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Report alerts on the use of strong opioids in Africa

Freetown, June 13 (Prensa Latina) Investigations by anti-crime organizations detected for the first time in Africa traces of highly potent synthetic opioids that are very dangerous for human health, local media published here today.

These opioids are known as nitazenes and have been in use for some time in Europe and North America, as well as in Asia, where they have been associated with overdose deaths.

According to a report focusing on Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau by the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, samples containing nitazenes were discovered in both countries.

The document also notes that some of these opioids can be up to 100 times more potent than heroin and up to 10 times more potent than fentanyl, increasing the risk of overdose and death.

Investigations suggest that nitazenes are being imported into Sierra Leone from elsewhere and urged officials to deploy surveillance teams to illicit drug markets and develop evidence-based responses.

The President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, recently declared a national emergency on drug abuse, in response to the devastating impacts of these harmful substances.

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