U.K. Bans Synthetic Opioids Stronger Than Morphine

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 2 months ago

The U.K. government recently announced the ban of 15 synthetic opioids, including substances such as metonitazene, protonitazene, isotonitazene, butonitazene, and flunitazene. These drugs are now classified as ‘Class A’ drugs, subject to the strictest legal controls in the country, with penalties including life imprisonment, unlimited fines, or both for supplying them without a prescription.

The decision to ban these synthetic opioids comes in response to growing concerns over their potency and the associated risks of overdose. In particular, the coroner’s report on the deaths of Giuseppe Tabone and Andrew Evans, who died after inhaling isotonitazene in an East Sussex prison, highlighted the dangers of these substances.

The ban on nitazenes, a category of strong synthetic opioids, aims to limit their use in the U.K. due to the significant number of deaths linked to these drugs. However, concerns have been raised about the country’s response to the issue, with some experts criticizing the slow pace of action.

Crime and policing minister Chris Philp emphasized the need to prevent the spread of these destructive and lethal drugs in U.K. communities, while also highlighting the importance of international cooperation in tackling the issue. Despite efforts to monitor and regulate these substances, there are challenges in detecting nitazenes in patients who may unknowingly consume them mixed with other drugs.

Dr. Mark Pucci, a specialist in clinical toxicology, pointed out the lack of awareness and testing capabilities for nitazenes in the U.K., suggesting that the country is behind in addressing the issue. While efforts are being made to combat the spread of synthetic opioids, it is evident that more resources and strategies are needed to effectively address the risks associated with these potent substances.


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