Since the turn of the new millennium, the opioid scourge has continued to sink its roots into nearly every sleepy town and bustling city. The opioid crisis has turned countless youths and young adults to using illicit or illegal drugs, regardless of whether the area is rural or urban, and in turn, it is claiming life after innocent life.
The raw addiction and dependence power that lies in the opioid family of substances are powerful enough on their own to destroy lives, but even still there are those that would lace other drugs with substances like fentanyl. These adulterants are even more potent and can create the perfect circumstance for an overdose situation.
But drugs like heroin and fentanyl aren’t the sum total of the opioid threat that our nation faces. There is a constant flood of illicit opioids making their way onto the streets every day, from the well-known drug heroin to pharmaceuticals like oxycontin. Now there are new synthetic opioids that are made in labs designed to create new addictive substances. One of these new synthetic opioids might just be more powerful and deadly than fentanyl, it is known officially as U-47700 but most of the drug’s addicts just call it the pink drug.
What is Pink Drug and How Does it Work?
The pink drug is also known as “Pink”, “U4”, or “Pinky” is an opioid that has been designed and tailor-made to be one of the most powerful synthetic opioids that have ever been created and are what’s referred to as a designer drug. It is not found in nature at all and must be entirely created in a lab. The result is a powder with a pink color. It is considered to be so powerful that it outstrips even morphine and fentanyl, being at least 8x as potent as hospital-administered morphine.
It works in a similar fashion to many other opioids and works as a depressant for the central nervous system. For this reason, the US Drug Enforcement Agency has classified the pink drug as a schedule 1 substance, at least temporarily. According to the DEA, the only drugs that earn a schedule 1 designation are those with no previously approved medical use. This was done due to the drug’s link to several overdose events and subsequent deaths.
Since U-4770 does not naturally occur on Earth, those that seek to study or use it as an illicit substance are often at the mercy of those who illegally bring it into the country. In most cases, U-47700 is manufactured in China and then exported to other nations. It has seen an increased rate of consumption since it can be manufactured incredibly cheaply, so it is a prime option for those that cannot afford to pay for more expensive opioid drugs.
As the pink drug was originally created as a research chemical in the 1970s, it was never created, intended, or marketed for human use. Since it was a research chemical, it was never tested for safety or effectiveness in humans. As the drug became more popular, it became evident that it was never studied enough and that the effects on users, both short and long term, were not well understood at all.
Unfortunately, with no medical use and no currently permitted synthesis in the US, there is no way to know exactly what effects there may be when taken by itself or when mixed with other drugs or opioids. This means the pink drug can often imitate the effects of similar opioids like fentanyl or heroin. As a result, there are many opioid users who end up consuming the pink drunk unwittingly.
Risks of Using Pink Drug
While the DEA states the pink drug has no medical value or use and has temporarily scheduled it as a Schedule 1 substance, it has not been officially codified and permanently scheduled. Even still, this currently prevents research, studies, and testing, meaning there is no accurate way to determine the full range of potency or side effects.
What is known about the pink drug is what users have reported from using, as well as observations from health professionals caring for those under the influence, experiencing an overdose, or going through detox and withdrawals. Most of the effects are similar to other opioids, with some symptoms that are unique to the pink drug.
The pink drug is a strong central nervous system depressant, so it can have a profound effect on the user’s breathing, coordination, and alertness, as well as a myriad of other things. More risks of using the pink drug include:
- Inability to stay awake or nodding in and out at inappropriate times
- Pupil constriction
- Extreme feelings of sedation
- Greatly slowed heart rate
- Reaction times that are far slower than average
- Intense feelings of euphoria
- Pale or flushed skin tone
- Relief of acute and chronic pain
- Itching sensation on the face, torso, or arms
Like all opioids, the pink drug represents an extremely high risk of creating an overdose situation. This applies to all users particularly since the pink drug is so relatively unknown and unresearched due to its legal status. Since the pink drug heavily depresses the central nervous system, circulatory system, and respiratory system, high doses can be especially deadly. Since the potency of the pink drug is not well understood, overdoses are common, and often result in coma or death.
What To Do If Addicted to Pink Drug
Being in the grip of opioid addiction can be terrifying, so if you or someone you know may be having trouble with the pink drug, it is essential that you reach out to opioid recovery specialists so that the detox and withdrawal can be completed safely. By working with experienced health professionals, the withdrawal can be medically supervised, minimizing the chances for dangerous complications. After completing the detox and withdrawal phase, recovering individuals can use additional resources to solidify their recovery success.
It is imperative that an individual struggling with an addiction seek help immediately, to prevent anything serious from happening and to increase one’s chances of maintaining a successful long-term recovery. Reach out today if you or a loved one needs help breaking the dangerous cycle of addiction to get the help you need and deserve.