Daily Mail reports:
Toxicology tests have confirmed that two 13-year-old friends from Utah overdosed in September on a new synthetic drug known as ‘Pink.’
Police in the ski resort town of Park City announced on Thursday that Ryan Ainsworth and Grant Seaver died of acute intoxication of a drug called U-47700, sometimes known as ‘Pink’ or ‘Pinky.’
It is among a new generation of powerful and highly toxic opioid drugs being synthesized in labs overseas and is too new as a recreational drug to be listed as illegal.
‘Pink’ was reportedly found at Paisley Park, the sprawling Minnesota estate of music legend Prince, after he died in April.
The drug got to Park City after other local teens ordered it online from China, according to search warrants.
One 15-year-old boy has been charged with distribution of a controlled substance and reckless endangerment as police investigate a group of kids in the picturesque town known for hosting the Sundance Film Festival.
The drug can be easily bought online for about $40, Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter said in a statement.
Like many synthetic opioids, the exact effects of U-47700 are little understood and a small amount could be fatal, especially if it’s laced with another drug, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Seaver and Ainsworth, who were best friends, were found dead separately by their parents over two days in September, leaving few clues as to what killed them until investigators found conversations about U-47700 on their social media accounts, Carpenter has said.
Nearly eight times stronger than morphine, U-47700 has been connected with at least 50 deaths nationwide as the US struggles with an epidemic of opioid use.
It was found in pills at Prince’s home after the entertainer overdosed on another synthetic opioid, the painkiller fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin and up to 100 times more potent than morphine.
U-47700 was developed by a pharmaceutical manufacturer in the 1970s as a possible alternative to morphine. Now, chemists in places such as China and Eastern Europe can make it with recipes published in online patent records and old scientific journals.
The DEA has filed to have U-47700 listed as a banned substance, but that order hasn’t gone into effect yet.
Grant Seaver was found dead at his Park City home on the morning of September 11, while Ryan Ainsworth died less than 48 hours later.
Chief Carpenter at the time there were no obvious signs of drug overdose or suicide, and no ‘Pink’ was recovered from the boys’ homes, Deseret News reported.
But police have found references to the drug – which has been linked to dozens of deaths across the US, on the friends’ social media pages.
Both friends were eighth graders at Treasure Mountain Junior High in Park City, Utah.
Autopsies and toxicology tests on the two boys were conducted by the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office.
‘Pink’ is just the latest in a series of synthetic drugs to hit the streets of America.
Recently, a batch of synthetic marijuana K2 saw 33 people collapse on the same New York street.
Grant’s mother, Debbi Seaver, said that her son had passed away in his sleep and that the preliminary exam did not show anything unusual.
On the Facebook, ski team Team Park City United paid tribute to young, talented athlete Grant.
‘Our hearts and thoughts are with the Seaver family as they are dealing with this sudden tragedy. For those who did not know him personally, Grant was a 13-year-old skier. Two seasons ago he competed at the USASA National Championships halfpipe event in the 10-12 age group. Last season he skied with our development team to support and enjoy some of his friends that were not yet ready to move to one of our competitive teams. He was a kind, friendly young man who enjoyed life on and off of the hill. We will miss him dearly.’
Ryan’s obituary said the boy ‘passed away tragically and unexpectedly at the young age of 13.’
The online tribute published on Legacy.com described Ryan as an ‘adventurous and witty’ boy who was passionate about parkour, extreme skiing, skateboarding and cooking, and loved his family and pets.