Background

The Drug Enforcement Administration has issued an order temporarily including the following synthetic benzimidazole-opioid substances, including their isomers, esters, ethers, salts, and salts of isomers, esters, and ethers, into schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

- 2-(2-(4-butoxybenzyl)-5-nitro-1H-benzimidazol-1-yl)-N,N-diethylethan-1-amine (butonitazene)

- 2-(2-(4-ethoxybenzyl)-1H-benzimidazol-1-yl)-N,N-diethylethan-1-amine (etodesnitazene; etazene)

- N,N-diethyl-2-(2-(4-fluorobenzyl)-5-nitro-1H-benzimidazol-1-yl)ethan-1-amine (flunitazene)

- N,N-diethyl-2-(2-(4-methoxybenzyl)-1H-benzimidazol-1-yl)ethan-1-amine (metodesnitazene)

- N,N-diethyl-2-(2-(4-methoxybenzyl)-5-nitro-1H-benzimidazol-1-yl)ethan-1-amine (metonitazene)

- 2-(4-ethoxybenzyl)-5-nitro-1-(2-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)ethyl)-1H-benzimidazole (N-pyrrolidino etonitazene; etonitazepyne)

- N,N-diethyl-2-(5-nitro-2-(4-propoxybenzyl)-1H-benzimidazol-1-yl)ethan-1-amine (protonitazene)

Effective April 12, 2022, through April 12, 2024, this order imposes the CSA’s regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule I controlled substances on persons who import, export, manufacture, distribute, reverse distribute, engage in research, conduct instructional activities or chemical analysis with, or possess the substances listed above.

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