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Tampa Criminal Lawyer > Blog > Drug Crimes > Florida Classifies Nitazenes As Schedule I Controlled Substances

Florida Classifies Nitazenes As Schedule I Controlled Substances


You can get criminal charges for illegal possession, sale, or manufacture of drugs on any of the five schedules of the federal Controlled Substances Act or any of the drugs that Florida law includes on any of the five schedules, but Schedule I controlled substances take illegality to a whole new level.  The drugs on Schedules II through V are pharmaceutical drugs that have been officially approved for medical use in at least one context.  The scariest prescription drugs, such as fentanyl and oxycodone, are Schedule II controlled substances.  Some drugs that are rarely used in medicine but often used illegally are also Schedule II, such as cocaine, which can be used to control bleeding during eye surgery, and methamphetamine, which can be prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  New drugs enter the drug supply all the time, and some of these drugs can kill whether or not lawmakers have gotten around to making laws about them.  Nitazenes have been making trouble in Florida for several years, and Florida has recently passed a law classifying eight of them as Schedule I controlled substances.  If you are facing criminal charges for nitazenes, contact a Tampa drug crime lawyer.

What Are Nitazenes?

Nitazenes are a category of synthetic opioids.  The term opioids refers to drugs derived from the opium poppy, such as morphine and heroin, as well as synthetic drugs that resemble opium-derived opioids in terms of chemical structure and pain-relieving effects.  It is possible to produce synthetic opioids that are much stronger than their opium-based counterparts; for example, fentanyl is 100 times as strong as morphine and twice as strong as heroin.  Nitazenes were first synthesized in the 1950s, but they have never been approved for medical use because, at the doses required to achieve pain relief, they carry a high risk of respiratory depression.  Nitazenes caught the attention of lawmakers because they first appeared in the drug supply in Florida in 2020 and have contributed to several hundred overdose deaths.  Two thirds of overdose deaths in Florida since the beginning of the pandemic involved synthetic opioids, including but not limited to nitazenes.

Penalties for Crimes Involving Nitazenes in Florida

The eight drugs that the new law categorizes as Schedule I controlled substances are N-pyrrolidino etonitazene, etodesnitazene, isotonitazene, protonitazene, metonitazene, butonitazene, metodesnitzaene, and flunitazene.  The weakest of them are about the same strength as morphine, but the strongest of them are several times as strong as fentanyl.  Possession of any amount of one of these nitazenes is a felony, and the maximum penalty for being convicted of it is five years in prison.  If you get convicted of selling one of these nitazenes, you could get a prison sentence of up to 15 years.  The maximum penalty for a conviction for trafficking in nitazenes is 30 years in prison.

Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of possession of nitazenes or other synthetic opioids.  Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.





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