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Synthetic Opioid U-47700 Linked to Deaths in Arizona

Synthetic Opioid U-47700 Linked to Deaths in Arizona

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently reported three overdose deaths in Arizona linked to the designer drug U-47700. This is the first time authorities have detected usage of the drug in Arizona. 


The synthetic opioid U-47700, also known as “Pink,” is similar to carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer, and furanyl fentanyl, another synthetic opioid. Supposedly “eight times stronger than heroin,” U-47700 was developed in order to treat pain, but it wasn’t “properly tested on humans” (Kim, 2017). It was available online via Chinese chemists who recreated the drug.  


The DEA put U-47700 on the schedule I in November 2016, the same time as furanyl fentanyl. By the fall of 2016, “the drug was attributed to forty-six deaths across the United States” (Kim, 2017). According to DEA Agent Doug Coleman, “. . . we knew that it was on the way, but we hadn’t been able to actually track it until we saw those OD deaths” (Kim, 2017). 


The overdose deaths were found in men aged twenty-four to fifty-five in Maricopa County. Prescription opioids and sedatives were also found to be in the victims’ systems. 












Kim, V. (2017). Designer drug pink linked to three fatal overdoses in Arizona. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/designer-drug-pink-linked-3-fatal-overdoses-arizona