Board to regulate synthetic opioid analogue not covered in Georgia law

A dangerous form of a synthetic opioid can now be legally seized by police, thanks to a new "emergency rule" passed last week, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Monday.

The drug, tetrahydrofuran fentanyl, is an analogue of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, and can be absorbed through the skin, according to the GBI.

It is currently not covered by Georgia law, so the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy on Thursday instituted the emergency rule to regulate the drug as a “Schedule 1 substance.”

Last week, the GBI identified tetrahydrofuran and another analogue, acrylfentanyl, in its crime lab.

Both are “considered highly dangerous,” the GBI said in a statement. The GBI found acrylfentanyl in a counterfeit pill last week.

“This is the first known instance of this new synthetic fentanyl in a counterfeit pill,” the bureau said in the statement. “It is emphasized that pills purchased through the underground market have a high probability of containing very dangerous synthetic opioids.”

Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, is the best way to combat the effects of the dangerous substances, according to the bureau.

The opioids are expected to be so powerful, however, that multiple doses of Narcan may be required.

“It is unknown how the human body will react to both drugs since they are not intended for human or veterinary use,” the GBI said.

Fentanyl has been named as the possible cause for several recent deaths in Georgia.