The USA is suffering from a severe opioid epidemic for decades. The death toll is still rising as the increased prescription of the powerful analgesic sweeps the nation with its addictive characteristics. Opioid abuse extended to patients who use them to treat pain, and with the widespread demand for more potent alternatives, it paved the way for the birth of the newest drug on the black market called pink.
The Pink Drug
The pink drug is dominating communities with its seemingly harmless appearance, but it wreaked havoc in neighborhoods across the country. Because unlike other forms of opioids, pink is easy to buy and order online.
Its deadliness earned its classification as a Schedule I drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in 2016 when it killed two 13-year-old boys in Utah. However, its threat looms further as people can still easily access the drug with only a Google search away.
What is Pink Drug?
Formally known as the U-47700, it mimics the potency, addictive nature, and infamously euphoric effects of opioids. While there’s no denying the lethality of opioids, whether it is prescribed or not, the pink drug is known to be two-folds deadlier than its previous counterparts as it’s known to be more formidable than morphine.
In fact, it’s eight times stronger than heroin and a step ahead of its kissing cousins like fentanyl, carfentanil, furanyl fentanyl. Digging deeper, labs tested that the chemical found in pink is 3,4-dichloro-N-[2-dimethylamino) cyclohenyl]-N-methylbenzamide.
While it was synthetically developed by chemists from Upjohn Pharmaceuticals back in the 1970s as a powerful pain killer, it was never made available to the public due to its uncontrollable effects.
With its overpowering potency, abusive users only need to take a significantly smaller dosage to feel the same, mind-numbing high of opioids and designer drugs. This often leads pink users to overdose, making it one of the most treacherous synthetic opioids to-date.
All About the Pink Drug Pill
U-4770 can be taken in powder form or pills, appearing as a distinct pastel pink powder. Many are tempted by the pink drug’s promise of encompassing euphoria, one that brings the body and mind to a cerebral flight to cloud nine. Other notable effects include the following:
- Sedation, relaxation, numbness
- Potent analgesia
- Severe, possibly fatal respiratory depression
- Pinpoint pupils
- Drug tolerance, dependence, addiction
- Fatal overdose
- Potent analgesia
Another factor that makes the pink drug vicious is that it doesn’t come up in your standard workplace drug screens yet. But chemists can find traces of it when testing in either forensics or medical laboratory using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.
Moving forward, have been 80 deaths directly related to pink abuse in 2015 and 2016, though it remains menacing in the background since its novelty makes it difficult to track compared to other drugs.
There’s no code for the pink drug yet, but it was finally scheduled as a Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act indefinitely last April 2018 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Keep in mind that while it’s infamously known as “pink,” a toxicology case report states that it misled many people as it was sold under the prescription opioid pain medication called Norco throughout Northern and Central California.
Beyond being designed as a synthetic opioid medication, the pink drug is also a contender for being one of the most lethal designer drugs. This means that it was made in an underground laboratory, while the designer aspect shines through by taking properties of a drug derived from plants and changing their chemical profile.
Some popular plant-based drugs include opioids, cocaine, morphine, or marijuana, all of which have the uncanny potential to transform in killing ways. Other popular designer drugs include MDMA, ketamine, GHB, Rohypnol, LSD, and methamphetamine, often dominating the urban scene in nightclubs.
There’s no doubt that opioid abuse can lead to death, but designer drugs like U-4770 pose a graver threat since their potency is created to be off the charts. The questionable mix of compounds in its chemical profile can also facilitate dangerous side effects, leading to seizures, memory loss, coma, and eventually death.
The Bottom Line: The Newest Drug to Join One of the Most Addicting and Lethal Markets of Opioid Abuse
Understanding the lethal effects of the pink drug is critical, especially since it’s one of the few narcotics that slip under the radar of both law enforcement and the DEA. Seeing as authorities are only catching up with the perilousness of U-4770, arming yourself with the right information can make a difference between life or death.