The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), says it has uncovered plans by some drug cartels to introduce a lethal synthetic opioid, Fentanyl, into the Nigerian market.
A statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by the NDLEA spokesperson, Mr Femi Babafemi, said that the illicit drug was 100 times stronger than Tramadol.
Babafemi added that it has the potency to kill many youths targeted by the cartels.
He therefore said every step would be taken to ensure that the lethal drug does not circulate in Nigeria, which currently has drug abuse prevalence of 14.4%.
The NDLEA spokesman explained that the drug was responsible for more than 70 per cent overdose deaths in the United States, and a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses.
Babafemi assured Nigerians that necessary measures have been deployed to monitor the cartels involved in this latest threat to public health with a view to frustrating their criminal plot.
He added that the unscrupulous elements would be made to face the wrath of the law.
“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.
“This, they plan to do either in liquid or powder form and/or with misleading labels to target our youth population.
“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.
“As a result, parents and other stakeholders are advised to be vigilant, alert and warn their young ones against attempting experimenting with this illicit 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,” he said.