Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn A new compound known as “iso” is the latest example of synthetic opioids that are cropping up in U.S. overdose deaths. Credit: SoQ錫濛譙, Creative Commons A record number of Americans died from drug overdoses last year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the 12-month period ending in September 2020, drug-related casualties surged nearly 30 percent to reach 87,000. Health experts attribute the rise in casualties to increased drug use during the Covid-19 pandemic, as more Americans suffered through long periods of stress and isolation. But they are also warning of a troubling trend that has emerged: the popularity of a new synthetic form of highly addictive opioids. Data: CDC Wonder Last August, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) issued a warning about Isotonitazene, or ‘iso’ as the opioid is commonly called, and temporarily categorized it as a ‘Schedule I’ substance — meaning that it has high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical application. “The availability of synthetic opioids in the illicit drug market continues to pose an imminent hazard to the public safetSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.