TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. – Recovery experts from Footprints Beachside Recovery Center are warning the public of a cheap, highly-addictive new pill popping up in communities across Pinellas County, which has claimed nine lives in the past few weeks.
The “Frankenstein” pill is described by Pinellas County detectives as a deadly mixture of Xanax and the potent opiate pain killer Fentanyl. The combination of the two drugs is so potent that users are overdosing within a matter of minutes.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate typically used to treat patients with severe pain caused by cancer or surgery and is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Mixing Fentanyl or other opioids with other drugs like cocaine and Xanax further amplifies their potency and the risk for overdose.
“This new drug poses a huge risk to the safety and health of every individual and community that it touches,” said John Templeton, president of Footprints Beachside Recovery Center. “The nature of this drug is especially troubling for recovery centers like ours because it is instantly addictive and potentially deadly with a single use.”
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is calling the new “super pill” a public health emergency. They are unsure of the source of the pill, but believe that it is currently native to Pinellas County.
Investigators believe the pill is spreading at an alarming rate due to its cheap street price. One pill can cost as little as $5.
“Opioids are among the most dangerous drugs, and this Fentanyl-Xanax hybrid is exponentially more deadly,” Templeton said. “If you or a loved are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, our experts at Footprints Beachside Recovery Center are here to help.”
According to Templeton, more than half of the patients seen at Footprints are suffering from an opioid addiction. The appearance of this new drug is only the latest problem for Pinellas County. Major spikes in heroin use and the emergence of “spice” have become an increasing problem with no signs of slowing down.
Founded in 2008, Footprints Beachside Recovery Center is a small, private, holistic substance abuse treatment center for adults and is located in Pinellas County, Fla. In addition to treating patients from throughout the U.S. and around the world, Footprints provides Florida clinicians with continuing education events and hosts community workshops on addiction related treatment and psychoeducation.