Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

Newly Enacted Florida Law Categorizes Eight Synthetic Opioids As Schedule I Controlled Substances


The classification of drugs on the five schedules listed in the Controlled Substances Act has less to do with their chemical composition or its potency than with its accepted medical uses and its abuse potential.  Schedule I controlled substances are widely abused but have no legally accepted uses in medicine.  Schedule II controlled substances also have a very high abuse potential, but they are legal for at least one purpose in a medical context.  For example, cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance because it is legal to use it topically to prevent bleeding during eye surgery.  Fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone are all opioids, but heroin is a Schedule I controlled substance, while the others are Schedule II.  Of course, new drugs are being developed all the time, and when they receive legal approval for medical use, or when they appear in the illegal drug supply, lawmakers classify them on one of the five schedules of controlled substances.  Florida has issued a new law categorizing eight previously uncategorized drugs as Schedule I controlled substances.  If you are facing criminal charges for possession of synthetic opioids, contact a West Palm Beach drug offenses lawyer.

Which Substances Are Banned Under the New Law?

The new law includes eight previously uncategorized synthetic opioid drugs as Schedule I controlled substances.  Synthetic opioids are drugs that have a similar chemical composition and a similar effect on the body to drugs derived from the opium, such as morphine and heroin.  Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid.  The new drugs have been referred to in the news media as “nitazenes” and “Frankenstein drugs.”  The official names of the drugs criminalized under the new law are N-pyrrolidino etonitazene, etodesnitazene, isotonitazene, protonitazene, metonitazene, butonitazene, metodesnitzaene, and flunitazene.  Possession of one of these drugs is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison; the maximum penalty for selling one of these drugs is 15 years in prison, and for trafficking them, it is 30 years.

Why Are Synthetic Opioids So Dangerous?

Some types of synthetic opioids are widely used in medicine, but the nitazenes covered under the new law are so dangerous because they are unregulated, so you don’t know exactly which combination of drugs you are getting and in what quantity.  For example, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, and oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid.  Nearly two thirds of fatal overdoses in Florida in recent years have involved synthetic opioids.  Most people buy them online or from local dealers who bought their supply on the dark web; many of the nitazenes sold in Florida are believed to originate in China.  Some of the newly criminalized substances, namely N-pyrrolidino etonitazene, etodesnitazene, isotonitazene, protonitazene, and metonitazene are at least twice as strong as fentanyl.

Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Attorney William Wallshein has more than 39 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County.  Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.





Facebook Twitter LinkedIn