Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Fake Drugs Killing Many. Another Reason Not To Take Any!
A fake Xanaz pill - which is 50 times stronger than heroin - has killed nine people in just three months in Florida.
The counterfeit drug, sold on the streets as 'Super Pill' for as little as $5, contains a lethal mix of Xanax and powerful pain medication Fentanyl with has been responsible for the overdoses of nine people in Pinellas County this year.
And with thousands of college students descending on the state for Spring Break, police have issued an emergency warning not to buy Xanax on the street.
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A fake Xanaz pill - which is 50 times stronger than heroin - has killed nine people in just three months in Florida
Investigators are desperately trying to track down the dealer and producer of the Super Pills but have made no arrests so far.
But Sheriff Gualtieri insists anyone caught selling these drugs to someone who overdoses, will be charged with first degree murder.
The deadly fakes are especially dangerous as they appear exactly the same as the legitimate drugs - and even carry the brand name Xanax across them (pictured left, is real Xanax, right is the fake pill)
The counterfeit drug, sold on the streets as 'Super Pill' for as little as $5, contains a lethal mix of Xanax and powerful pain medication Fentanyl (file picture)
Xanax pills, the possession of which are illegal without a prescription and can result in up to five years in jail, are commonly bought on the street as a recreational drug.
The deadly fakes are especially dangerous as they appear exactly the same as the legitimate drugs - and even carry the brand name Xanax across them.
Containing the highly addictive pain killer Fentanyl, more commonly prescribed to cancer patients, they are 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin.
And they can kill in minutes, authorities say.
Police say the Super Pills have already been found in at least 21 states.
But Florida has the fastest growing death toll, with three confirmed deaths and six still others being investigated over links to the drug.
And with the state a popular destination for Spring Breakers, officers are keen to warn them against taking the pills.
'There's no other way to put it … You better stop buying this Xanax on the street because nine people are dead,' the detective added.
A disturbing photo (above) taken at Crest Lake Park shows two people slumped over and one person lying on the ground, as it's suspected they had used Spice. Authorities in Clearwater and Tampa say number of spice users has increased
UK prison inmate collapses after smoking synthetic drug Spice
The state has also recently seen an increase in the number of overdoses from synthetic marijuana - known as spice.
Police say they've received dozens of calls for people who have had to be rushed to the hospital in a 'zombified state' because of its use as professionals warned the dangerous uptick in overdoses could indicate a bad batch of spice that's being sold.
A disturbing photo from the Clearwater Police Department taken at Crest Lake Park shows two people slumped over and one person lying on the ground, as it's suspected they had used Spice.
'The spike that we're seeing and my personnel are dealing with on the road are unprecedented,' Major Eric Gandy of the Clearwater Police Department told WFLA . 'Looked like one of our zombie movies.'
He added that he 'had 15 people walking around in various states of incapacitation'.
Only last week, officials say there were three overdoses in one day on Wednesday, as the calls for the usage of Spice are centered around Crest Lake Park where homeless people spend a lot of time reportedly.
FENTANYL: 100 TIMES STRONGER THAN MORPHINE AND 50 TIMES STRONGER THAN HEROIN
Fentanyl, also known as fentanil, is a very potent, narcotic pain medication with a rapid onset and short duration of action.
First synthesized in Belgium in the 1950s, it was brought into medical use within ten years and is typically used for cancer patients with chronic pain.
The drug is around 100 times more potent than morphine, with 100 micrograms of fentanyl approximately equivalent to 10 mg of morphine and 75 mg of pethidine.
Deadly: Fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and is being blamed for the rash of recent deaths
Fentanyl: Powerful painkiller 40 times stronger than heroin
The odorless, clear liquid, which can also come in a white crystalline powered, is typically prescribed in patches. When taken illegally it is often taken intravenously, smoked or snorted.
According to the Food and Drugs Administration, for patients who are not opioid-tolerant, the amount of fentanyl in one fentanyl patch of the lowest strength is large enough to cause dangerous side effects such as severe trouble breathing, very slow or shallow breathing or even death.
Historically, it has been used to treat breakthrough pain and is commonly used in pre-procedures as a pain reliever as well as an anesthetic in combination with a benzodiazepine.
The painkiller patch is prescribed for patients who are in severe, chronic pain and have already developed a resistance to narcotic drugs. Cancer patients are sometimes prescribed the painkiller patch because of the extreme pain often associated with the disease.
Certain brands of the drug including Duragesic® by PriCara among others have been recalled in the past because a defect in the patches could result in even accustomed patient overdosing and dying.