U-47700 is new legal drug to watch out for in NE Ohio

Dangerous new, legal opioid makes way to Ohio

PAINESVILLE, OH (WOIO) - You're inside the Lake County Crime Lab in Painesville, Ohio.

Doug Rohde with the Lake County Crime Laboratory says, "This particular synthetic opioid is more potent that heroin. However, it's significantly less potent that fentanyl."

It's called U-47700 and it's not illegal in the U.S.

"But that doesn't mean it's safe," Rohde adds.

Cleveland 19 wants to know: Where do you get this legal but very dangerous drug?

All you have to do is go online. For $60 we found out you can get about 100 hits of U-47700. It comes in the mail all the way from places like China.

The new drug is seven times more powerful than morphine and is also being sold on the street in northeast Ohio as oxycodone.

So far, it's responsible for 20 deaths across the nation, including the first in Ohio: a 29-year-old man in Lake County.

"It's not only young people," Rohde says. "We are seeing deaths across the board. In middle age people and even some elderly people."

The drug first popped up in Florida and Texas, and officials have now found it closer to home on the streets of Lorain and in Lake County.

It's legal because the U.S. government has yet to catch up to it. Recent deaths mean a closer look, but outlawing U-47700 is at least six months away.

So, moms and dads, here is how to keep it out of your kids hands.

"These drugs can be available on the streets or simply by a few clicks on the computer," Rohde says. "Watching what we do in our homes on the computer is probably the best proactive measure that a parent can take."

Follow Cleveland 19 News:  

Download the Cleveland 19 News app

Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.