A powerful and dangerous synthetic drug called Les Nitazènes has been added to the list of controlled substances by the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM). This drug, which belongs to the family of synthetic opioids, is now banned from production, sale, and use. The decision to ban Les Nitazènes, which went into effect on Tuesday, comes in response to the increasing spread of this synthetic drug. It can be consumed in various forms such as liquid, powder, tablets, nasal sprays, or e-liquids.

The chemical compounds in Les Nitazènes, initially developed in the late 1950s as painkillers, were quickly withdrawn from the market due to their unfavorable risk-benefit ratio. These molecules, primarily manufactured in China and known to be 500 times more potent than morphine, are now controlled by criminal networks. The ANSM warns that Les Nitazènes can cause overdoses, leading to life-threatening complications such as respiratory difficulties, nausea, pinpoint pupils, and severe drowsiness that could result in a fatal coma.

Despite the devastating effects of Les Nitazènes, they are challenging to detect. Conventional urine tests are not sufficient to identify them, and their presence in the body can be masked by other substances like heroin. Often, individuals may unknowingly consume this drug, mixed with other substances, seeking its euphoric effects.

The decision to criminalize the use and trafficking of Les Nitazènes at the beginning of summer is significant, according to the ANSM. With the upcoming summer holidays and the anticipation of hosting the Olympic Games, the agency emphasizes the relevance of addressing the consumption of Les Nitazènes, which may occur in festive contexts.

In recent months, experts have expressed concerns about the alarming rise of Les Nitazènes. These molecules reappeared in the recreational drug market in 2019-2020 in the United States, Canada, and Europe before becoming problematic in France in the spring of 2023. Incidents of severe intoxications, including respiratory depression and deaths, have been reported in certain regions of France. Despite these alarming trends, detecting Les Nitazènes remains a challenge due to their elusive nature.

In conclusion, the ban on Les Nitazènes underscores the dangers posed by synthetic opioids and the need for stringent measures to curb their production, distribution, and use. The efforts to control these potent substances are crucial in safeguarding public health and preventing further harm caused by their consumption.