Synthetic Opioid U-47700, Known as “Pink” Hits the U.S.

3D molecule

What you need to know

Every so often a new drug hits the underground market and takes the public by surprise. The truth about U-47700, also called Pink, is that the drug was actually synthesized in the 1970s. Upjohn Pharmaceuticals manufactured it as an alternative to morphine, but it was never tested on humans. After the formula was put on the shelf, so to speak, drug makers around the world did some research and dug up its recipe. Up until recently, the drug has been made legally in labs and marketed to the public.

The drug has been linked to over 50 deaths nationwide including the death of two teenagers in Utah which became a national headline. Pink has been easily attainable from websites and at a reasonable cost. In an effort to catch up, the DEA placed a two-year temporary ban on the drug effective November 2016. Synthetic drugs sneak up on law enforcement like this, and a temporary ban allows them the time to play catch up.

chemical laboratory


Thus far, the drug is mainly imported from China in powder or pill form. As a powder, it has a slightly pinkish hue, hence the nickname. The most common method of using is orally in pill form following other forms of use, including injection, inhalation, sniffing and smoking. The drug is also being mixed with other drugs so some users may not even be aware they are consuming it. It has been visibly marketed as a substitute to heroin and hydrocodone. Most notably the death of music icon Prince has been linked to U-47700 as it was found in his home mixed with Fentanyl.


U-47700 creates a euphoric effect for the user that induces a sense of calmness and serenity. One user describes the sensation as a “non-overbearing rush of comfort, warmth and laziness” in one recent news article. Since the drug is relatively new not much real data exists. Countries are reporting however that the negative health impact is either substantial or serious as the drug is considered to be a potent opioid. Early indications and statements from those who have used it seem to indicate the potential for abuse is there. One man interviewed by the World Health Organization described coming down off the drug as “withdrawing” and having side effects including anxiety, night sweats and a sore throat.

The effects of drug abuse are devastating for the individual and family. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, please call one of our counselors at 1-855-646-8505 or visit out website. Narconon has been specializing in addiction rehab for over 50 years and our program has helped thousands turn their lives around.



I am a graduate of the Narconon program currently working for Narconon Arrowhead as Director of Promotion and Marketing.