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February 2016 - Belgium: Death caused by use of fentanyl and U-47700

BELGIUM – February 2016. The Belgian Early Warning System on Drugs (BEWSD) of the Scientific Institute of Public Health (WIV-ISP) received information on a death caused the use of the synthetic opioid fentanyl (under international control) together with the new psychoactive substance U-47700. The analysis of post-mortem blood samples as well as the powder seized revealed the presence of fentanyl and U-47700. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the these substances were purchased online. It is important to note that the substances were not sold as heroin.

U-47700 is a strong opioid receptor agonist, estimated to be 7 to 8 times more potent than morphine. No information about effects in humans is available in scientific literature. Anecdotal evidence from user reports found on the internet suggests that U-47700 has effects very similar to morphine and heroin, but with a significantly shorter duration of action.

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