Isotonitazene has been associated with serious harms in NSW. It is possibly related to recent deaths which remain under investigation.

Last updated: 05 May 2023

Know the risks

  • Drug samples in NSW have been found to contain isotonitazene, a potent opioid of the nitazene class.
  • Nitazenes can be as strong as, or stronger than fentanyl and cause slow breathing or death.
  • Naloxone can temporarily reverse an overdose from opioids, such as nitazenes.
  • You are at increased risk of overdose if you:
    • use drugs when you are alone
    • use drugs again after a break
    • mix different drugs. Alcohol, benzos and opioids are very dangerous to combine.
  • Fentanyl test strips are unable to detect these nitazene opioids.

Effects to look out for

Opioid overdose symptoms include any of: pin-point pupils, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, slow breathing/snoring or skin turning blue or grey.

Getting help

If you see the warning signs of overdose:

  • Seek help immediately from your nearest emergency department or call Triple Zero (000).
  • You won't get into trouble for seeking help.
  • If someone is not breathing, start CPR if you know how.
  • Use naloxone if you have it. Call '000' even if naloxone has been given.

Support and advice

For free and confidential advice:

Take Home Naloxone Program

  • Naloxone is an easy to use, life-saving medicine that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose. People at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose or who may witness an overdose can get naloxone for free without a prescription from some NSW community pharmacies, NSW Health needle and syringe programs, opioid treatment services and NUAA.
  • Visit Your Room for participating sites and more information on take-home naloxone.
  • NUAA can mail you naloxone for free in a discreet package. Order via their online shop or call (02) 8354 7343.

Current as at: Friday 5 May 2023