The number of drug overdose deaths in Texas gives only a glimpse of the larger picture of the drug abuse problem that America is facing today. Though lawmakers and healthcare providers in Texas are implementing the necessary guidelines and drug prevention and treatment programs, they still have a long way to go with drug U-47700 becoming popular among addicts.
The availability of the drug on the internet, coupled with lack of information about its effects, is increasing its potential danger. Though U-47700, a synthetic opioid, has been in use for many years, its recent popularity on numerous websites and online forums has left the law enforcement officials perturbed.
According to the authorities, the drug was originally intended for research and not for use by humans. In a press release, as reported by NBCDFW.com, North Texas Poison Center’s Dr. Kristina Domanski said, “Overdose deaths have been reported in Europe and both Sweden and Finland have made U-47700 illegal.”
According to a report by the Dallas Morning News in March 2016, two adolescents from Texas were hospitalized after taking U-47700. Domanski said, “Four young adults used U-47700 at a party and, while two of the people were fine, two others had to be hospitalized. One of them ended up in an ICU with respiratory depression.”
The young adults had tried to snort the drug believing that it would create the same effect as cocaine, but they experienced an impact similar to the intake of heroin. The drug is available online for $65 to $200. “You never really know what you are buying when you purchase something online, especially from an overseas vendor,” Domanski added.
“U-47700 has effects very similar to morphine and heroin, but with a significantly shorter duration of action,” according to U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. “It is reportedly over seven times more potent than morphine.”
Fear of uncertainty
Medical practitioners claim the use of the strong opioids can be fatal. Doctors say the use of these drugs can cause ‘hypoventilation’.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdose deaths jumped to an average of 15 per 100,000 in 2014 from nine per 100,000 in 2003.
Stressing on the sudden jump in figures, Robert Anderson, CDC’s chief of mortality statistics, said, “The trend is now similar to that of the human immunodeficiency virus, or H.I.V., epidemic in the late 1980s and early 1990s.”
A January 2016 report by the CDC revealed that there has been a 200 percent rise in opioid overdose deaths since 2000, which implies that more Americans die from drug overdoses than from road accidents. While the government is trying to find new ways of treatment that do not involve use of prescription opioids, the new drug on the block has reasons to make the government look for ways to curb its use.
Looking for recovery
If you or your loved one is struggling to get rid of addiction, get in touch with the Texas Substance Abuse Helpline. We show ways to find addiction treatment specialists and connect you with treatments for various kinds of substance abuse. You may call our 24/7 helpline at 866-971-2658 or chat online for further information.