Local health officials are concerned about a $5 pill that has the ability to kill within minutes.
The new drug is known as the “super pill.” It is a lethal combination of Xanax, which is prescribed to people with anxiety, and Fentanyl, which is severe pain medication.
Officials say it is responsible for at least 9 deaths in Florida, and local experts fear it can come to the Miami Valley. Health experts worry that people who are looking to buy Xanax illegally may unknowingly purchase the super pill.
“You never know what you are getting when you buy something off of the street,” said Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services spokesperson Ann Stevens. “It looks like a regular Xanax pill, but it is so much more.”
The Fentanyl enhances the drug to be 50 times more powerful than heroin. It affects the body quickly, especially when the user has not used it before.
“If you take that and you have no tolerance opioid, even a relatively small dose will kill you,” said Miami Valley Hospital’s Dr. Dennis Mann.
Opioids are medications that relieve pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There are often prescribed to adults.
Narcan, which first responders use to treat people who have overdosed on heroin, can also help people who have overdosed on the super pill. However, Mann warns that the affects of the new drug are more difficult to stop.
“Narcan can help reverse it, but you will need more than you would use with a standard heroin overdose,” he said.
Health officials said young people and people who already abuse Xanax are the most at risk for the super pill.
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