While fentanyl has been making headlines for the last few years, other synthetic opioids can also be dangerous. Isotonitazene is an even more potent drug than fentanyl and has been seen more often in drug busts. People are often unaware they are even consuming the substance.

Understanding what makes isotonitazene dangerous, and how the law views it, is essential to protecting your health and safety.

What Is Isotonitazene?

Isotonitazene, also called “ISO,” is a potent synthetic opioid that has been blamed for numerous deaths. Since it is a relatively new drug, its origins, health effects, and legal status are somewhat in flux.

Origin of Isotonitazene

Synthetic opioids containing benzimidazole, like ISO, first appeared in the 1950s. However, ISO did not gain popularity or enter illegal markets until 2019. Isotonitazene is like other synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and hydromorphone.

Health Effects of Isotonitazene

ISO appears to be even more potent than morphine and fentanyl. It works by activating opioid receptors in the brain, causing what some people feel are favorable effects.

This drug has a high potential for addiction and abuse. It can cause dose-dependent respiratory depression, meaning that breathing is affected in those who consume the drug.

Who Uses ISO?

Many of the same people using fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are abusing ISO. It is common for a person abusing prescription opioid analgesics, such as heroin and tramadol, to expand their search for drugs that contain isotonitazene.

ISO users most likely obtain it through unregulated sources, so the drug’s identity, purity, and quantity are unreliable. This poses serious risk of overdose to users who don’t know the contents of the substances they consume.

Controlled Status of ISO

ISO is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. That means there is a high potential for abuse, and the drug currently has no accepted medical treatment uses in the United States. Other Schedule I drugs include LSD, heroin, MDMA, ecstasy, and (controversially) marijuana.

What’s the Penalty for Possessing or Using ISO?

As a Schedule I drug, you would receive penalties for possessing ISO similar to possessing heroin or fentanyl. Most drug charges for this substance would be felonies.

Some common charges for ISO include:

  • Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance
  • Possession with Intent to Sell
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Penalties for a conviction depend on the level of a felony. They include:

  • First-Degree Felony – up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Second-Degree Felony – up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Third-Degree Felony – up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000

Additionally, if you provide ISO to someone else and they die, you could be charged with drug-induced manslaughter, even if you were not aware of the potency of the drugs.

Defenses in ISO Cases

When you’re arrested on ISO charges, you face significant penalties. However, your drug defense attorney can help you get charges reduced or dismissed.

Some of the tactics that your lawyer can use to defend you include:

  • Challenging an illegal search and seizure
  • Identifying failure to read your Miranda rights
  • Getting key evidence thrown out or suppressed
  • Challenging testimony of police officers, investigators, and witnesses
  • Pointing out inconsistencies in witness testimony
  • Identifying weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case
  • Challenging the elements of your charges
  • Challenging whether you had actual or constructive possession
  • Seeking dismissal of your case due to lack of evidence

The best drug lawyers will use multiple strategies to defend you in your ISO case.

Why You Need a Florida Drug Defense Lawyer

A lawyer will give you the best chance of getting your charges reduced or dismissed. A skilled criminal defense attorney can speak with prosecutors to find ways to drop or reduce charges. Whether you decide to negotiate a plea agreement or take your case to trial, an attorney will benefit your case.

Your attorney can help you with the following:

  • Conducting a thorough independent investigation
  • Gathering evidence from the scene and prosecution’s case files
  • Requesting documents from the prosecution during discovery
  • Interviewing witnesses and preparing them for trial
  • Subpoenaing witnesses to appear at trial
  • Drafting and filing pre-trial motions to get your case dismissed

When preparing your case, the best drug defense lawyer will leave no stone unturned.

Erika Valcarcel Can Help You with ISO Defense

Attorney Erika Valcarcel has extensive experience helping clients who have been charged with Schedule I drug charges. She knows you are likely scared about the potential outcome and the penalties you face. Attorney Valcarcel will help you understand your options and guide you through to the best outcome possible.

Call today at (941) 363-7900 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.

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