New synthetic drug U-47700 has states rushing to stop spread

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A new synthetic drug that can be purchased online and could be connected to at least 50 deaths nationwide has several states scrambling to contain its spread, with Kansas law enforcement agencies seeking an emergency ban.

At least three other states — Ohio, Wyoming and Georgia — already have taken action to ban U-47700 after it was connected to overdoses. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said that the agency is studying the opioid but hasn’t yet moved to control it.

Nearly eight times more potent than morphine, U-47700 comes in various forms and can be injected, snorted or taken orally.

Johnson County, Kansas, District Attorney Steve Howe said two deaths in his county have been connected to U-47700.

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