VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Warns Floridians about Rise in Deaths from Dangerous Designer Drug Often Called Fake Xanax
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians about a rise in deaths nationwide from bromazolam, a potent benzodiazepine. The drug is gaining popularity throughout the country and is reportedly being mixed with illicit fentanyl. Benzodiazepines are depressant drugs that produce sedation and feelings of relaxation. According to the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education, bromazolam went from being present in only 1% of toxicology cases submitted to the National Medical Services Labs in 2021 to 13% in mid-2022. Side effects of bromazolam include loss of coordination, drowsiness, dizziness, respiratory depression, coma and death.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “It is imperative that Floridians understand how dangerous bromazolam is on its own. It is also reportedly mixed with fentanyl, leading to adverse health conditions, overdoses and even deaths—including here in Florida. Please, never use an illicit substance. Just one pill can kill.”
Bromazolam is an illicit substance within the category of novel benzodiazepines, also referred to as synthetic benzodiazepines. Novel benzodiazepines are a classification of drugs that are not regulated by strict clinical guidelines the way that traditional benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium are. Novel benzodiazepines have similar depressant effects to prescribed benzodiazepines but can be more potent and unpredictable. According to the CFSRE, bromazolam made up just 4% of novel benzodiazepines in circulation in 2021. The CFSRE estimate that bromazolam’s presence rose to 73% of the supply of novel benzodiazepines through the first six months of 2023.
Bromazolam may be laced with fentanyl, making the drug even more potent and dangerous. The CFSRE reported that 83% of its samples tested positive for fentanyl. Other reports claim that naloxone, commonly used to reverse opioid overdose, is ineffective when dealing with bromazolam.
From 2016-2018, law enforcement seizures of bromazolam never exceeded three per year nationwide. In 2023, that number rose to 2,913. Bromazolam use is rapidly increasing all across the country, leading to rises in overdose and death.
To educate Floridians about the dangers of illicit substances and where to find help, Attorney General Moody developed the Dose of Reality Florida website. The site serves as a one-stop resource to learn about the dangers of opioid misuse, how to receive support for addiction and where to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs. To learn more about Dose of Reality Florida, click here.
If anyone is struggling with drug addiction, visit TreatmentAtlas.org to find treatment resources and get help.
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