UK officials battling synthetic drug 40 times stronger than fentanyl

Officials in the United Kingdom are fighting the spread of a deadly synthetic drug reported to be 40 times stronger than fentanyl.

Referred to as nitazines, 2-benzyl benzimidazole opioids are the product of synthetic compounds developed in the 1950s as pain medication, according to a report.

They were never approved for medical use, but their potency and addictive properties have brought them on the streets, and now, people are dropping dead across Europe in Estonia, Lithuania, Ireland, and the French island of La Reunion, the report noted.

Nitazines have also crossed the pond, appearing in the United States under the name “Frankenstein opioids.”

“Nitazenes pose a credible threat and … predicted changes in heroin availability in Europe could herald an increase in the use of synthetic opioids with possibly profound implications for public health,” the European
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