Rolling Out

Deadly pill hits streets, 18 deaths reported

Deadly pills on street (Photo Credit: Pinellas County Sheriffs Department)
Deadly pills on street (Photo credit: Pinellas County Sheriffs Department)

Police in Florida and California are warning the public about a deadly new drug known on the streets as “Super Pill.” The pill looks like a 2-milligram dose of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, called a “bar” on the streets. However, it is actually a deadly combination of Xanax and the powerful narcotic Fentanyl, which is used to treat chronic pain, especially in cancer patients. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Many people buying Xanax illegally may in fact mistake the similar looking Super Pill and are at an increased risk for death by accidental overdose. So far, nine people in the Pinellas County, Florida, have died after taking the pill, which can cost as little as $5 on the street.

“People need to immediately stop buying Xanax on the street because their life literally depends on it. You don’t have to take a handful of them. All you gotta do is take one, and you’re dead,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

The most recent death occurred last week when a 25-year-old woman took the drug and died minutes later. Police have no leads on who is distributing the drug or where it’s being produced. Overdose cases in the Orlando, Florida, area have increased and police report more teens are participating in pill-popping parties. Some describe events where pills are mixed together in a bowl as people take the drugs by the handful.

In addition to the Florida cases, there are now reports that another version of this pill has found its way to California. In this case, the pill is fashioned to look like Norco and actually contains a lethal mixture of fentanyl.  A total of 36 overdose cases are being tied to this pill, according to the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services. Among these cases are nine deaths with the victims ages ranging from 18 to 59. In one 48-hour period, Sacramento health officials treated 12 overdose cases directly linked to usage of the pill.

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