Kansas law enforcement is warning the public about a new synthetic drug.
In early June, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation released a statement on the emerging use of synthetic drugs, specifically U-47700. Although the report acknowledges that opioids and heroin are major contributors to the drug overdose epidemic, U-47700 is eight times more potent than morphine.
Although KBI issued a warning about U-47700, the most common synthetic drug is K-2 or a form of marijuana sold as herbal incense. In 2010, Missouri became the fifth state to ban it.
Diane McEnaney, a certified alcohol and drug reciprocal counselor at Serenity Counseling, said she entered the profession because she had been involved with substance abuse in her family.
“A door opened for me to enter drug treatment and I took it,” she said. “I felt like it was a real gift.”
McEnaney started working at Serenity Counseling in November, but has worked in the field for more than 20 years with people struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction. She fell in love with the estate after losing her husband to cancer and alcoholism. She understands how powerful these drugs can be and the impact they can have on the body.
“A synthetic drug is a drug that is manufactured or chemically based and not biological. Herbs and all forms of chemicals,” McEnaney said.
These drugs are man-made drugs that mimic illegal drugs made with non-consumer items. Methamphetamine, for example, is made from drain cleaner, battery acid, lantern fuel, antifreeze, cold medicine and even nail polish remover, McEnaney said.
“There were people who had seizures and many other physical ailments that came from using K2,” she said. “A lot of people used it back then because if they were on probation and parole, their urine test wouldn’t show it was marijuana. It became more enjoyable for them at that time so they wouldn’t get in so much trouble with the law.
In 2015, according to the American Association of Poison Control, he received 7,794 calls about synthetic drugs in the United States.