What are Nitazenes?

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Nitazene drugs are a form of synthetic (manmade) opioids that were developed in the sixties to help battle America’s raging opioid epidemic. Created as an alternative to Morphine, nitazines are 1,000 times stronger than heroin. Due to their high abuse and overdose potential, they never passed clinical testing. They are classified as a Schedule I substance with no legal approval or proven medicinal benefits.

Nitazene opioids have gained recent popularity on the drug scene due to their easy availability and near inability to be detected when mixed with other drugs. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people die each year from Nitazene abuse, but the causes of these deaths often go undetected since nitazenes are not tested for in standard drug testing panels.

If you or a loved one struggles with Nitazene abuse, reach out to us at Avenues Recovery so we can guide you on your path to recovery.

What Are the Risks of Using Nitazenes? 

One of the main risks of taking nitazenes is that regular use can lead to addiction and dependence. Nitazenes often act on the same brain receptors as traditional opioids, increasing the risk of addiction.

Nitazenes are potent drugs, and since they are sold illegally, it’s very hard to tell how strong each pill or batch of powder is. Using nitazenes even once can lead to:

  • Overdose
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Coma
  • Death

Repeated nitazenes use can lead to health issues like:

  • Heart disease
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Gastrointestinal (stomach) issues
  • Mental health disorders

If you use nitazenes consistently, your body can easily develop tolerance to and dependence on them. Also, when you try to stop using, you may experience terrible withdrawal effects. Since nitazenes are illegal and not approved for medical use, you can get arrested for using them. If you receive nitazenes from a contaminated batch, it can pose serious risks to your health. 

Impact of the Rise of Nitazene Abuse 

While nitazenes were originally developed to ease the opioid crisis, it has only worsened it.

Emergency rooms across the U.S. are under pressure to develop protocols and care for severe cases of nitazenes abuse. This detracts resources and attention from other sick people who also need emergency care.

Continued nitazene abuse affects society as a whole as well, as families fall apart due to their loved ones' behavior on drugs and their inability to function at work, school or home. Nitazene use burdens the law enforcement system as crime increases due to illegal production of the drug and illegal and inappropriate behaviors while on the drug.

What Are the Effects of Nitazenes?

The effects of nitazenes include:

  • Sedation (sleep-induced relaxation): Nitazenes have strong sedative properties that lead to relaxation and drowsiness.
  • Kidney strain: Regular nitazene use can lead to a strain on one’s kidneys and chronic kidney disease.
  • Liver strain: Regular nitazene use can lead to chronic liver diseases like cirrhosis.
  • Heart problems: Chronic nitazene use can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and poor heart function. 
  • Breathing difficulty: In high doses, nitazenes can cause breathing to slow down or even stop, which can be deadly.
  • Dependence and withdrawal: Like benzodiazepines, nitazenes have the potential for tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms with abrupt cessation of use.
  • Mental health risks: Nitazene abuse can lead to anxiety, depression and psychosis.
  • Overdose: Taking excessive amounts of nitazenes can lead to overdose, defined by breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, coma, and even death. 

What Is Isotonitazene and Protonitazene?

Isotonitazene, a synthetic opioid which evolved from nitazenes, came out in the early 2020s and has been associated with a high risk of overdose and death. It is considered even more powerful and dangerous than nitazenes themselves.

Protonitazene, also related to nitazenes, is another synthetic opioid pain reliever that belongs to the benzimidazole class of opioids. Like other synthetic opioids, protonitazene poses a high risk of overdose and dependence due to its incredible potency. It has been associated with reports of terrible side effects and even death, so it is classified as a controlled substance in many places.

What is the Treatment for Nitazene Abuse?

The following are part of a typical treatment plan for nitazene abuse: 

  • Medical detoxification: This involves a medically supervised withdrawal to manage withdrawal symptoms safely. Medications may be administered to alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of complications.
  • Behavioral therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other forms of counseling can help individuals understand and change their patterns of substance use. Therapy sessions may address underlying issues contributing to addiction and teach coping skills to manage cravings and triggers.
  • Support groups: Participation in support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery can give people a sense of community, encouragement, and accountability as they work toward recovery.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): In some cases, medications may be given to help manage cravings and prevent relapse.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment: Many individuals with substance use disorders also have co-occurring mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. Treatment that addresses both substance abuse and mental health issues concurrently is often necessary for successful recovery.
  • Lifestyle changes: Treatment may involve changing lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, sleep habits, and social support systems to support long-term recovery.
  • Aftercare planning: Planning for ongoing support and relapse prevention is crucial for maintaining sobriety after completing formal treatment. This may involve continued participation in support groups, regular therapy sessions, and establishing a healthy routine.


If you or a loved one suffer from Nitazene abuse, reach out to us at Avenues Recovery so we can guide you on your path to recovery. Our expert team of addiction specialists have helped thousands of people recover from addiction, and they can help you too. We use evidence based therapies and personalized treatment plans to give every individual the unique help they need. Our professional staff treat every client with utmost care and respect. If you're serious about addiction recovery, reach out to us today. We will be with you every step of the way to sobriety.

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