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Alert issued over new opioid drug Furanyl Fentanyl, which is so deadly it can be fatal with a single touch

May 6, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Alert issued over new opioid drug Furanyl Fentanyl, which is so deadly it can be fatal with a single touch

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The Georgia Bureau of Investigations indicated that a new drug calledFuranyl fentanyl, which is seven times stronger than heroin, is so lethal that it can kill when someone just by touch.

Furanyl fentanyl, an illegal, designer facet of fentanyl, which is a potent artificial opioid analgesic similar to morphine, is alleged to have caused nine deaths in Georgia between 2016 and 2017.

The GBI have become so concerned by the numbers that it issued a public safety alert on Thursday urging people against taking the Schedule I drug, a class reserved for drugs with a high likelihood of abuse.

GBI employees endured a scare in January when it was called to a pill factory where it discovered 10 kilos of pills and powder that were mistakenly labeled as oxycodone, another opioid. The pills ended up being the deadly furanyl fentanyl.

Furanyl fentanyl can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and is extremely toxic in the smallest quantities

“When I found out what I had, (I was) scared because of the amount that was submitted. Anything could have happened, but with the protective gear and the staff, everything went OK,” Gwinnett County Deputy Shannon Volkadov said in an interview with Fox25Boston.

“Oxycodone to touch is very safe. To touch furanyl fentanyl could be fatal, just through the skin,” according to GBI Crime Lab chemist Dineen Kilcrease.

The new statement issued by the GBI stated: “In the last four months, 17 deaths have been caused by the drugs U-47700 (another opioid analgesic) and furanyl fentanyl, equal to the number for all of 2016. U-47700 and furanyl fentanyl are Schedule I drugs and used in the same manner as heroin.

The GBI Crime Lab has received approximately 50 samples containing U-47700 and furanyl fentanyl so far this year. Many of the cases included three or four different opiates.”

The DEA said there have been at least 128 confirmed fatalities nationwide linked with furanyl fentanyl

The GBI also revealed that the substances could prove at very small doses and warned that police and the public should use discretion when touching them as they can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and are toxic even in small quantities.

Furanyl fentanyl, which can cause side effects such as shallow breathing, pinpoint pupils, vomiting, loss of consciousness, and heart failure was classified as Schedule I back in November by the DEA.

At least 128 fatal overdoses have been associated with furanyl fentanyl, which includes 49 in North Carolina, 41 in Maryland, 36 in Illinois, and 1 in Ohio and 1 in New Jersey.

The drug’s use has been recorded in states across the country with fentanyl exceeding heroin as the most detected drug in fatal overdoses on Long Island, New York.

In Connecticut fentanyl was implicated in at least 188 fatal drug overdoses, a sharp increase from 2014 and 2013, which saw 75 and 37 overdose deaths, respectively.

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