'Prince drug' killed 16-year-old Michael as it's revealed the youngster thought he was buying cokeFebruary 1, 2022
A TEENAGER has died from a lethal overdose of the same 'designer drug' that killed pop legend Prince.
Michael Coracchia, 16, bought a white powder called U-47700, known on the streets as U4, believing he was getting cocaine.
The powerful chemical has dominated the headlines in America lately where it has been responsible for dozens of deaths across the country over the past few months.
The super strong synthetic opioid was part of a cocktail of U4 and Fentanyl which caused the overdose death of 57-year-old musician Prince last April.
The deadly designer drug, patented by a chemist in 1976, is more potent than morphine. But it was never tested on humans and was relegated to research.
It is now being produced in back street labs and has hit the streets of Ireland. U4 is low cost but poses a major risk to users who can never know the product’s consistency when they are taking it.
The death of the Cork teenager is believed to be the first recorded death from its use in Ireland. But according to sources Michael did not know he was using U4 or its deadly consequences.
Last night the HSE issued a warning about U-47700 which is being sold as cocaine on the streets.
A spokesman said “We wish to highlight a white powder called U-47700 which may be in circulation.
It may be in the form of a white powder and sold as cocaine.
“We are aware substances sold as cocaine may in fact contain other substances such as synthetic opioids. There is no way of telling what is in a powder or pill just by looking at it. It may look like the drug you want to purchase but it may well be something else.”
Tragic Michael was found dead in his bed on Monday morning by his mum in Greenmount, Cork.
His mum called the emergency services when she could not wake him up but medics failed to revive him.
His postmortem was carried out yesterday in Cork University Hospital by Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster.
While it will take a few weeks for toxicology reports to come back to reveal in detail the lethal drugs consumed by the 16-year-old, it is understood some of these were found in his room leading to yesterday’s HSE warning.
If anyone has concerns around drug use they are advised to contact the confidential HSE Drugs & Alcohol Helpline.
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