First ‘pink’ overdose reported in Davis County

Posted at 3:00 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-20 00:10:17-04

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah - Davis County authorities confirmed their first overdose of the synthetic opioid known as “pink” or “pinky” Monday afternoon.

The overdose was discovered when the Davis County Sheriff’s Office responded to a cardiac arrest in Kaysville on Friday evening. Upon arrival, officials say, they found a man unconscious.

Medical personnel used three doses of narcan to wake the man up.

Narcan is used by police and medical personnel to revive individuals from opioid overdoses.

A witness told authorities the man had taken pink, which he ordered online from China.

No charges have currently been filed against the man because the legality of pink is currently unclear.

To clarify the issue, Representative Paul Ray, R-Clinton, is drafting legislation, which would make pink illegal in Utah.

"The DEA is trying to put it on their emergency list to make it illegal but it's in the process of being discussed so it hasn’t been approved yet," Ray said.

Some county attorneys are interpreting a state statute, which would make pink illegal now, while others are waiting in limbo.

While the DEA works to make pink illegal on the federal level, Ray is working to outlaw it on the state level.

It's been an uphill battle for lawmakers and law enforcement who are having a hard time keeping up with drug makers who can change a molecule and make their dangerous substance legal again.

"Every year pretty much I have to bring another bill back because we started off making spice illegal and then they started tweaking the formula every year," Ray said.

The difference is the danger with this drug is almost unmatched.

"It's more than addictive. It's dangerous. It's deadly," Ray said.

Right now it's easy and legal to get your hands on, according Sgt. DeAnn Servey, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

"Think twice before you click on that buy now button on the internet. It might save your life," Servey said.

Ray is currently drafting the legislation and plans to introduce the bill either during a special session or during the 2017 legislative session.

This overdose comes a few days after the Park City police and Park City School District issued a community warning about the new drug.

The warning came after two 13-year-old boys were found dead in Summit County. The cause of death is still under investigation.