SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new deadly drug is showing up on the streets of San Francisco and it's poised to push the overdose death toll even higher.
"It's a stronger analog of Fentanyl," said Jacquie Berlinn, Co-founder of Mother's Against Drug Addiction and Deaths, "It's very scary."
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Berlinn is referring to Isotonitazene, also known as ISO- a synthetic opioid is at least 20 times more potent than Fentanyl. The illicit drug is a concern for Berlinn, whose son has been battling drug addiction for more than a decade.
"He told me that ISO is on the streets right now and he's staying away from it," said Berlinn, noting he's already had a close call with ISO. "He said he accidentally got a little bit, which I'm really concerned if he's accidentally getting some."
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Drug dealers are slipping ISO into other illicit drugs. DEA labs show it mixed with heroin and fentanyl, as well as pressed into counterfeit prescription pills.
"I just want to make sure that our city is set up to monitor it and to be testing for it," said District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey.
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"I have heard from people who are knowledgeable that ISO, the new more potent synthetic opioid, even more addictive, more potent, more deadly than fentanyl is starting to arrive in San Francisco," said Supervisor Dorsey, noting he sent a letter to the Medical Examiner in support of bolstering its work.
"I just want to make sure that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has everything it needs to test for every potential drug that's costing the lives of anyone in San Francisco."
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The supervisor says closely tracking the drugs causing accidental overdoses will be key in combating the crisis.
"I also want to make sure that OCME has the ability to test retroactively to see if something has already arrived that we weren't aware of."
Fentanyl is driving the drug overdose crisis across the United States, as well as San Francisco. In 2022, there were 620 drug overdose deaths in San Francisco- 72% were attributed to Fentanyl.
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