PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Law enforcement leaders are issuing a new drug warning at the height of spring break. Isotonitazene, or ISO, is a synthetic drug that could be 20 times more deadly than fentanyl.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two recent overdose deaths now tied to the drug, which they say is so potent that it can affect a person in proximity who hasn’t even tried to ingest it.
“It doesn’t just affect the individual who’s trying to get high. There are multiple people in that home. There’s deputies who responded trying to give that person medical attention,” said Britney Morris, Public Information Officer for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
“Isotonitazene, also known as ISO, is so strong that it can kill just by coming in contact with someone’s skin or being accidentally inhaled. ISO has already been linked to overdose deaths in Florida, so please, never take any illicit drug and know that using just one time could cost you your life,” says Attorney General Ashley Moody.
It’s concerning to spring breakers who spoke to 8 On Your Side about the drug.
“My friends know we definitely don’t do any of that over here. If that’s you, we couldn’t be friends,” Caleb Guise said.
He lost his father to a fentanyl overdose last year.
“It was tough you know cause life still goes on, I still had to go through school. To lose your life over something like that when you could’ve chosen not to do it is dangerous,” he added.
So far two deaths in Pasco County have been linked to the substance.
“As law enforcement continues to have to address the healthcare crisis of substance abuse, our goal remains to save lives and protect our community, which is why we have highlighted and brought awareness to the impact this dangerous substance has in our community,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a news release.