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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

DEA issues public service warning about availability of fake pills containing fentanyl and meth

The Drug Enforcement Agency has issued a public safety alert to warn Americans of the alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Criminal drug networks are mass-producing counterfeit pills and falsely marketing them as legitimate prescriptions in an effort to deceive the American public.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 93,000 people died from a drug overdose in the United States in 2020. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl, the primary driver of this record increase, is frequently found in counterfeit pills.

Some of the most common counterfeit pills are made to look like prescription opioids such as oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), and alprazolam (Xanax®); or stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall®).

Drug traffickers are using fake pills to exploit the opioid crisis and prescription drug misuse in the United States. Fake prescription pills are widely accessible and often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms – making them available to anyone with a smartphone, including minors.

Counterfeit pills have been identified in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. DEA laboratory testing reveals that two out of every five pills with fentanyl contain at least two milligrams, which is considered a potentially lethal dose.

Only take medications prescribed to you by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Any pills not meeting this standard should be considered unsafe and potentially deadly.

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