- March 23, 2017
- Posted by: Keith Graves
- Category: Drug Trends, Officer Safety, Opiates, Pharmaceutical Fraud, Pharmaceutical Investigations
It Looks Like Xanax, But it Definitely Isn’t!
A TV Station, WFLA, is reporting that a “new super drug” is hitting the streets in Florida and is responsible for 9 death so far.
The lethal contents of this small, white pill are cleverly packaged. The pill looks just like a Xanax. But, looks can be deceiving. And, as it turns out, deadly. The fake Xanax is mixed with a powerful pain medication called Fentanyl, which is a highly addictive, strong pain medication commonly prescribed to cancer patients. The combination of Xanax and Fentanyl is so potent that it’s killing people within minutes.
This really isn’t new. In fact, I brought this up in blog post some time ago. In that blog post, I included a video that shows how dealers are making their own fentanyl pills using a pill press that you can buy on Amazon.com.
Why These Xanax Pills are So Deadly
The fentanyl that these pills contain are not only exponentially more powerful than heroin, but it is unknown what type of fentayl it is. If it is carfentanil, one pill has the potential of killing anyone very quickly. Additionally, people thinking they are purchasing Xanax, a CNS Depressant, are actually taking fentanyl, a deadly and powerful Opiate. When the dealers are cutting the fentanyl, they are usually doing it in an unsanitary place and don’t use proper measuring equipment when mixing the ingredients.
It’s Dangerous for Police Officers Too
The threat is not confined to just users, it expands to police officers too. Fentanyl is a drug that can be absorbed transdermally, meaning that it can be absorbed through your skin. In a recent webinar I hosted about fentanyl and officer safety, I brought up the transdermal threat and the safety precautions needed by police if they are handling fentanyl.
An officer handling this evidence might assume it is fentanyl and might handle it without proper protective equipment. As a reminder, you shouldn’t be handling any drugs without nitrile gloves. You should also be wearing an N95 mask as well as eye protection when practical.
But, what if the officer had field tested the “xanax” as required by policy or by the DA to charge your case? If some of that fentanyl had gone airborne, it could cause issues for the officer (which is why I recommend wearing an N95 mask when handling drug evidence). This is another reason why I advocate that officers stop field testing drugs. You never know what the drug is that you are testing (which is why you are testing it in the first place).