DEA issues counterfeit pills warning

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The DEA issued a warning on Friday about an increase in overdose deaths linked to counterfeit pills containing the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl.

DEA agents said the drugs were manufactured by Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTO) and marketed as a drug such as oxycodone on the illicit drug market.

These pills can be fatal. One pill can kill someone.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times more potent than morphine.

The DEA lab’s analysis identified pills ranging from 0.02 milligrams to 5.1 milligrams of fentanyl per tablet, with 26% of the counterfeit pills tested containing a lethal dose of fentanyl.

DEA agents have said counterfeit pills purchased online or through social media websites pose a serious threat to public health and safety. These pills may contain the wrong ingredients, contain too little, too much, or no active ingredient at all, or contain other potentially deadly hidden ingredients, such as fentanyl or methamphetamine.

The DEA urges the public to obtain prescription drugs only from state-licensed pharmacies located in the United States, where the United States Food and Drug Administration and state authorities can ensure the quality of the drug. manufacture, packaging, distribution and labeling of drugs.

“Counterfeit pills are extremely dangerous because they often contain toxic or illegal ingredients such as fentanyl, which increases the likelihood of an overdose,” said Brad L. Byerley, special agent in charge of the field division of DEA’s New Orleans. “Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTO) are pushing these deadly substances into the illicit drug market to expand their businesses among the already growing population of opioid addicts. The manufacture of these pills using deadly substances like fentanyl is a reflection of the evil by which these drug dealers operate for their benefit. Americans are dying across the country and here in Louisiana. To anyone coming out of the health care system to get otherwise legitimate drugs, I would say this: don’t do it. You can never be sure what you are getting and you are playing Russian Roulette with your life. “

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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