Pill Disguised as Xanax Has Killed Nine People in Florida County

    Pills that look like Xanax but contain the powerful opioid fentanyl have been linked to nine deaths in Pinellas County, Florida in recent weeks.

    The pills are killing people within minutes, WFLA reports. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, “You don’t have to take a handful of them. All you gotta do is take one, and you’re dead.”

    Authorities do not know who is making the pills or where they are coming from. The pills are selling for $5 each, the article notes.

    According to Dr. Raafat Hanna, an emergency room physician at Northside Hospital in Pinellas County, fentanyl is 80 to 100 times as strong as morphine and about 40 to 50 times more times as strong as street heroin. “It’s easy to get overdosed [sic] on a very small dose,” he said.

    Overdose Deaths From Fentanyl are on the Rise: What You Should Know

    A recent report from the CDC found that drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, other than methadone, rose 72 percent in just one year. Here’s what you should know about fentanyl.

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    March 2017