Williamson County officials monitor use of synthetic opioid

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MARION, Ill. (AP) _ Williamson County officials are monitoring the use of a synthetic opioid they say was recently introduced in the area and poses a major threat of overdose.

Officials say U-47700 is eight times stronger than heroin. It can be purchased online from Chinese manufacturers at a low-cost.

The Southern Illinoisan (http://bit.ly/2m404hw ) reports that the drug, also referred to as “U,” “U-4,” “Pink,” or “Pinky,” was introduced throughout Illinois last year. It has claimed the lives of at least 100 people in Illinois since then.

Williamson County State’s Attorney Brandon Zanotti says one case is under investigation in his county. A bill introduced by Republican state Sen. Kyle McCarter of Vandalia would mark the drug as having a risk for potential abuse.

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