Racine County law enforcement officials are investigating the deaths of two people after they took a legal form of synthetic opiate they may have ordered online.
County Medical Examiner Michael Payne confirmed for The Journal Times that two men – one each on the east and west ends – died this summer as a result of taking U-47700. He also said the legal synthetic opiate is more dangerous than even illegal synthetic opiates already on the street.
“This is just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than any other synthetic opiate that is illegal,” he is quoted as saying.
An additional 50 people have died across the country, and another three people in Southeast Wisconsin in the last six weeks are dead, after taking the drug.
U-47700 is not considered a controlled substance, but officials are working to change that. The state Controlled Substances Board meets Sept. 20 to discuss scheduling the drug at the state level, a move that could be seen as unusual since federal-level scheduling usually comes first, the story reads.
Even without a controlled substance definition, anyone selling U-47700 can still be prosecuted under the Federal Analogue Act, the story continues.
Like Payne, Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling expressed his concern about U-47700 hitting the streets in Racine County.
“I’m very concerned with the two deaths that have occurred in the county,” he told the newspaper. “Like any other street drug, addicts are unaware of its potency, thus causing accidental overdoses.”