The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, says it has discovered plots by certain dishonest individuals to bring in a deadly synthetic opioid, fentanyl, which is 100 times stronger than tramadol, into the Nigerian market.
NDLEA in a statement on Tuesday, 8 November, 2022, signed by the Director of Media & Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, warned that the illicitly manufactured drug is capable of causing mass casualty among the youth population being targeted by the cartels.
According to the anti-narcotics agency, due to the drug’s lethality and prevalence of drug abuse in Nigeria which is 14.4 per cent, all reasonable measures must be taken to prevent its circulation in Nigeria. It is currently responsible for over 70 per cent of deaths due to overdose and a significant contributor to both fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the US.
“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.
“As a result, parents and other stakeholders are advised to be vigilant, alert and warn their young ones against attempting experimenting 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”, the NDLEA stated.
In order to foil the cartels’ illegal scheme and force them to face the wrath of the law, the agency wants to reassure the public that all necessary resources have been deployed to monitor the cartels implicated in this most recent threat to public health.