'Super Pill' blamed in several deaths

Posted at 1:20 PM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 13:20:13-04

(WFLA, NBC NEWSCHANNEL) Several deaths are being blamed on a powerful drug known as the "super pill".

The counterfeit medicine looks like Xanax, but is actually a powerful painkiller 100 times stronger than morphine.

Florida's Pinellas County has been ground zero for this new drug, though it has since spread to several other states.

When it was first introduced in March, nine people died in a matter of days.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is calling the "super pill" a public health emergency, and says he's worried that whoever manufactured the drug did so with ill intent.

"Drug dealing is all about making money. That's the motive. I have a concern here that someone's motive is to hurt people," Gualtieri said.

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