Designer street drugs are beginning to develop unbelievably quick. So it comes as no surprise that trying to stay up to date with all the “latest” trends is difficult!

Who knew that just recently, “bath salts” would become an issue?

Do we even wan to mention the new drug “Pink” or “Pinky” that is surfacing in the state of Utah?

It simply begs the question- are these drugs just being made so quickly that the lawmakers don’t have a chance to make them officially “illegal”?

Or is it a matter of law enforcement? That perhaps these drugs have been around for longer than we think? Were they simply kept under-wraps, until the recent shed of light?

One of the causes that our CEO, Eric Schmidt, advocated for with the legislature in Utah makes the use of Narcan, more readily available.

Narcan is a life-saving drug, used to help delay the effects of an overdose.

With the number of overdoses on the rise, the use of any life-saving techniques can provide a chance to recover.

Understanding the severity of these substances is as important as ever.

Especially for parents with children at home! it is important to know of the potential dangers of these designer drugs that are on the rise.

What Are Designer Drugs

Designer drugs—otherwise known as synthetic drugs, research drugs, or research chemicals—are manufactured to chemically resemble illicit drugs.

But they may be purchased legally because drug manufacturers constantly change the chemical structure to circumvent drug laws.4

Opioids are acutely misunderstood! More specifically, regarding opioids in a medical prescription setting.

The misconception is people thinking that these prescriptions are safe, simply because they are prescribed by a Doctor.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

These drugs are extremely dangerous and addictive when misused.

ABC 4’s Good4Utah published an article just last month about a couple of teenagers that overdosed on this new designer street drug nicknamed “Pink” or “Pinky”.

The article also cites two other overdose situations in Utah.

The details on each of these events are under investigation. It would be a great benefit to any parent to ensure they are educated on the potential harm of these pills that circulate through young teenagers hands.

“You do not know what you’re buying. You do not know what you’re getting. And you do not know what will happen to you after you take or ingest this drug. As we can see, it’s becoming fatal across the state of Utah,” said Besser. There have been at least 30 overdose deaths from U44700 (the other name for Pink or Pinky) across the country.

What You Need to Know – Let’s Break It Down

Synthetic Opioid: the Same class of drugs as heroin. Originally derived from the poppy seed, opium is the non-synthetic alternative to these drugs. Often used as a pain killer.

They reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect those brain areas controlling emotion, which diminishes the effects of a painful stimulus.

Medications that fall within this class include hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), codeine, and related drugs.

Hydrocodone products are the most commonly prescribed for a variety of painful conditions. Among these are dental and injury-related pain.

Morphine is often used before and after surgical procedures to alleviate severe pain. Codeine, on the other hand, is often prescribed for mild pain. In addition to their pain relieving properties, some of these drugs—codeine and diphenoxylate (Lomotil) for example—can be used to relieve coughs and severe diarrhea.

Treating Pain

There are immeasurable instances in which addiction begins with prescription pain medications. Typically these extreme pain killers are given after major surgeries.

Did you know that prescription pain killers are the #1 most abused prescription drug in the U.S.?

Nearly 3.3 million people in the U.S. currently use prescription drugs.

Did you know:

The US makes up 5 percent of the world’s population and consumes approximately 80 percent of the world’s prescription opioid drugs.

Prescription opioid drugs contribute to 40 percent of all US opioid overdose deaths.8

In 2016, more than 46 people died each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids.8

Prescription opioid overdose rates are highest among people ages 25 to 54 years.8

Overdose rates were higher among non-Hispanic whites and American Indians or Alaskan Natives.8

Men are more likely to die from prescription opioid overdose, but the gap between men and women is decreasing.8

Because of its cheaper price, heroin has become the drug of choice for many who are addicted to opioid pain relievers. Approximately three out of four new heroin users misused prescription opioids prior to using heroin.9

More than half (53 percent) of prescription opioid users got their last painkillers from a friend or relative, with 40.4 percent paying nothing for the pills.1

The use of these drugs can start as just therapeutic, or pain relief. But it doesn’t end there.

This overuse creates a dependency. When prescriptions are outrun, users seek out designer street drugs. Often times prescriptions are bought illegally from others.

Many celebrities have been tied to overdoses related to opioids.

Some of them include Prince, Elvis,  Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and so many more…

More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017.

What Can Be Done?

This is a horrifying truth, isn’t it?

These numbers are truly heartbreaking. And the issue isn’t being faced with efficiency.

As a parent, one of the best ways that we can stay ahead of the opioid epidemic is to be proactive.

Educate yourself on prescription drugs, not just street drugs. Know all the different forms of drugs. Know all the different ways they can be used.

As Eric says in the interview with ABC4, it can be very effective to have certain at-home drug tests on hand.

Talk with your kids about using them. Show them the truth.

There are a variety of drugs being created today. They are readily available for anyone who has the resources to find them.

Designer street drugs can be very tricky to deal with. Many people market them as supplements, cannabinoids, painkillers or medicine.

These substances are not regulated well. And they certainly are not safe to take in any form, prescription or street. .

The best way to combat the epidemic of opioid overdoses is to educate ourselves.