The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has uncovered plans by some drug cartels to introduce a lethal synthetic opioid, fentanyl, into Nigeria.
NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday. According to the anti-narcotics agency, the opioid is 100 times stronger than Tramadol and has the potency to kill many youths targeted by drug cartels.
The NDLEA spokesman explained that the drug was responsible for more than 70 per cent of overdose deaths in the United States and a major contributor to fatal and non-fatal overdoses.
The statement assured Nigerians that the NDLEA was monitoring the cartels involved in the latest threat to public health to frustrate their criminal plot.
“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,” stated the NDLEA. “This, they plan to do either in liquid or powder form and/or with misleading labels to target our youth population.”
The statement added, “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.”
The anti-narcotics agency advised parents to monitor and warn their children against experimenting with the 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,” it further stated.