New Synthetic Opioid Found In Colorado That Is Over 15x Stronger Than Fentanyl

A newly discovered opioid that has been found to be very much stronger than fentanyl and morphine has been making its way across Colorado.

The Sheriff’s Office of Mesa County has officially released, as of Thursday, an alert to the public that warns residents about the drug that has been found in the state. As reported by a local news outlet KKCO, the drug in question, N-pyrrolidino Etonitazene, which is known on the street by the name PYRO, is over 1,000-1,500 times stronger than morphine. In the same vein, fentanyl is only about 100 times more powerful than morphine, which means that PYRO is almost 15 times stronger than the already dangerous fentanyl

“A new synthetic opioid has been found in Colorado,” stated the alert coming from the Sheriff’s Office. “The small light blue pills with dark blue flakes are marked with an ‘M’ on one side and ’30’ on the other. This opioid is known as PYRO. Laboratories have determined the pills are more potent than fentanyl. Please use caution if you encounter this opioid and notify law enforcement immediately.”

Very small amounts of the drug had been previously found in Denver. A spokesman for the Denver Police Department issued confirmation to Newsweek that it had been discovered. “Our narcotics investigators tell us anecdotally that minimal amounts of this synthetic opioid have been found in Denver thus far, however one recovery was related to an overdose death that is under investigation, so it’s certainly a concern for us,” explained one spokesman.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office expressed their concern that the drug would end up spreading out to nearby cities such as Grand Junction, and even further. “Within a month, it will make its way down the I-70 corridor,” explained Lt. Henry Stoffel, from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, to KKCO.

According to a recent public alert from the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education, PYRO is similar in chemical structure to another controlled substance named etonitazene, but that is quite different from other synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. However, unlike various other drugs that first popped up in scientific literature in the 1950s, PYRO does not seem to show up in any scientific literature or patents. The drug was first found by the CFSRE’s NPS (Novel Psychoactive Substances) Discovery program back in May of 2021 in the wake of it being first seen as part of a toxicology report. The alert also highlighted that the drug is much strong than fentanyl– according to new pharmacological data, PYRO sports a potency level quite similar to Etonitazene, which is roughly 20 times stronger than fentanyl.

The alert also spoke out about how PYRO was found in samples of blood of eight postmortem toxicology reports in five states: Colorado, Florida, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. A report form April sent out by CFSRE, which was highlighted by Newsweek, stated that PYRO was found in 21 drug overdose deaths across both Canada and the U.S., including 17 deaths in nine states: Kentucky, West Virginia, Colorado, New Jersey, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Minnesota. However, those deaths seem to have seen the drug in very low concentrations.

One Birmingham, U.K.-based physician who analyses drug-related deaths, Dr. Judith Yates, stated to KKCO that the drug is, most likely, being sent over from China via the dark web. She stated to the BBC back in June that the drug was most likely attempting to be a replacement for fentanyl.

“There is no way to tell what’s in a tablet that you’re getting either online or on the street,” explained Yates to the BBC at that time.

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