The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA) has raised the alarm on a plot by an unnamed drug cartel to introduce a lethal synthetic opioid called Fentanyl into the Nigerian market.
In a statement on Tuesday signed by Femi Babafemi, NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, the agency explained that the drug is 100 times stronger than Tramadol.
According to THE NDLEA, the new illicit drug is capable of causing mass casualty among Nigerians. Nairametrics understands that it is liquid in form and can come in nasal sprays, eye drops, or small candies.
The drug is already responsible for over 70% of overdose deaths and is a leading contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States.
The Agency stressed the need to ensure that the drug is not allowed to circulate in Nigeria because of its lethality. To this end, it urged various stakeholders to spread awareness among loved ones to avoid the drug.
Part of the statement by the NDLEA said:
- “We are not unaware of desperate efforts by some drug cartels to introduce to the Nigerian market Fentanyl, which according to the CDC, is 80 times as potent as morphine and 100 times more potent than heroin.
- “This, they plan to do either in liquid or powder form and/or with misleading labels to target our youth population. This may also mix with other prescription drugs. The illegally manufactured fentanyl in its liquid form can come in nasal sprays, eye drops, or small candies.
- “As a result, parents and other stakeholders are advised to be vigilant, alert, and warn their young ones against attempting to experiment with this illicit substance. Symptoms for fentanyl exposure and/or overdose include pinpoint pupils, falling asleep or losing consciousness, slow and shallow breathing, choking or gurgling sounds, limp body, and pale, blue, or cold skin.”