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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
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New synthetic opioid already illegal in Florida

It seems like every time we turn around, there's a new type of dangerous drug that's becoming widely available. Among the latest is something called "Pink." The synthetic opioid, also known as U-47700, is more powerful than heroin. It's gaining popularity among teens in particular, via social media. It can be obtained for just $5 plus shipping online.

One lab alone has reported that least 80 people have died so far from Pink within less than a year. Since it takes some time for toxicologists to determine the precise cause of synthetic drug-related deaths, there could be many more.

One forensic scientist in Utah, where the deaths of two 13-year-old boys within two days of each other are suspected to have been caused by Pink overdoses, says, "The hardest part is when something new comes up, and no one in the country or world has seen it in a forensic setting yet."

Since it also takes the legal system some time to catch up with dangerous drugs, for the most part, Pink is still legal. However, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration has announced that it intends to categorize the drug, at least temporarily, as a Schedule 1 substance, which would make it illegal.

Four states, including Florida, have already made the drug illegal. At least eight fatalities in our state had been linked to Pink when Attorney General Pam Bondi took that action via emergency order in September. Other states are likely to follow suit.

Parents are being warned to keep an eye on what their kids are shopping for on the computer and receiving in the mail. Aside from the obvious physical dangers of the drug, if your child is caught purchasing, using, distributing or selling the drug, the legal ramifications for his or her future could be serious. Guidance from an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney is essential.

Source: NBC News, "Pink: Stronger Than Heroin, But Legal In Most States," Andrew Blankstein, Oct. 15, 2016

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