With an emergency order, State Attorney General Pam Bondi outlawed the drug U-47700, also known as “Pinky,” in the state of Florida. The loss of more than 50 lives across the country, including nine people in Florida, has been attributed to use of the drug, and many states are making legislative changes with the goal of mitigating the threat.
Cheap and easy to find, U-47700 is reported to be eight times stronger than morphine, 50 times stronger than heroin, and easily available at for about $40 a gram.
State Attorney General Pam Bondi wants to make it clear to those who peddle the drug to Floridians that they are in her sights. She says: “Importing this, if you’re manufacturing this, if you’re mixing it with other things, we are coming after you.”
Penalties for possession of the drug include a third-degree felony charge and as much as five years in prison, but penalties for using the drug can include sudden death due to overdose.
Why Is ‘Pinky’ So Dangerous?
In addition to its significant potency, U-47700 is a synthetic substance. Originally created as a potential replacement for morphine, it was dropped by the medical industry but picked up by black market chemists. This group is focused on the bottom line and not the purity of its product; thus, every batch that is produced is different from the last. Cut with various chemicals and with different rates of potency, even a user who is accustomed to using the drug regularly will find that repeat doses yield a range of results.
Using Pinky is like playing Russian roulette. A buyer can never be sure what chemical components are in a batch of U-47700 nor how much of the active ingredient they will receive in a given dose. As a result, last week’s “normal” dose may be today’s deadly dose. It is a problem that strikes again and again among users of all street drugs, and first-timers to long-term users of illicit substances often experience fatal results from experimentation with the drug.
Does Treatment Work for Users of New Drugs?
Yes. There is no cure for addiction, but over the last few decades, dozens of different therapeutic interventions and treatment protocols have been identified as effective in helping people to:
- Safely stop the use of all addictive substances
- Navigate the detox process and manage withdrawal symptoms
- Learn how to healthfully handle the issues that may have contributed to drug and alcohol use without relapse
- Connect with others who are also working to live a sober and healthy life in recovery
Which therapies and treatments will be most effective for these purposes will depend on the unique characteristics of the client in treatment. Factors to be considered include:
- Family situation and needs
- Physical health issues, especially chronic pain
- Co-occurring mental health disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression, etc.)
- Co-occurring behavioral disorders (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Co-occurring learning disorders
- Goals for the treatment experience
- Goals for the future in recovery
Every client in recovery should experience a unique combination of treatment services that address their specific needs. For example, if diagnosed with depression and it has previously been common practice to self-medicate depression symptoms with use of U-47700 then a comprehensive drug addiction treatment program will provide intensive treatment for depression as well as addiction issues. Similarly, if the individual uses U-47700 socially as a way of connecting with other people and managing social anxiety, low self-esteem, boredom, and other issues, then those issues should be in focus during treatment to ensure that when those feelings arise in recovery, the individual has coping mechanisms to manage them healthfully.
Do You Need Treatment for U-47700 Abuse?
If you are regularly using U-47700 or any synthetic substance, you are at high risk of overdose. No one can control how their body will respond, nor is it possible to truly know what chemicals are used to cut a batch of synthetic drugs. If it is impossible to stop use of these substances alone, treatment is recommended. From outpatient therapeutic services to intensive outpatient programs to residential addiction treatment, there is a level of treatment that will work for everyone struggling with substance use and abuse. With the added legal problems that now come with using drugs like U-47700 in Florida, there is no time like the present to undergo treatment if needed.