Sept. 6, 2023 – WILLOW GROVE, Pa. (CBS) — The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education in Willow Grove, PA. was the first in the world to identify a new synthetic opioid that researchers say is more potent than fentanyl.

A researcher opened a safe they said contained a dangerous drug.

“So, this is a powder that we received from Ohio,” lab associate director Alex Krotulski said. “That contained N-Pyrrolidino protonitazene.”

Also called a “nitazene analog” or “zene” for short. This is a synthetic opioid. The center found the drug autopsy samples taken nationwide.

“We do know that it is responsible for the majority of those deaths,” Krotulski said.