Dangerous Synthetic Drug Found in North Texas

A dangerous new synthetic drug could be making its way to North Texas.

The synthetic opioid is called U-47700, and it can be purchased online and is relatively cheap. It has a potency 7.5 times higher than morphine.

Lab tests recently received by Keller police confirmed the drug was found inside a home in the 1300 block of Briar Ridge Drive in March.

Steven King, 45, was arrested in March, and arrested again on new charges in June. He remains jailed on $525,000 bond.

Two people who used the drug at Kings home in March were admitted to the ICU after overdosing, according to police. Both recovered.

During an investigation that ensued, police seized 94 hits of LSD, methamphetamines, ecstasy, bath salts, marijuana, DMT, Oxycodone, Xanax and nearly 100 grams of U-47700.

Several states are now taking action to ban U-47700, and law enforcement in Kansas is even seeking an emergency ban.

Gary Dodd, BSN, CARN, with Grapevine Valley Hope, a treatment services center, said other drugs have a potency higher than U-47700, but with any new drug, users don't understand how it may affect them or how much to take.

"The first problem is that you don't know how it's going to affect you. You don't know the relative strength of it compared to what you're used to doing, which is going to lead to respiratory depressant overdose death," Dodd said. "The other problem is the physical dependency issue."

An alert from Parkland Hospital in March said the drug has been around since 70s, but is just now gaining popularity.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration told The Associated Press the agency is studying the opioid, but hasn't yet moved to control it. U-47700 comes in various forms and can be injected, snorted or taken orally.

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