Fake Xanax Pill Kills Nine in Florida; 50 Times Stronger than Heroin-Truth! & Outdated!

Fake Xanax Pill Kills Nine in Florida; 50 Times Stronger than Heroin-Truth! & Outdated! 

Summary of eRumor:
Authorities have warned that fake Xanax pills have killed nine people in Florida and contain Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin.
The Truth:
Warnings about fake Xanax pills killing nine people in Florida — but those fake Xanax warning were a year old when they were re-reported as breaking news in March 2017.
The original report came out of Pinellas County Florida on March 21, 2016. Sheriff Bob Gualteieri warned at the time that a fake Xanax “super pill” had killed nine people, and he warned the public that buying Xanax on the street could have fatal consequences, local NBC affiliate WFLA reported:

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 first-of-its-kind tablet is a mystery for Pinellas County detectives and the Pinellas County medical examiner.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri calls this a public health emergency. He has a message for the people in his county.

“You don’t have to take a handful of them. All you gotta do is take one, and you’re dead,” Gualtieri said.

This dangerous new pill claimed the life of a 25-year-old woman in Dunedin over the weekend. The sheriff is working with other law enforcement agencies, including the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Clearwater Police Department, to warn people.

Fast forward to March 2017, and the story was re-reported as breaking news by an organization aims to help people overcome addiction. Citing the 2016 report the website, Narconon-Suncoast.org, falsely reported on March 20, 2017, that, “In the last 3 months, 9 people have died in Florida from fake Xanax pills. Now dubbed the ‘super pill,’ addicts are buying Xanax off the street and they aren’t just getting Xanax. They’re getting a deadly mix of Xanax and Fentanyl.”

From there, the report was picked up by a number of a additional addiction recovery sites. These reports caused concern that fake Xanax was causing a rash of overdose deaths in Florida in March 2017, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

While it’s safe to assume that police would still advise people not to buy fake Xanax on the street, there haven’t been any follow-up reports since March 2016 to indicate that the fake Xanax drug has killed more people. Given all that, we’re calling this one “truth” and “outdated.”