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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 8, 2020 01:03 PM
From: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Adding Etizolam to List of Controlled Substances
Imagine your spouse or child coming home with a product purchased at a sports supplement store, using the product and then learning it is ripe for abuse, is highly addictive and, like opioids, can slowly shut down the respiratory system. However, unlike opioids, naloxone is not effective in overcoming an overdose with this substance. The effects trigger intense withdraw and can lead to death. Somehow your loved one survives and can detox, but you learn the product is not a controlled substance and is easily available online for cheap purchase and delivery. You would probably be livid. To one Pennsylvania mom, this was not something she had to imagine for her child: it was reality.

The product is called Etizolam. It is similar to benzodiazepine (Xanax or Valium) but is one molecule short of being labeled as such, a distinction which allows it to escape federal regulation. Etizolam does not have an accepted medical use in the United States and is therefore not approved for prescription use. Often promoted as a “research chemical,” it can be purchased legally via the internet and at local retail shops.
Currently, Etizolam is not classified as a controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement agency. Citing the risk of overdose and death, ten states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, South Carolina and Virginia) have acted to control Etizolam. It is time for

Pennsylvania to do the same. My legislation would add Etizolam to the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act as a Schedule II narcotic.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB2235