It used to be that there were only a few street drugs that made it to the suburbs and surrounding communities. Not only were drugs limited to a rare few, but they were also driven underground and harder to come by because they were illegal. In today’s world, it seems like every time law enforcement can get a handle on one synthetic drug, there is another one to pop up. The latest drug to hit the streets is something called “Pink”. It is stronger than heroin, but oddly enough, still legal in most states.
In Park City – Utah, recently two 13-year-olds lost their lives within a 48 hour period in September. Their overdose was not caused by the usual drug suspects, but rather a synthetic drug known as “Pink”. The biggest problem? They didn’t obtain them by contacting a drug pusher on the streets of a big city, they ordered them by US mail, legally.
Grant Seaver passed away after overdosing on Pink, and just two short days later, his best friend Ryan Ainsworth, was found dead lying on the couch in his home. Friends of the two wished that they had known the dangers of the drug long before trying it. What is more disturbing to law enforcement is that as many as 100 other Park City students were discussing on SnapChat, about using the drug.
What makes Pink more lethal is that, unlike other drugs, you don’t have to become addicted to overdose on it, according to Boston dui lawyers. It is so powerful that merely touching it can pose the potential for cardiac arrest. Making it more overwhelming for parents and law enforcement in the small Utah town and around the nation, is the fact that you need nothing more than the internet and a credit card to get your hands on it.
Better known to the chemists who make it as U-47700, Pink is eight times more potent than heroin and is part of a family of synthetic opioids that are more deadly than any law enforcement officials have seen before. Not just more deadly than heroin, it beats others in the opioid class such as furanyl fentanyl, carfentanil, and fentanyl, which are prescription only and deadly.
Pink comes in many forms from mist to powder, and when mixed with other drugs, it is wreaking havoc across the nation. Being responsible for the deaths of thousands of individuals, more and more emergency rooms are finding themselves with an influx of overdose cases. Not the only one in the synthetic drug class, Pink is just one of the many “legal drugs” that is turning up in suburbia without the proper education or warning labels.
Like bath salts and other forms of ecstasy, Pink is being shipped not just from the US but overseas in places like China. There are currently only four states that have deemed Pink, illegal. The problem is that it can still legally be delivered to your home, so getting a handle on it for law enforcement, has been difficult, if not impossible. For just about five dollars in shipping, you can have a drug, more potent than heroin, delivered to your front door.
All it takes is a Google search to find Pink and other synthetic drugs, which is why opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled in just fifteen years. Rising from just over 8000 in 1999 the death toll in 2014 was nearly 29 thousand. In this specific class of opioid, statistics are even worse. From 1999 to 2014 the deaths went from just 730 to over 5500.
There are also instances when the toxicology report from the coroners’ will have a lag time. What initially looks like an overdose from a traditional drug isn’t discovered until afterward. That may be tainting the statistics and underestimating the problem. Pink has turned up in New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Texas, but is probably unwittingly all over the US.
This September 7th, The Drug Enforcement Agency took the first step to banning Pink nationally by temporarily placing it as a Schedule 1 substance, which makes it a federal crime. Although many states are being slow to react, the facts are that stopping synthetic drugs from reaching people will take a mountainous size of attention, education and law enforcement, to police the internet. Unfortunately, if Pink disappears off the internet and market, there will likely be something else to replace it.