by con­duct­ing expert analy­sis of blood, urine and oral flu­id sam­ples as well as test­ing illic­it drugs seized by police.

Their work sup­ports the health and jus­tice sys­tems and con­tributes to pub­lic health alerts such as this.

For more infor­ma­tion, see pub­lic drug warn­ings pub­lished on the NSW Health web­site.


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