Deadly street drug poses as Xanax

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A deadly drug passed off as Xanax is making its way to Amarillo streets.

Earlier this month, an agency seized 2,000 pills en route to Amarillo that were intended to be sold on the streets as xanax, but contained the deadly drug Fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a powerful opiate that is 30-50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl combined with Xanax is a deadly combination.

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"We can actually have people stop breathing once they've taken it," said Dr. Jeanie Jaramillo-Stametz, of the Texas Panhandle Poison Center. "They can overdose very quickly. It can be one dose. It can be minutes."

There is no way to differentiate real Xanax from the ones with fentantyl. Not by look or taste.

"A user can not tell if there is fentantyl in a pill just by looking at it," said Dr. Jaramillo-Stametz. "There is no way for them to visibly look at that pill and know that there is fentantyl in it. They can't taste it and know that there is fentanyl in it. There's no quick test to tell us there's fentanyl in it. So each time they are making a purchase, each time they take that drug, they are taking a chance."

Just because you've taken Xanax before does not mean your body can handle this new cocktail.

"We want everyone to understand that even though you may have taken Xanax in the past, or bought something that you thought was Xanax, this is a particularly deadly pill," said Sgt. Brent Barbee of the Amarillo Police Department. "This is something that can guarantee death with as little as 2 milligrams. These pills may look like the real thing, but they're not."

Previously dealers have targeted young athletes, saying it will help them get better sleep and recover from their sport. APD warns parents of teens and young adults to be on the look out.

"I'd like to be able to tell parents and tell everyone how you can look at a pill that purports to be actual Xanax, and look at another pill and determine which is the real and which is the fake but we don't know what the next batch of drugs will look like," said Sgt. Barbee. "We don't know that it won't be better quality, good enough quality to fool anyone. If you take this you are gambling with your life."

This drug posing as Xanax is only on the streets. Those with proper prescriptions for Xanax need not to worry.

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