‘Don’t do it’: Increase in overdose deaths prompts DEA warning about fake pills

Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing mass quantities of
counterfeit prescription pills...
Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing mass quantities of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid that is lethal in minute doses, for distribution throughout North America, according to the DEA.(Drug Enforcement Administration)
Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 12:17 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - One pill containing the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl can be enough to kill someone.

That’s why the DEA has a new warning for you about counterfeit pills because you have no clue what’s inside them.

“To anyone going outside the healthcare system to obtain otherwise legitimate medications, I would say this: Don’t do it. You can never be certain of what you’re getting, and you’re playing Russian roulette with your life,” said Brad L. Byerley, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s New Orleans Field Division.

The DEA says traffickers can easily advertise fentanyl as oxycodone on the black market.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine, agents say. And DEA lab analysis has identified pills ranging from .02 milligrams to 5.1 milligrams of fentanyl per tablet, with 26% of the counterfeit pills tested containing a lethal dose of fentanyl.

However, the DEA says a deadly dose of fentanyl can be as little as 2 milligrams.

“Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) are pushing these deadly substances into the illicit drug market to expand their business among the already increasing opioid-addicted population,” “Manufacturing these pills using deadly substances like fentanyl is a reflection of the evil by which these drug traffickers operate for their profit.”

The DEA says counterfeit pills purchased online or through social media websites could have the wrong ingredients, or too little, too much, or hidden ingredients, such as fentanyl or methamphetamine.

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