Metonitazene, a high-risk opioid’s been found in Aotearoa

Metonitazene has shown up in Aotearoa for the first time. It’s being sold as oxycodone or other opioids, and is either a yellow pill or yellow powder.

Metonitazene is an opioid analgesic in the Nitazene family.

  • It’s more potent than fentanyl
  • It comes on very fast and very strong, giving a depressive or sedative effect
  • It’s been linked to deaths in the US and hospitalisations elsewhere
  • It can’t be detected by fentanyl test strips and is effective at such minute amounts we can’t see it with our spectrometers.

Because metonitazene’s more potent than fentanyl, we strongly urge you to be suuuuuuuuper cautious with your opioids. If you’re getting your opioids from the illicit market, we STRONGLY advise you to avoid yellow pills and powders.

Get fentanyl dose rate information from our Fentanyl 101 post

Image courtesy of our friends at High Alert

Because it’s so potent, the risk of accidental overdose goes up substantially. If you can get your hands on Nyxoid spray or a Naloxone injection then absolutely do so. You can read about what to do if someone you’re with starts overdosing in our Responding to Crisis situations post.

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