Two Santa Cruz County Residents Dead After Taking Counterfeit Xanax

A 19-year-old boy and a 29-year-old man in Santa Cruz are both dead after ingesting a fatal dose of fentanyl hidden in fake Xanax pills. A 22-year-old man is facing charges that he supplied the fatal fakes.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that on October 24th, 2015, two young men at a party took what they believed was the anti-anxiety medication Xanax. Both took ill and were rushed to the hospital, where one, the 19-year-old, died. Three days later another man was found dead in his home after having taken what he thought was Xanax. All three had instead ingested the highly dangerous opiate, fentanyl. The Chronicle notes that the case is similar to that of the three deaths due to counterfeit Xanax in San Francisco in October.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel then reported that a 22-year-old from Aptos named Daniel Meehan was arrested on November 6, 2015 and charged with supplying the three men with the fake Xanax pills. According to the Sentinel, Meehan attempted to destroy the fake pills in his possession once he learned that they were deadly.

The Sentinel noted “Authorities said the drug looks nearly identical to genuine Xanax, which treats anxiety and panic disorders. It actually contained fentanyl, a potent opioid medication that is cheaper to produce, authorities said.”

No word on who produced the lethal counterfeits, the Sentinel reported.
By S. Imber