Pink Drug

Pink Drug

Authored by Pin Ng PhD

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Michael Por, MD

Pink Drug U-47700

What is the “Pink” drug?

U-47700, or Pink, as it is commonly referred to, is a synthetic opioid that has effects stronger than heroin and is more potent than morphine. It also is known as U4, Pinky or Pink Heroin. It can be swallowed, injected, or sniffed. It can be taken on its own or combined with other drugs such as fentanyl or heroin.

The name comes from the pinkish color of the powder used to make the drug. It has been available as a powder or a tablet.

Because it is a synthetic opioid, it has no practical or medical use. It is strictly recreational. It can be deadly, even in small doses.

U-47700 was developed by chemists in the 1970s as a pain reliever for Cancer, surgery, or painful injuries. It was never made commercially, but the patent and chemical details are still available. Currently Pink is manufactured in China and shipped to the United States under the guise of research and is “not intended for human consumption.” It has been available for purchase online and marketed as a “research chemical.”

Substance abuse and addiction have been common problems during the course of history, and in this modern age, it has not gotten any better and the numbers continue to rise. The addiction to opiates is especially high as medications are being over-prescribed, thus unwittingly leading down a slippery slope that can end in substance abuse or drug addiction.

Since 2000, there have been over 700,000 deaths due to drug overdose. Currently, 11.7% of people in the United States over the age of 12 are illicit drug users. That translates to 31.9 million people in the United States alone. In the last year, 53 million people have either tried illegal substances or misused prescription medication. There are approximately 136 deaths per day due to drug overdose, making the “opioid crisis” a serious public health emergency. Pink is just the latest opioid on the scene to contribute to this public health emergency.

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics:

  • 9 million use illegal drugs
  • 1 million of 25.4% of illegal drug users have a drug disorder
  • 2 million people or 24.7% of those with drug disorders have an opioid disorder; this includes prescription pain relievers or “pain killers” and heroin


The Centers for Disease Control says the nation is “in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic” that took the lives of more than 28,000 people in 2014, the most of any year on record. In South Carolina, opioid overdoses killed 701 people that same year.

For more information on substance abuse and drug addiction statistics, or to look at a broader scope of addiction over a longer period of time, please refer to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (

Dangers of using Pink

One of the most serious concerns about the Pink drug is that there is almost no way to determine what the drug consists of and at what potency. When it is sold online, it has come in different packaging from different locations and is relatively well hidden. As a street drug, it can made to look like heroin, or any other street drug or prescription opioid. By that account, most drug users are taking Pink and may not be aware that they are.

Pink can make the user feel euphoric, much like other opiates. The risk of addiction and overdose with Pink is the same or even greater than other opiates. The overdose symptoms have been documented to be the same as other drugs.1

Some side effects of Pink can be the following:


  • Mood changes
  • Euphoria
  • Psychosis
  • Respiratory distress, trouble breathing
  • Constipation
  • Itchiness
  • Addiction and dependency
  • Nausea, stomach distress, vomiting
  • Overdose
  • Death


There have been dozens of confirmed deaths due to overdose from Pink. The DEA classified Pink as a Schedule 1 controlled substance after at least 46 deaths by overdose were confirmed in 2015 and 2016. Schedule 1 drugs are classified as highly addictive substances and are more likely to be abused. The Schedule 1 category also indicates that a drug, like Pink, has “no currently accepted medical use in the United Sates, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse,” according to the DEA.

The Schedule 1 classification does not mean that all substances are equally dangerous. Schedule 1 classification means there is no medical value and high risk for abuse, whereas, Schedule 2-5 have some medical value and vary in likelihood of abuse risk. Other examples of Schedule 1 drugs are marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms.

Pink is a dangerous designer drug being sold on the street and online. Its ease of access and high potency makes it an incredibly dangerous and highly addictive substance. It is typically promoted as a prescriptive substance, like Norco, or as heroin. Even though Pink is a relatively new drug on the streets, it has already caused a significant number of overdoses.

The opioid crisis continues to be a public health emergency and a rising epidemic in the United States. The new designer drug, Pink, or U-47700, is just the latest substance to contribute to the epidemic. Because Pink can be manipulated to mimic substance such as heroin or can be combined with other opioids it can be difficult to control and can lead to someone taking Pink unintentionally.

Addiction treatment is designed to help people stop using drugs and abusing substances, stay drug or substance free, and be an engaging and productive member of society. Addiction is a treatable but complex disease. Treatment for substance abuse and addiction is an important first step to recovery. Although there is not one treatment that works for everyone, a mixture of the right treatment programs and aftercare can help aid successful recovery.

Pink Drug Information

References: Pink Drug

  1. Alici T, Appel JB. Increasing the selectivity of the discriminative stimulus effects of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol: complete substitution with methanandamide. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004;79:431–437. [PubMed] []
  2. Arnone M, Maruani J, Chaperon F, et al. Selective inhibition of sucrose and ethanol intake by SR 141716, an antagonist of central cannabinoid (CB1) receptors. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1997;132:104–106. [PubMed] []
  3. Bequet F, Uzabiaga F, Desbazeille M, et al. CB1 receptor-mediated control of the release of endocannabinoids (as assessed by microdialysis coupled with LC/MS) in the rat hypothalamus. Eur J Neurosci. 2007;26:3458–3464. [PubMed] []
  4. Cadoni C, Valentini V, Di Chiara G. Behavioral sensitization to Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and cross-sensitization with morphine: differential changes in accumbal shell and core dopamine transmission. J Neurochem. 2008;106(4):1586–93. [PubMed] []
  5. Chaperon F, Soubrie P, Puech AJ, et al. Involvement of central cannabinoid (CB1) receptors in the establishment of place conditioning in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1998;135:324–332. [PubMed] []
  6. Colombo G, Serra S, Brunetti G, et al. Stimulation of voluntary ethanol intake by cannabinoid receptor agonists in ethanol-preferring sP rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2002;159:181–187. [PubMed] []
  7. Di Chiara G, Tanda G, Bassareo V, et al. Drug addiction as a disorder of associative learning. Role of nucleus accumbens shell/extended amygdala dopamine. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999;877:461–485. [PubMed] []
  8. Gonzalez S, Schmid PC, Fernandez-Ruiz J, et al. Region-dependent changes in endocannabinoid transmission in the brain of morphine-dependent rats. Addict Biol. 2003;8:159–166. [PubMed] []
  9. Hungund BL, Szakall I, Adam A, et al. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor knockout mice exhibit markedly reduced voluntary alcohol consumption and lack alcohol-induced dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. J Neurochem. 2003;84:698–704. [PubMed] []
  10. Kauer JA. Learning mechanisms in addiction: synaptic plasticity in the ventral tegmental area as a result of exposure to drugs of abuse. Annu Rev Physiol. 2004;66:447–475. [PubMed] []

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U-47700 Pink Drug
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U-47700 Pink Drug
U-47700 was developed by chemists in the 1970s as a pain reliever for Cancer, surgery, or painful injuries. It was never made commercially, but the patent and chemical details are still available. Currently Pink is manufactured in China and shipped to the United States under the guise of research and is “not intended for human consumption.” It has been available for purchase online and marketed as a “research chemical.”
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