NAPLES, Fla.- The deadly drug heroin is now showing up in pill form in Florida, and drug experts are concerned people will confuse heroin for prescription medications.
“Potentially one pill could cause someone to die immediately, not knowing that they were taking heroin,” said Melanie Black with Drug Free Collier. “The fact that heroin can now be purchased in a pill form is very concerning.”
The heroin pill looks similar to the prescription drugs of Percocet or Oxycodone.
“If someone was trying to share medication and it looks like a legitimate pill, they may mistakenly take it for something else which could be deadly,” said Black.
Black adds pill sharing is very common with teens and college students.
“The issue is, if someone, a friend, is passing off a pill that they say is one thing, the person would unknowingly potentially be taking heroin and again could die or cause some serious danger or even addiction unknowingly.”
“It’s scary to think that could happen to me or one of my friends,” said Hannah, a junior at Naples High School. “I mean I don’t know if I’d take pills to begin with, in the first place. But knowing that heroin is out there, disguised so to speak, it probably should give some people pause.”
Black says Southwest Florida has seen an increase in heroin overdoses over the past year, and she fears the new form of heroin will bring more.
“I would encourage that if a parent does know a child or young adult did take something to call 911 immediately because it could be their life.”
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office and addiction experts in Lee County says they have not seen the heroin pill locally yet. But last month, the Florida Attorney General’s Office sent out a warning after the pill was seized in other counties in the state.