A new ‘Frankenstein pill’ in Florida

A recovery center in Florida is warning people about a new “Frankenstein” pill that has already led to nine deaths in Pinellas County.

Footprints Beachside Recovery Center sent out a news release recently, alerting the public about the “cheap, highly addictive new pill.”

The pill is apparently a mixture of Xanax and the opiate pain killer Fentanyl, which can be up to 100 times stronger than morphine. The new pill is attributed to nine deaths in recent weeks, according to the recovery center.

“The combination of the two drugs is so potent that users are overdosing within a matter of minutes,” according to the news release.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has declared the new drug a public health emergency. The sheriff’s office is unsure of the source of the pill but believes that it’s native to the Florida county, according to the news release.

But the pill is spreading quickly because of its cheap street price. One pill can cost as little as $5, according to the recovery center.

“Anyone who is using this drug needs immediate help,” said John Templeton, president of the recovery center, in the news release. “Opioids are among the most dangerous drugs for users and this Fentanyl-Xanax hybrid is exponentially more deadly.”

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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