A dangerous opioid found in the cocktail that killed Prince was banned Tuesday in Florida.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi issued the emergency rule banning U-47700, a synthetic opioid that has been making its way into street drugs. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is considering emergency action to ban the chemical, which is sometimes mixed with heroin and other opioids.
In a statement, Bondi called it a “new psychoactive substance.” That’s not completely true; the DEA reported seeing it in street use last year, but it was discovered decades ago.
Earlier this year, scientists said U-47700 was the only confirmed drug in 11 of 20 victims of unusual overdoses.The study was cited last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which noted a different unusual opioid, furanyl fentanyl, was in a deadly mix with cocaine.
The scientists warned of unusual drugs showing up in victims’ bodies:
” Given the widespread geographical distribution and increase in prevalence in postmortem casework, toxicology testing should be expanded to include testing for “designer opioids” in cases with histories consistent with opioid overdose but with no traditional opioids present or insufficient quantities to account for death.”
Bondi’s statement notes U-47700 has no accepted medical uses.
A number of other states have moved to ban the drug.
Bondi said in the statement that the chemical is usually found in powder or granular form. It can also be pressed into a pill form to look like a prescription drug, or be found in a liquid form or sometimes as a nasal spray.