Use of synthetic opioid U-47700 poses risk to Kansas citizens

TOPEKA – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is warning the public of a rapidly emerging drug threat that is believed to have contributed to a number of accidental drug overdose deaths in Kansas within the past month. This drug, U-47700, has no accepted medical use and poses a risk to Kansas citizens.

Across the country, opioids, including prescription pain relievers and heroin, remain the driving factor behind the drug overdose epidemic. U-47700 is a synthetic opioid analgesic drug that is reportedly nearly eight times more potent than morphine. It may cause eye, skin or respiratory system irritation and is harmful if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. U-47700 produces strong effects including sedation and respiratory depression which could be harmful or fatal.

Although U-47700 is not currently controlled in Kansas, contact with or use of this substance is strongly discouraged. It can be obtained from a variety of sources, including the internet, and is available in various forms. Parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to be watchful of packages and mailing labels that indicate shipments from overseas, particularly China. This substance is often sold in containers – vials or plastic zippered baggies – that are labeled “Not for Human Consumption” or “For Research Purposes Only”. This is a tactic frequently utilized by manufacturers of illegal drugs; unknown substances with these marking should be considered suspicious.

The public should be advised of the potential serious harm resulting from exposure to U-47700. If you or someone you know is suspected of ingesting U-47700, seek medical attention immediately.

Ohio, Wyoming, and Georgia have recently undergone procedures for emergency scheduling of U-47700 to make consumption, possession and distribution illegal. In recognition of the rapidly emerging drug threat U-47700 poses to Kansas citizens, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation 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.

Information thanks to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

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