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Has dangerous synthetic opioid arrived in Logan?

By Nicholas Porath
Oct. 21, 2016

The Logan City Police Department is awaiting lab results in multiple investigations in which synthetic opioid abuse is suspected.

If confirmed, the cases would be the first ones in Logan involving U-47700, commonly referred to as “pink” or “pinky.”

The cases come a month after the overdose deaths of two Park City teens who are suspected to have been using pink in September, and Logan police Sgt. Brooks Davis said he is worried about the easy availability of the substance, which is currently unregulated.

“Any time you are able to get something so deadly over the internet, it’s a huge concern for us,” Davis said. “I don't see it getting shut down anytime soon. You can’t regulate it very easily.”

Davis said he has seen a significant increase in the abuse of opioids of all kinds since the beginning of his career with Logan.

“I only saw heroin maybe once or twice prior to 2007,” Davis said. “It has exploded since then. There has been an explosion in opioid addictions. People look for a similar high. They get addicted and they chase it.”

Utah Rep. Edward Redd, R-Logan, is aware of the dangers of synthetic opioids and saddened by the impact he’s seeing in the region he represents.

“People are inherently curious, and these young adults don’t know what they are getting into, be it pinky, heroin, oxy,” Redd said. “They never know how their body will react to it. It’s sad.”

U-47700 is technically not a scheduled substance, which means it can be sold and purchased online. The effects are similar to other opioids such as heroin, oxycodone, morphine and opium. It comes in powder and pill form, and according to the Drug Enforcement Administration it may be just as addicting as other opioids. It is potent by weight, which gives it a dangerously low lethal dosage.

The DEA announced in September it intended to temporarily list pink as a Schedule I controlled substance, but a final order has not been issued.