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Synthetic Opioid U-47700 Linked to 50 Deaths

States across the U.S. are rushing to stop the spread.

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A new synthetic drug called U-47700 is being linked to 50 deaths nationwide, leading several states scrambling to get the drug banned.

The U in the name stands for Upjohn, a pharmaceutical manufacturer that developed the drug in the mid-1970s.

Scientists discovered the drug while looking for a synthetic alternative to morphine said Barry Logan, chief of forensic toxicology at NMS Labs, a Pennsylvania testing site.

Officials have said the drug is even more dangerous than other synthetic drugs they’d previously encountered.

Psychoactive substances like bath salts started showing up around 2008 but were banned a few years later due to the health issues it caused.

Synthetic opioids like U-47700 comprise one of four categories of the new fake drugs, along with synthetic marijuana (K2), stimulants (bath salts) and hallucinogens. Each one of these drugs is altered to mimic what the organic drug can produce.

The compounds necessary for such a drug is very difficult to produce but the makers of the U were able to replicate it. "Chemical companies are making new ones to replace them," said DEA spokeswoman Barbara Carreno. "Somebody pulled this one off a shelf."

Whether a drug or not you should always review the items you're consuming and make sure to avoid companies that make products like this.