Now subject to criminal drug penalties
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 15, 2016) — Gov. Matt Bevin today issued an emergency administrative regulation allowing Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to take emergency action to make a synthetic opioid known as U-47700 a Schedule I controlled substance and subject to criminal drug penalties. Authorities in Kentucky say they’re starting to see signs of the drug in recent investigations of overdoses.
The emergency administrative regulation also allows other drugs and synthetics that are scheduled on the Federal register to be automatically placed in the same drug class in Kentucky regulation. This allows the process to be expedited, instead of reopening the regulation every time a new synthetic drug is discovered.
“New illicit deadly drugs are making their way into our communities and destroying lives,” saidBevin. “More than three Kentucky families a day are shattered by a drug overdose. This is unacceptable. We are vigorously fighting this tragedy with every resource at our disposal. We intend to eradicate this epidemic, and this executive order gives our law enforcement officers the immediate support they need to help save lives.”
The emergency administrative regulation places U-47700 in the same drug class as heroin and acetylfentanyl; drugs that have no accepted medical use and a high potential of abuse. It is similar in chemical compound to other opioid painkillers.
Overdose deaths are the leading cause of accidental deaths in Kentucky, surpassing car crashes. Most of the deaths involve the abuse of legal painkillers and a growing heroin epidemic.