A man reportedly delivered a burrito with a hidden syringe filled with heroin to a patient at a Florida hospital.
Police in Bradenton, Florida, are trying to identify a man who brought a bag of food with a hidden heroin-filled syringe inside the Blake Medical Center, reports the Bradenton Herald. The suspect allegedly gave the bag to an employee at the hospital and said it was for a patient. When the employee examined the food, a syringe filled with liquid was found inside a burrito, police said.
The Bradenton Police Department was contacted, and officers tested the liquid inside the syringe with a field test kit. The substance tested positive for heroin.
The suspect is reportedly between 6 feet and 6 feet 4 inches tall. He has a slim build and “bleach blond” hair. A cash reward of up to $1,000 is offered for information leading to positive identification of the suspect.
Here is a pictured of the alleged heroin smuggler, courtesy of the Braden Herald:
In a CBS "60 Minutes" special report released in December, drug official Michael Botticelli said he believes the U.S. needs to change its policy on drugs, especially in light of the nation’s heroin crisis.
“We know one of the drivers of heroin has been the misuse of pain medication,” Botticelli said. “If we're gonna deal with heroin and heroin use in the United States, we really have to focus on reducing the magnitude of the prescription drug use issue.”
About half of young heroin users started by abusing prescription drugs, according to The Medicine Abuse Project.
“Many pain drugs are opioids, like heroin,” Botticelli explained. “And the number of opioid prescriptions has risen from 76 million in 1991 to 207 million today."
According to Botticelli, medical professionals are not properly equipped to deal with issues regarding pain or addiction, which has led to an increase in over-prescribing opioid medications. Many people turn to heroin because of its widespread availability and low cost relative to prescription medication.