Touch of death: GBI says synthetic narcotics kill 17 this year

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Touch of death: GBI says synthetic narcotics kill 17 this year

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The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says a new drug is so dangerous, if someone touches it they could die. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

The GBI is warning law enforcement officers statewide and the public about synthetic opioids so strong that touching the powder can be fatal. 

“In the last four months, 17 deaths have been caused by the drugs U-47700 and/or furanyl fentanyl, equal to the number for all of 2016,” GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said in a news release.  

In January, officials were alerted to a pill factory in Gwinnett County and found 10 kilograms of pills and powder that were labeled as oxycodone, Channel 2 Action News reported. The pills were made of that same furanyl fentanyl. 

GBI’s crime lab received about 50 cases involving furanyl fentanyl and U-47700, which are lethal at low doses. 

“They can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and are extremely toxic in the smallest quantities,” Miles said.  

Law enforcement has been warned to use extreme caution and utilize personal protective equipment when handling or packaging any synthetic opioid.

The legislature just passed a new law that makes furanylfentanyl illegal in Georgia.

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