PHOENIX — Three deaths in Maricopa County have been linked to a powerful synthetic opioid that can kill if even touched by someone.
The Phoenix branch of the Drug Enforcement Administration said three men fatally overdosed on “Pink,” or U-47700.
One, a 55-year-old from Phoenix, complained of back pain before he was found dead in his bedroom. Another was a 25-year-old Mesa man with a history of drug use. The third was a 24-year-old Phoenix man with a history of drug use. He had also overdosed once before.
The deaths came between April and August of last year.
“The discovery of the U-47700 in Maricopa County is a great concern for DEA, law enforcement and the community as the threat of opioid abuse continues to evolve,” Doug Coleman, special agent in charge of DEA in Arizona, said.
“The DEA’s HEAT program will target those dealers who directly supplied these lethal substances to the overdose victims.”
The DEA said agents with Phoenix’s HEAT Initiative learned of the deaths after a meeting with the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“Pink” is sold online and is 10 times more powerful than heroin.
It can kill someone if that person handles as little as one ounce.
The drug was developed as a morphine alternative, but was never approved for medical use.
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past