NEW YORK - A dangerous drug is hitting the streets at an alarming rate, according to a pain management doctor who spoke to FOX 5 News. The drug is called ISO, and health experts say it's up to 50 times stronger than fentanyl and often goes undetected during testing.
Northwell Health's Dr. Yili Huang said you can think of ISO as a "stronger cousin of fentanyl."
"It is becoming more and more prevalent because of the regulatory issues around it — because it is a synthetic fentanyl, there was no real classification by our regulatory bodies, so there was a period of time where you were able to purchase it on the Internet," Huang said. "The other issue is the unique testing for it because it is a synthetic opiate, a lot of drug tests may not pick it up."
ISO is linked to a growing number of overdose deaths across the country. It's believed to be so strong that it can kill someone just by being accidentally inhaled or by coming in contact with skin. This ISO emergence also comes as drug overdose incidents, in general, remain high nationwide.
Just last month, several cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York were hospitalized for fentanyl overdoses while on spring break in Florida.
In New York City, two City Council members recently introduced a bill that, if passed, would provide bars and nightclubs with training and up to 10 free drug kits that reverse opioid overdoses.
A few weeks back, FOX 5 News spoke to Council Member Chi Ossé, a sponsor of the bill.
"We see people overdosing sometimes here on the streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant and the fact that some of those deaths can be preventable if someone had access or someone had training to Narcan that would save a life," Ossé said at the time.