NOT pretty in pink: Yet another synthetic opioid hits the streets, in same category as heroin

Published 5:27 pm Saturday, November 19, 2016

A synthetic opioid, “U-47700,” has been added to the list of illegal drugs in Kentucky by Governor Matt Bevin.

The drug has been added as a “Schedule I controlled substance and subject to criminal drug penalties,” the press release said.

The drug is commonly known as “pink,” and is in the same drug category as heroin and acetylfentanyl, according to a press release.

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According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, abuse of this drug is often unknown to the user. The drug can be taken by itself or can be laced with other drugs like heroin or fentanyl.

The DEA says when the drug is sold, it is sometimes marked with stamped logos, which make it look like a heroin sale. While the drug is usually sold and found in a powder form, the drug can also be pressed into pill form and can be sold as a variety of prescription opioids.

“Because substances like U-47700 are often manufactured in illicit labs overseas, the identity, purity and quantity are unknown, creating a ‘Russian Roulette’ scenario for any user,” the DEA says.

“New illicit deadly drugs are making their way into our communities and destroying lives,” Bevin said.

In Boyle County, and across the state, there have been several deaths related to heroin and fentanyl.

“More than three Kentucky families a day are shattered by a drug overdose,” Bevin said. “This is unacceptable.”

According to Bevin’s press release, there are areas in Kentucky where authorities have seen signs of this drug in recent overdose investigations.

It was confirmed that at least four of the drug over deaths in Boyle County were due to fentanyl.

The Danville Police Department has not seen this drug in Danville-Boyle County yet, but they are aware of it, Chief Tony Gray said.

“Supposedly it is cheaper than heroin and stronger — if so, it will eventually make its way here,” he said.