New synthetic opioid more potent and dangerous than Fentanyl now in Colorado

Pyro (N-pyrrolidino Etonitazene) in pill form.
Pyro (N-pyrrolidino Etonitazene) in pill form.(Mesa County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 5:14 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - A new drug has appeared in Colorado and has already killed at least one person in Denver. N-pyrrolidino Etonitazene, known by its street name “Pyro,” is a high-potency synthetic opioid with a molecular structure that resembles Etonitazene, a synthetic opioid classified as a controlled substance.

The drug is anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 times more powerful than morphine. Fentanyl, for reference, is only about 100 times more powerful than morphine.

According to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Pyro is virtually identical in appearance to Fentanyl, light blue in color with darker blue flecks scattered throughout the pill. An “M” can be seen on one side, and a “30″ can be found on the other.

However, as opioids are often introduced via other delivery methods, it may be found in powder, liquid, or other forms. The MCSO is urging residents to avoid contact with anything resembling the drug and to contact law enforcement immediately if they do.

Initially found in Denver, local police are concerned about the impact the drug may have on Grand Junction. “Within a month, it will make its way down the I-70 corridor,” said Lt. Henry Stoffel of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Dr. Judith Yates, a drug death analyzer in Birmingham, England stated that the drug is likely coming from the dark web and may be produced in China. Three men in Birmingham died from N-pyrrolidino overdoses.

According to the Center for Forensic Science Research, & Education, N-pyrrolidino does not appear in any prior medical literature or patents, unlike Etonitazene and its cousin Fentanyl. It is a functionally unique and new drug , likely developed independently from the American pharmaceutical industry. At least 21 deaths have been attributed to the drug in just two years, with an upper limit of 44 deaths possibly linked to Pyro usage.

The CFSRE stated that the drug has appeared in at least New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, and Colorado. It has also been found in multiple parts of Europe, as several European agencies have reported the drug.

A Pyro overdose looks virtually identical to most other opioid overdoses, with respiratory depression typically being the fatal symptom. Fortunately however, the drug is responsive to Naloxone and the deadly consequences of an overdose can be prevented if the drug is neutralized quickly.

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