The designer drug U-47700, commonly known as “Pink,” is now officially listed as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, effectively banning it within the United States. The DEA calls the drug a threat to public health, blaming it for a recent surge in overdose deaths in some areas of the country.
Synthetic narcotics are the next wave in the opioid epidemic, as drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil are spreading as deadly alternatives to heroin. Synthetics can be produced for much less than traditional opium-based drugs. Most synthetic opioids that have been found in the U.S. originated in China. Part of the difficulty in controlling these drugs is their ease of re-creation – there are scores of synthetic formulas in published research that can be replicated, so when one is banned, another is sure to take its place.
While some take U-47700 on purpose, it is also being mixed with other drugs as well, unbeknownst to those purchasing heroin or other opioids.
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