What Is Pink Heroin? | Risks And Effects

Pink heroin is a type of powdered heroin that is an extremely potent, synthetic opioid. Much like fentanyl, pink heroin can pose a serious risk for overdose death.

Get Help Now!
Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.


The opioid epidemic in the United States has claimed thousands of lives. Over time, more substances are being discovered that are several times more powerful than morphine and heroin.

One such substance is U-47700, also known by its street name pink heroin, “pinky”, or “U4”. It is an extremely powerful synthetic designer drug that has been shown to be stronger than heroin in potency.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified pink heroin as a Schedule I drug, which means it has a high potential for abuse and no known medical use.

Find out about other types of heroin.

How Pink Heroin Is Made

Pink heroin was originally developed by chemists at the Upjohn pharmaceutical company in the 1970s and was only intended to be used for research purposes. At the time, the human effects of U-47700 were not well-understood.

In recent years, reports began to surface about a pink-colored powder or pills being abused in Europe and the United States. The substance was often mixed with heroin to generate a profit for dealers.

Many people had no idea they were ingesting this potent drug, and pink heroin was taken at a much higher dose than people could handle, resulting in many overdose deaths.

Selling Pink Herion On The Street

Drug dealers who have access to pink heroin oftentimes sell it in pill or powder form. As a powder, it has the appearance of a light pink, chalk-like powder.

Pink heroin is often sold in “baggies” to resemble heroin. Labels such as “for research purposes only” or “research chemical” are often identified on bags of pink heroin.

In Ohio and Florida, law enforcement has seized tablets that resemble the pharmaceutical opioid oxycodone. Upon chemical analysis, it was found that the substance was actually pink heroin.

Learn more about the street cost of heroin.

Methods Of Pink Heroin Abuse

Pink heroin is primarily ingested in pill form or snorted in powder form. People may also dilute the drug and inject it intravenously.

The euphoric effects of pink heroin are almost instantaneous when injected with a needle or snorted. For this reason, intravenous use or snorting is one of the most popular ways to abuse pink heroin.

Find out about methods of heroin abuse.

Side Effects Of Pink Heroin

Pink heroin is used for its opioid-like effects on the brain and central nervous system. After ingestion, people may experience extreme sensations of well-being, painlessness, and euphoria for hours at a time.

Some of the other common side effects of pink heroin use may include:

  • severe itching
  • seizures
  • sedation
  • pinpoint pupils
  • slowed breathing and heart rate
  • drifting in and out of consciousness

People who use pink heroin, particularly when they don’t know they’re ingesting it, may easily overdose on the drug due to its extremely potent effects.

Treatment Programs For Heroin Use Disorders

If you or a loved one are currently addicted to opioid drugs or pink heroin, help is available in the form of evidence-based treatment services.

Treatment options at a drug rehab center may include:

Find Heroin Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center Today

Call Bedrock Recovery Center today for more information on substance abuse, heroin addiction treatment, or other behavioral health services at our Canton, Massachusetts facility.

Our inpatient treatment program offers the evidence-based care you need to achieve life-long sobriety from heroin or prescription drug addiction.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — Drug Overdose https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/deaths/synthetic/index.html
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Heroin DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin
  3. National Institute of Health (NIH) — DEA Temporarily Bans Synthetic Opioid U-47700 (“Pink Drug”), Linked to Nearly 50 Deaths https://archives.drugabuse.gov/emerging-trends/dea-temporarily-bans-synthetic-opioid-u-47700-pink-linked-to-nearly-50-deaths
  4. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — U-47700 https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/u-47700

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

Prefer Texting?
We've got you covered.

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.

Sign up for text support

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.
Ready to make a change? Talk to a specialist now.
(617) 657-2877
icon-angle icon-bars icon-times