Feds ban synthetic heroin linked to dozens of deaths

Pink (Photo Source: DEA)
Pink (Photo source: DEA)

A dangerous synthetic form of heroin imported from China has now been banned in the U.S. The drug known as Pink has been responsible for a string of heroin overdoses and at least 50 deaths. The drug is known to chemists as U-47700 and usually appears as a white powder and is shipped to the U.S. in packages labeled “not for human consumption.” The drug is  called  pink because of the pink-purple color it takes on when cut and processed.

The drug also has a liquid form that is inhaled through dropper bottles or nasal inhalers, both of which are available online for purchase. The DEA has temporarily categorized U-47700 as a Schedule 1 substance, effective Nov. 14. Pink is now classified as a dangerous and addictive drug with no medicinal applications. The drug is now on the same list as heroin, LSD and marijuana.

There have been 46 deaths related to Pink since October 2015 when the DEA began to receive and investigate the proliferation of the drug. In New York alone, 31 overdose deaths have been linked to the drug. Law enforcement has not only seized the powder form of the drug during investigations but also a deadly pill form that can fool users into thinking they are getting a form of the prescription painkiller oxycodone. The classification of the drug will be in place for two years as the DEA continues its investigation.

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