Our People to Live Stronger & Longer

NSW ACCHOs Drug Alerts

Nitazene is a synthetic opioid that is 10 times stronger than fentanyl and 500 times stronger than heroin. Only a small amount of Nitazene can lead to an opioid overdose  or death and has been responsible for many deaths and overdoses in Europe and North America.  

Nitazene has now been detected in Australia, with devastating consequences. 16 – 18 deaths in Victoria are suspected to be from Nitazene use and 4 severe opioid overdoses requiring hospitalisations in Sydney are confirmed to be from this new drug. 

It has been found in vapes, MDMA, ecstasy tablets, cocaine, heroin and may be used in other illicit drugs commonly used. Illicit drug use has never been more dangerous in Australia, and ACCHO healthcare workers should be aware of this new threat and the potential danger it poses to their clients. 

More information about the risk is available in the Public Drug Warning on the NSW Health website. 

Naloxone is an Effective Treatment for Opioid Overdoses and Available free of charge 

The NSW Government offers to supply ACCHOs with Naloxone to dispense to clients and their carers free of charge. 

Take home Naloxone is a life saving measure which can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose, including with Nitazenes. Nitazenes can last longer in the body than heroin and naloxone. Higher and repeated doses of naloxone are often required as well as hospital treatment. 

Because Fentanyl and Nitazene are often added to non-opioid illicit drugs, such as ice, and MDMA, anyone using illicit drugs is strongly advised to carry keep Naloxone with them and keep at home just in case they take a substance containing Nitazene or Fentanyl.

Take home Naloxone is available as an easy-to-use nasal spray or injection from some pharmacies and other health services. You can watch a webinar explaining how ACCHO’s can be involved in the take home Naloxone program on the AH&MRC website: Watch the webinar here.

For more information on Naloxone or where the nearest pharmacies with Naloxone nasal sprays are located visit: Your Room – Naloxone​