Nigeria’s Anti-narcotic Agency the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) says, it has uncovered plans by some unscrupulous elements to introduce a lethal synthetic opioid known as Fentanyl, which is 100 times stronger than Tramadol into the Nigerian market.
They warned that the illicitly manufactured drug is capable of causing mass casualty among the youth population being targeted by the cartels.
The anti-narcotics agency in a statement by its spokesperson Mr. Femi Babafemi said every step must be taken to ensure that the drug which is currently responsible for over 70% overdose deaths as well as a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S is not allowed to circulate in Nigeria because of its lethality and the current drug abuse prevalence of 14.4% in the country.
“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 they 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.” The statement noted.
The Anti-narcotic Agency urged parents and other stakeholders to be vigilant, and warn their young ones against attempting to experiment with this illicit substance.
It said; symptoms of Fentanyl exposure and 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.
The Agency assured Nigerians that all necessary assets have been deployed to monitor the cartels involved in the latest threat to public health with a view to frustrating their criminal plot and making them face the wrath of the law.