Counterfeit prescription pills continue to kill more and more Americans. In fact,, the deadly knock-offs have become so pervasive across the country that the Drug Enforcement Administration just issued a nationwide warning. And yes, “killing Americans” was the DEA’s term.
“Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing mass quantities of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl,” reads the DEA’s warning. Moreover, twenty-seven percent of seized counterfeit pills contain “potentially lethal doses” of the synthetic opioid.
The counterfeit prescription pills aren’t just limited to fake opioids either. But they also include Xanax and other anti-anxiety medications, as well as ketamine, GHB and steroids.
It’s a deadly practice.
“Counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl and fentanyl-laced heroin are responsible for thousands of opioid-related deaths in the United States each year,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon.
Pushing Counterfeit Prescription Pills
“International drug trafficking organizations are now sending counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in bulk to the United States,” added DEA’s Dhillon. And some unscrupulous Americans are taking advantage of the influx.
In fact, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office recently seized almost half a million counterfeit prescription pills from an Asbury Park dark web storefront. It was the largest counterfeit pill drug bust in the state’s history.
In addition to the recovered drugs, authorities also seized drug ingredients, pill presses and other drug-manufacturing equipment, reported ABC News.
Vance’s office issued a response to the massive drug ring bust:
“If you are engaging in illicit activity on the dark web, you are on notice,” said Vance. “We know how to find you, we know how to put you out of business, and we know how to hold you criminally accountable.”
The spread of deadly fake prescription pills is a by-product of the nation’s opioid epidemic. Fake pills look almost identical to the real thing, particularly the increasingly hard-to-get oxycodone.
DEA supervisory chemist Jill Head said there is typically 30 milligrams of oxycodone in a standard prescription pill. But the fake pills have no oxycodone in them at all. They do however contain high amounts of fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is about 50 times more potent than heroin,” said Head. “Two milligrams is considered a lethal dose.”
The cost for those deadly black market Oxys? An average of $30 per pill.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports over 28,000 deaths involving synthetic opioids in 2017. Many of those deaths involved counterfeit prescription pills. If you or someone you know is battling opioid addiction, please give ALEF a call. The risks are too high to do otherwise.