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A newer drug has made it’s way into south east Idaho

We are learning more about a fairly new drug on the market called U-47700 — also known by its street name, “Pinky.”

KIFI/KIDK reported on the arrest of a man after a drug bust in Pocatello. The bust happened Wednesday night on Driftwood Street — in the western part of Pocatello. The man in custody is Michael Simmons and investigators say he was making the opioid “Pinky” at his mobile home.

Pinky said to be almost eight times more potent than morphine. People started catching wind of the drug last year. In May 2016, the Ohio governor deemed “Pinky” drug usage an emergency. In September, two 13-year-old boys from Utah died from the drug. And in November, it was placed into the highest grade of the Controlled Substances Act by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

“It is extremely powerful as an opioid. Morphine and fentanyl, which are extremely potent drugs — this is seven and a half times more powerful,” said Karl Winegar, the clinical director at Idaho Recovery & Detox Clinic in Idaho Falls.

U-47700 has been connected with at least 50 deaths nationwide but little is known about the drug.

“You know, it seems like every year or so now we get different kinds of drugs and things that people alter or do things to try to get more of a high or more a bang for their buck. And that’s concerning,” said Sgt. Bryan Lovell with the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office.

The DEA a labeled “Pinky” as a Schedule 1 drug in November.

“Schedule 1 in layman’s terms — it’s illegal in any form. No doctor can prescribe it,” Winegar said. This classifies “Pinky” among drugs like heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy. The classification also gives law enforcement the edge it needs to try to curb what’s being called a potential overdose epidemic.

“Our deputies and detectives are aware of it. They are aware that it is in our area and they’re actively investigating it. It’s not come to the part of that circle where we’re actually bringing criminal cases yet. I believe it’s probably on it’s way sooner or later,” Lovell said.

Because “Pinky” is extremely toxic — even in small doses — exposure by contact on the skin can be deadly. If you come across the drug, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.

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