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Hamilton County coroner sounds alarm about new drug found in overdoses

New drug being found in overdose deaths

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A new drug is popping up in toxicology reports of people who’ve died in an overdose. The Hamilton County coroner is sounding the alarm to keep the community safe.

The drug, bromazolam, was noticed in toxicology reports from other states, but now it’s here.

“We were aware on the surface of other states that were experiencing this; Ohio, Illinois, and that’s really typically the way we see things here in Indiana. It emerges in neighboring states and then all of a sudden you see it here at home,” said Hamilton County Coroner Jeff Jellison.

Jellison learned about this issue a couple of weeks ago from a warning sent out by the Indiana Department of Health. He says the drug comes in many different forms, “They’re getting it in pill form, powder form, gummy form. It’s really being manufactured by black market internet pharmacies.”

This is the first year the Indiana Department of Health has tested for bromazolam when someone dies of an overdose. Jellison said it typically shows up alongside other drugs in someone’s system.

“This drug is obviously very powerful, and people are buying it assuming it’s this drug, but oftentimes when we see these toxicology reports, you’ll see fentanyl and other drugs associated with it simply because that’s what it’s being cut by,” he said.

Statistics from the Indiana Department of Health show that 64 overdose victims tested positive for bromazolam during the most recent reporting period.

It might seem like a small number, but Jellison is concerned we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

“If you take these gummies, these powders, these pills from black market internet pharmacies, you run a very good risk of overdosing. If you have a problem with this type of drug, please reach out and get some help,” he said.