New drug is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine

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4 Fast Facts

  • Powerful street drug comes to U.S. from Canada
  • Very small amount of the drug, W-18, is enough to kill
  • The synthetic opioid is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine
  • Drug developed about 30 years ago as an alternative pain reliever

GROTON, Conn. – Authorities say a new and powerful street drug has made its way to the United States from Canada.

The new drug, known as W-18, is a synthetic opioid that scientists say is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, according to WFSB.

First responders told WFSB that a very small amount of W-18 is enough to kill someone.

The drug was developed about 30 years ago in a Canadian lab as an alternative pain reliever. Because the drug was so strong, pharmaceutical companies never picked it up.

A Chinese lab later began mass producing the psychoactive drug and selling it online, according to VICE News.

According to WFSB, the compound is 100 times more potent than fentanyl.

Many first responders say they are preparing for the worst.

“We’re looking at this next drug W-18 that’s coming out. This could be disastrous. This could be the next nuclear war basically. You’re going to see a lot of lives lost,” Chief Joe Winski of the Poquonnock Bridge Fire Department said.

Winski said with this drug on the streets, it is even more critical for state and federal agencies to get addicts into treatment centers.

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