HAMILTON COUNTY — The Hamilton County Coroner's office warns of an emerging drug that can be deadly. It's called Bromazolam.
It's an opioid-like drug that the coroner's office says was denied medical approval by the FDA in the 70's. The drug has sedative effects.
Hamilton County Coroner, Jeff Jellison said the drug is nicknamed "bro" and is being sold in the street as Xanax or fake Xanax pills.
"It may be pill form, it may be powder, it could be a gummy. And that's being sold on the internet on these black market pharmacies. And it's being cut with fentanyl. And so now you take a very powerful drug and you cut that drug with another very powerful drug. We've got a recipe for disaster," said Jellison.
It's emerging in Ohio, Illinois and now in Indiana.
"And then the next thing you know, they're knocking on your door right in your hometown. So again, we wanted to take a proactive approach and tell the community that we've potentially got a problem coming here," said Jellison.
Jellison said the major concern for officials is when the drug is mixed with other opioids and fentanyl, it can lead to more overdoses.
"If you're going to take these drugs, whether it be IV drugs, or be a drug of this nature, you need to get some help. Because if you don't, you're probably going to be laying on my autopsy table. This stuff is poisoned, and it is killing a lot of people and frankly, we're tired of it. Hoping that maybe parents might see this or friends or a loved one of somebody that is doing this type of drugs might see this, and they want to join us and that proactive approach," said Jellison. "
Jellison said Bromazolam hasn't been identified in Hamilton County yet, but says the coroner's office still has a significant number of toxicology reports pending. He said he wouldn't be surprised if any come back positive.
Across the state, more than 60 people tested positive for the emerging drug, according to Jellison. The drug was not tested for prior to 2023.
Adverse effects include dizziness, blurred vision, slurred speech and more.
Jellison encourages the community to help those struggling with abuse.
"We no longer can hope that the problem goes away, because it's not going to and we can't baby the problem along anymore because that next pill could be the one that kills you or kills your loved one," said Jellison.