DENVER -- Two teenage boys who died recently in Utah died from overdosing on the synthetic drug known as "Pink," autopsy results released Friday show.
This drug, which is making headlines in the U.S., is stronger than morphine, according to opioids expert Robert Valuck.
“The drug is about eight to ten times as strong as morphine,” Valuck said.
He told Denver7 the synthetic opioid is known chemically as u-4-7-7-0-0 and was discovered back in the 70s, but never went into clinical trials or was sold in the market.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says "pink" is mainly coming in from China through online orders.
One Chinese company Denver7 found online sells 50 grams for $500. So far, the DEA says the drug is to blame for at least 17 overdoses and several deaths in the United States.
Valuck said the drug starts as a powder and can be re-packaged into pills that mask what the substance really is.
“It’s become sort of the Wild West chemistry in the basement with this whole opioid epidemic and it's just gotten to be really scary,” said Valuck.