Synthetic opioids are the primary reason for increased overdose deaths. While we have known about some opioids, such as fentanyl, for a long time, new synthetic opioids are always emerging. One of the newest ones is the Isotonitazene drug, also known as iso.
Iso is a dangerous opioid that’s said to be more potent than morphine. In addition, iso is new. We don’t know the isotonitazene side effects, and it’s difficult to detect.
Continue reading to learn more about iso and why it’s dangerous.
What Is Isotonitazene?
Isotonitazene is similar to other opioids, such as fentanyl. But it has a different chemical structure, which is why it’s more potent and is causing more overdoses.
Iso is most similar to etonitazene. This drug is used both nationally and internationally as a pain relief drug. It’s widely used because of its potency; it’s more potent than morphine, given to patients with debilitating pain.
Keep in mind iso isn’t as potent as etonitazene. But even in small doses, there are many isotonitazene risks.
Because it’s still stronger than most opioids on the market, iso is popping up everywhere. You can find iso on the streets throughout the United States as well as in Canada, the UK, and Europe.
Because of the pandemic, more overdoses have been reported. For example, overdoses in Wisconsin more than doubled ever since the pandemic. Experts are largely linking these overdoses to iso.
Why Are More Users Trying Iso?
There are many reasons why more users are trying iso. For one, it’s more potent than many drugs on the market — more potent than fentanyl.
Not only that, but US drug laws have largely not kept up on iso. This makes it difficult for law enforcement to catch iso and for the substance to come up during a drug test. It was just classified as a Schedule I drug in 2020.
Because iso has been under the radar for so long, it was easy to acquire. Most users only had to simply order it online. With all of these factors combined, many experts believe that iso will replace fentanyl and eventually even heroin in the next few years.
Detection Is Difficult
Another reason why iso is quickly gaining popularity is that it’s difficult to detect in drug tests. While we mentioned this point already, it’s important to emphasize this fact.
As of now, iso does not appear in a standard opiate test. This means users can take iso without it interfering legally and even with their jobs or childcare.
This is also detrimental on a medical scale. If your loved one needs medical attention, the medical professionals will administer a drug test to see if the patient is overdosing. If the patient receives a negative test, there’s a chance the patient may be misdiagnosed, resulting in potentially fatal consequences.
Even if the ER does correctly diagnose the patient, iso-overdose treatment is still up in the air. While regular reversible drugs will work, the medical community is unsure about proper dosing.
However, now the public is becoming more aware of iso. Employers know the signs of an iso high, and loved ones are becoming familiar with iso. While iso drug tests are developing, understanding of the drug is increasing.
Why Is Iso More Dangerous Than Other Opioids?
Before we talk about the dangers of isotonitazene, let’s cover the dangers of other synthetic opioids.
Synthetic opioids are a class of drugs that replicate the effects of the opium plant. They’re often prescribed for patients who suffer from moderate to severe pain. Commonly prescribed opioids include Vicodin, OxyContin, and morphine.
These substances improve pain but are highly addictive. Patients may begin to misuse these drugs, and many may move to cheaper and easily attainable “street” drugs such as fentanyl and heroin.
What makes iso different than these drugs is the novelty. We have known about fentanyl and heroin for decades, so experts understand the short and long-term effects. However, the effects of iso are still unknown.
Experts do suspect users are mixing iso with different substances. Iso is available in both powder and tablet form, so users can mix it with other illicit substances such as cocaine and heroin. This can lead to an overdose.
Lastly, iso is likely not the last synthetic opioid. New synthetic opioids are constantly emerging, causing issues with law enforcement and the medical community. The only way to combat this is by enhancing education and ensuring opiate addicts receive the help they need.
Why Are Users More Prone to Overdose on Iso?
As of now, iso is causing between 40 and 50 overdose deaths a month in the US alone.
Since iso is so new, experts don’t fully understand iso’s effects and why it leads to fatal overdoses. But its mother drug, etonitazene, has been around since the 1950s. What we know about etonitazene is it causes fatal respiratory depression. When you overdose on etonitazene, you’re unable to breathe properly.
The drug affects your oxygen input and carbon dioxide output, resulting in a condition called opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD). If left untreated for too long, the user could go into cardiac arrest, followed by hypercapnia and hypoxia.
What to Do If a Loved One Overdoses on Iso
Did you recently discover a loved one is addicted to iso? If so, you’ll want to know the symptoms of an overdose.
Since an iso overdose affects the respiratory system, you’ll first want to pay attention to any slow or shallow breathing. If your loved one has less than eight full breaths a minute, they’re likely going through respiratory depression.
You’ll also need to look for other symptoms such as deep stupor, pinpoint pupils, blue lips, and unconsciousness.
If your loved one shows any of these symptoms, they need medical help immediately. When they’re in the hands of medical professionals, they will administer Naloxone to reverse the OIRD symptoms. Keep in mind any underlying health conditions could impact the overdose process even more.
Treat Your Isotonitazene Addiction
Are you or a loved one addicted to isotonitazene and fentanyl? If so, you can receive help in Southern California. Our team stands by a traditional and holistic approach to recovery. We have locations in Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel. Take a look at our program.