KBI warns of emerging drug threat U-47700

Posted at 7:32 AM, Jun 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-03 18:36:45-04

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is warning the public of an emerging drug threat that is believed to have contributed to a number of accidental drug overdose deaths in Kansas within the past month, according to a news release from KBI.

The drug, “U-47700,” has no accepted medical use. The news release says it’s a synthetic opioid analgesic drug that is reportedly nearly eight times more potent than morphine.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said two deaths in Olathe are linked to U-47700.

"It's seven to eight times more powerful than morphine and many individuals, not knowing that, take it at the same level [as other drugs] and can overdose and die," explained Howe. "The real serious nature of taking this drug that it could result in your death. [We want] to warn parents as well as juveniles to be careful and don't take these types of drugs."

What it causes

It may cause eye, skin or respiratory system irritation and is harmful if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin, according to the news release. U-47700 produces effects including sedation and respiratory depression, which could be harmful or fatal.

According to KBI’s news release, contact with or use of this substance is strongly discouraged.

What to watch for

Although U-47700 is not currently controlled in Kansas, contact with or use of it is strongly discouraged, according to the news release. It can be obtained from a variety of sources, including the internet, and is available in various forms.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to be watchful of packages and mailing labels that indicate shipments from overseas, particularly China. The news release says the substance is often sold in containers, vials or plastic zippered baggies, that are labeled “Not for Human Consumption” or “For Research Purposes Only.”

The KBI news release says if you or someone you know is suspected of ingesting U-47700 seek medical attention immediately.

According to the news release, the KBI is “actively working with the Kansas Board of Pharmacy and a number of affected jurisdictions to initiate the procedure for emergency scheduling of U-47700 in Kansas.”



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