Isotonitazene — commonly referred to as “iso,” is a new synthetic opioid as powerful as fentanyl. Iso is a synthetic version of etonitazene, an opioid first reported in 1957, which is nationally and internationally controlled, as it is highly addictive and very dangerous. However, iso is not yet on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration‘s controlled substances list, meaning it is not illegal. While the toxicity of isotonitazene has not yet been widely studied, it is of public health concern because of recent associations with drug user death, and it is believed that this new opioid holds the potential to cause widespread harm.
How are we going to stay in front of development and avoid misuse? Like with any opioid use, addiction treatment harm reduction experts recommend people avoid using alone, and carry naloxone, which can be used to reverse an overdose. But is that enough?