Two new synthetic opioids to Finland’s narcotics list

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 27.10.2016 13.27
Press release 184/2016

Two dangerous, new synthetic opioids used for intoxication (U-47700 and acryloylfentanyl) have been added to Finland's narcotics list. The production, import, storage, sale, handing over as well as possession and use of these substances will be prohibited and regarded as punishable acts in the future. A Government decree related to the matter will take effect on 14/11/2016. The purpose is to prevent the abuse of narcotics and enhance monitoring.

U-47700 and acryloylfentanyl resemble fentanyl, a classified narcotic. Synthetic opioids cause mood swings, euphoria, drowsiness and breathing difficulties. Overdose of opioids may cause respiratory arrest leading to death.

The substances have been reported in the early warning system of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). These substances are also abused in Finland. The substances are not monitored by the UN or the whole EU, but they are monitored individually in several European countries.

International monitoring of new psychoactive substances

Due to the amendment to the decree, new psychoactive substances already monitored in Finland or the EU as well as one benzodiazepine that is in medical use in the rest of the world will be transferred to different annexes of the decree, as these substances will now be monitored under the UN Conventions on narcotic drugs. These substances are acetylfentanyl, MT-45, para-methoxymethylamphetamine, α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (α-PVP), para-4,4'-dimethylaminorex (4,4’-DMAR) and methoxetamine as well as phenazepam.

Prohibiting a substance does not eliminate all use of the substance, but the goal of the prohibition is to prevent the abuse of said substance. Prohibition may slow down and even prevent the spread of the substances to new user groups and, in particular, young people.

Additional information:

Ministerial Advisor Elina Kotovirta, tel. +358 (0)295/163977