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Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP)

Trends and Alerts


What are Nitazenes?

  • Nitazenes are a type of synthetic opioid which have recently emerged in the UK drugs supply 
  • There are many types of nitazenes including metonitazene, N-pyrrolidino-etonitazene (NPE), etonitazene, etonitazepyne, isotonitazene and protonitazene. 
  • Most often they may be sold as or found in other drugs They have been found in powders, (brown, yellow, or white), pills/tablets sold as oxycodone or Percocet, contaminated heroin and liquids, including nasal sprays 
  • There is also a concern that nitazenes could be found in other drugs such as cocaine or cannabis 
  • Nitazenes have been involved in drug overdoses and deaths in the UK 
  • Nitazenes can vary in potency. Some are thought to be over 600 times more potent than heroin meaning that a fatal dose could be as small as two grains of sand 
  • The effects may be short lasting with a strong urge to re-dose The amount of nitazene type drugs found in tablets, pills, powders varies so it would be almost impossible to judge an accurate dose 


For more information on signs of an overdose click here:

For more information on naloxone click here:


Harm Reduction Advice:

  1. It is important that you treat all substances with caution as you can’t be sure of what’s in it or its strength
  2. Start low ad go slow until you know the effects of a drug
  3. Mind yourself and care for others around you
  4. Don’t be afraid to seek medical help if you or a friend feels unwell after taking drugs
  5. Do not buy new types of drugs, new batches, or from new sources


Overdoses involving nitazenes can be reversed using the life-saving medicine naloxone – due to the potency of nitazenes you may need to administer multiple doses  

In Scotland the provision of naloxone is FREE and anyone aged 16 and over can grab a naloxone kit