The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is warning Kansans of a growing threat from a synthetic opioid that may have caused a number of overdose deaths in the past month.
The drug's name is U-47700 and was derived by the pharmaceutical firm Upjohn in the 1970s. The drug can be as potent as ten times that of a similar dose of morphine. The drug is not controlled in Kansas.
Ohio, Wyoming and Georgia have recently undergone procedures for emergency scheduling of it in order to make consumption, possession, and distribution illegal. The KBI is working with the Kansas Board of Pharmacy to do the same in Kansas.
The drug is available on the internet and is often shipped in packages labeled "not for human consumption" or "for research purposes only." U-47700 produces strong effects including sedation and respiratory depression, which could be harmful or fatal.
Aileen LeBlanc is news director at KMUW. Follow her on Twitter @Aileen_LeBlanc.
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