The Pink Drug: Everything You Need To Know - PAX Riverbend

The Pink Drug: What is it and Why is it so Dangerous?

pink drug

Over the last two decades, the opioid epidemic has continued to be a major problem across the United States. And, as time goes on, more and more substances are being found laced with fentanyl – a deadly and powerful opioid that is stronger than heroin and morphine. However, there are other illicit opioids on the streets that are just as powerful, if not more potent, than fentanyl. One of these substances, U-47700, is referred to as the pink drug.

What Is The Pink Drug?

U-47700 is a pink-colored powder that is also known as “Pink,” “Pinky,” or “U4.” It is an extremely potent synthetic opioid that has been developed as a designer drug. The drug gets its name, pink, from the pink color of the powder. Like fentanyl, pink can be toxic and deadly even in extremely small doses. Pink is thought to be at least 8 times more potent than morphine.

As of November 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) temporarily classified U-47700 as a Schedule I drug. Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse with no approved medicinal use. The drug has been linked to numerous drug overdose deaths and has been reported to circulate the streets of many metropolitan areas.[1]

U-47700 is not a naturally occurring substance. It is often manufactured in clandestine labs in China and imported into the United States. It may be taken by itself or mixed with other opioids like heroin or fentanyl. It is also very cheap to manufacture, making it an appealing drug for opioid users or those who cannot afford more expensive opioids.

The History of U-47700 (Pink Drug)

U-47700 was originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Upjohn in the 1970s, however, it was never intended for public use. The drug was meant to be a research chemical – not a drug that is used in humans. And, as such, the drug was never actually studied in humans, so the side effects of U-47700 aren’t well understood.

In early 2015, reports began to surface stating that the drug was starting to become popular in developed nations like Asia, Europe, and the U.S. Today, it is a drug that is often mixed with other substances to save money and make drug dealers a bigger profit. Unfortunately, the profit generated comes at a high price – people’s lives.

As an illicit substance with no medical use, there is no way to know exactly what is in the pink-colored powder or how potent it is. It can also go undetected when mixed with other opioids like heroin or fentanyl. As a result, the pink drug can easily mimic other drugs like heroin or resemble prescription opioid pills. This causes many drug users to consume the drug unknowingly.

Side Effects of U-47700 Drug

Side Effects of The Pink Drug

Pink is an opioid that produces effects similar to other potent opioid drugs. It is also just as addictive. People who are under the influence of U-47700 may:[2]

  • Have pinpoint pupils
  • Nod in and out of consciousness
  • Have slowed reaction times
  • Have flushed or pale skin tone
  • Itch his or her face or arms
  • Experience drowsiness or sedation
  • Have slowed heart rate and breathing
  • Feel euphoric
  • Suffer constipation
  • Experience pain relief

Opioids affect the area of the brain that controls breathing and other involuntary functions. When high doses are taken, breathing can be suppressed so much so that a person stops breathing entirely and suffers from a lack of oxygen to the brain. Left untreated, an opioid overdose can quickly turn fatal.

Even when taken in small doses, pink can result in a life-threatening overdose. Symptoms of opioid overdose include:[3]

  • Shallow breathing
  • Blue-colored lips, face, or fingernails
  • Skin feels clammy to the touch
  • Gurgling noises
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory depression
  • Limp body
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Coma
  • Death

People who abuse U-47700 are at risk of not only overdose but addiction as well. Opioids are highly addictive and produce flu-like withdrawal symptoms when they are stopped, making them extremely hard to quit.

Treatment for Opioid Abuse and Addiction

Many people who are addicted to opioids struggle to get sober because of the mental and physical withdrawal symptoms they have to endure. Fortunately, opioid detox and rehab programs can prescribe medications and provide therapeutic services that help reduce the severity of opiate withdrawal and eliminate cravings.

People who are addicted to or are abusing the pink drug should start their recovery with a detox program. Detox will help wean the user off of opioids and avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. After detox, a comprehensive treatment program consisting of behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support and supply the tools and resources needed for long-term recovery.

Find Help Today

U-47700 is a highly addictive and potent drug. People who don’t get sober and continue to abuse the drug are likely to experience a fatal overdose, so this is not a drug that anyone should mess around with.

If you or a loved one are addicted to pink or any other opioid, help is available. Contact one of our dedicated treatment providers at PAX Memphis today to learn more about our opioid treatment programs.

References:

  1. https://archives.drugabuse.gov/emerging-trends/dea-temporarily-bans-synthetic-opioid-u-47700-pink-linked-to-nearly-50-deaths
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18443635/
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/opioidoverdose.html

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

About

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.