The drug “pink” claims two lives in Mississippi

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RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) –  A drug named “U 47700” with the street name “Pink” is making waves in the United States.

It’s seven and a half times more potent than morphine, according to drug enforcement.

“It was the first known case in Mississippi,” according to Rankin County Coroner David Ruth. He has seen first hand what the drug can do.

“It did stop the heart almost immediately. I think from what the investigation revealed within 20 minutes of taking this, this person was deceased,” says Ruth. He responded to an overdose/death. While he would typically request a toxicology screening for drugs like heroin, Ruth decided to test for “Pink.” This comes after investigators found a bottle where the victim overdosed.

“It is marked on the bottle for experiment only. It’s actually marked with the U47700 numbers,” says Ruth.

Every coroner in the state is required to report overdoses to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Since Ruth’s finding, the Drug Enforcement Administration has made “Pink” illegal.

“This particular drug is not currently being manufactured in the United States. Its availability is coming from labs in China,” says John Dowdy the director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

Dowdy says that Mississippi has seen two recorded deaths because of “Pink” within the year. “This particular drug is a synthetic opioid. It’s seven and a half times more potent than morphine.”

The drug comes in powder and tablets. In the 70’s, according to Dowdy, a U.S. pharmaceutical company experimented with “Pink.”

“For whatever reason, they never pursued the manufacturing of this drug,” adds Dowdy.

The MBN director says the research is limited to it’s unclear all of the side effects. However, seizures, cardiac arrest, and respiratory failure are known to occur.

The drug can be ordered online. Dowdy says they’re aware and trying to intercept more of it from coming into the country.

“What we’re seeing the biggest import into the state of Mississippi through the postal inspection service is methamphetamine and marijuana. But obviously, this is on the radar. We will be looking for certain types of packaging in working without partners at the postal service to try to intercept these packages,” says Dowdy.

 

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