Fentanyl: State warns of pills laced with potent painkiller

Fentanyl: State warns of pills laced with potent painkiller

Palm Beach County, FL - What looks like a painkiller, now a killer statewide.  Agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement along with Attorney General, Pam Bondi, warning Floridians about fentanyl-laced drugs, they're now calling a "super pill."

"Some of these kids are dying within seconds.  Some are not kids, they're in their 20's and 30's," Bondi recently told reporters about the statewide problem.

More potent than morphine, fentanyl is a synthetic opiate often given to cancer patients to reduce pain.

But over the last two years, fentanyl has become heroin's cheap secret ingredient to making the party drug up to 100 times more powerful.

Now fentanyl is being detected in pills like Percocet, Xanax and Oxycodone and its killing said agents from FDLE.

Central Florida recently logged 9 deaths  In Palm Beach County, at least 119 deaths have been linked to fentanyl since 2014.

"This is one of the worst epidemic I've seen," the Dr. Michael Bell, Palm Beach County's medical examiner.   In February, the Contact 5 Investigators took an in-depth look at the problem that has been rampant in Palm Beach County for, at least, two years.

In fact, in 2014, Palm Beach County's logged more fentanyl related deaths than anywhere else in the state and 2015 numbers were expected to be similar.

"I knew that someday I would get that call, that they found her laying with a needle in her arm. I knew it," described Carol Howard.  Her daughter, Tara Burke, was just 31 and a mother of three when fentanyl-laced heroin contributed to her death two years ago.

"I don't know if she knew they were cutting it with fentanyl or not," she told the Contact 5 Investigators back in February.

Part of what makes this cocktail of drugs so dangerous is users often don't know the drugs have been laced with fentanyl.  Which is why the state is sounding the alarm warning anyone who will listen.

"Please, please please parents talk to your kids tell them not to take pills," said Pam Bondi.

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