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Good afternoon everyone. The top priority of the Department of Justice is to protect the american people. And that means we have an obligation to make americans aware of the deadly threat from counterfeit pills, counterfeit pills containing deadly doses of illicit fentaNYL And we also have a responsibility to do all we can working with our law enforcement partners to stop it. So today we’re here to let the american people know that one pill can kill. We have seen an alarming increase in the number of counterfeit pills containing illicit Fendt. And when we say counterfeit pills, I want to be very clear. We mean pills that are fashioned to look like legitimate pills that might be prescribed by your doctor. Counterfeit pills that have been brought into the United States have been illegally produced in Mexico Using precursor chemicals supplied by Chinese companies. There were 810 arrests Made beginning August three through this past Tuesday We’ve seized 158 weapons And 1.8 million potentially deadly fentaNYL pills. I had the opportunity yesterday to sit with the mexican attorney General. I was frank in expressing to him my concerns about what we’re seeing in the United States, that this is a public safety crisis that we’re facing and that it’s being driven by these mass produced fentaNYL and meth amphetamines that are coming from Mexico

ADPH warns of fake Oxycodone, Adderall pills containing fentanyl, meth

Updated: 6:22 PM CDT Oct 6, 2021

The Alabama Department of Public Health is warning of serious concerns over the alarming increase in fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. This comes after the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a nationwide warning in late September about the rise in counterfeit prescription drugs. Learn more in the video above.”The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is seriously concerned that these pills are falsely marketed in Alabama as prescription drugs sold online or through social media and are intentionally made to look like legitimate drugs in size and color,” the ADPH said Wednesday. The counterfeit pills are marketed as legitimate prescription pills and are killing Americans at an unprecedented rate, according to the DEA alert. Some of the fake pills contain two milligrams of fentanyl and are killing unsuspecting Americans. “These counterfeit pills are easy to purchase, widely available, and often contain deadly doses of fentanyl,” the health department said in a release. “Pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous and potentially lethal. The only safe medications are ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.”The DEA said more than 9.5 million counterfeit pills have been seized so far this year. That’s more than in the last two years combined. The ADPH said DEA laboratory testing further reveals today that two out of every five pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose.Some of the most common counterfeit pills made to look like prescription opioids include:Oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®)Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)Alprazolam (Xanax®)Stimulants/amphetamines (Adderall®)”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 teens and young adults. DEA reports that these counterfeit pills have been seized in every U.S. state, and in unprecedented quantities.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States, including 1,027 in Alabama, in 2020, marking the largest number of drug-related deaths ever recorded in a year. For more information, visit https://www.dea.gov/onepill. DRUG FACT SHEETSCounterfeit Pills Fact SheetFentanyl Drug Fact SheetMethamphetamine Drug Fact SheetParents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites:www.justthinktwice.govwww.getsmartaboutdrugs.govwww.dea.gov—Counterfeit PillsWHAT ARE COUNTERFEIT PILLS?Counterfeit pills are fake medications that have different ingredients than the actual medication. They may contain no active ingredient, the wrong active ingredient, or have the right ingredient but in an incorrect quantity. Counterfeit pills may contain lethal amounts of fentanyl or methamphetamine and are extremely dangerous because they often appear identical to legitimate prescription pills, and the user is likely unaware of how lethal they can be.WHAT IS THEIR ORIGIN?The majority of counterfeit drug production occurs in other countries, mainly China, Mexico, and India. Furthermore, an increasing number of pills laced with fentanyl are being produced in the U.S. Mexican and domestic drug trafficking organizations operating in the U.S. produce counterfeit pills with pre-made chemicals and drugs from China and/or Mexico. They are usually produced in substandard conditions, labeled incorrectly, and may include dangerous unapproved substances. There are no quality control mechanisms in the illicit labs producing counterfeit pills to ensure dosing is not lethal. Online sales via internet marketplaces and social media are the major sources for obtaining counterfeit pills.A significant number of high school and college students purchase Adderall and Xanax from dark web drug markets and/or through social media referrals, which market deadly versions of these drugs tainted with fentanyl and/or methamphetamine. Some students begin using prescription stimulants, often referred to as “study drugs,” in the belief it will benefit their academic performance, but the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants has not been proven to improve academic performance.WHAT ARE THE COMMON STREET NAMES?Counterfeit oxycodone M30 pills are also known as Mexican Blues, Blues, M-Boxes.WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?Counterfeit pills are nearly identical to actual prescription medications. The majority of counterfeit pills resemble oxycodone 30mg pills (M30s), but can also mimic hydrocodone, alprazolam (Xanax), Adderall, and other medications.There are indications that drug trafficking organizations are specifically targeting kids and teens by creating counterfeit pills in a variety of shapes and bright colors to appeal to that age group. Counterfeit M30 pills can vary in color from white to blue. The best way to avoid counterfeit medication is to take only medications prescribed by a licensed medical professional and dispensed by a registered pharmacist.HOW ARE THEY USED? Counterfeit pills are especially dangerous because people think they are purchasing legitimate prescription medications. However, these fake pills often contain lethal amounts of illicit drugs. Distributors in the United States are selling counterfeit pills on social media, appealing to a younger audience that uses these apps. Minors and young adults experimenting, as well as regular substance users, believe they are buying authentic oxycodone, Adderall, Xanax, or other medicines, but are unwittingly purchasing counterfeit pills that contain lethal amounts of drugs, usually fentanyl and methamphetamine. Fentanyl is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine, and 50 times more potent than heroin as a painkiller. Twenty-six percent of tablets tested in a DEA laboratory contained a lethal dose of fentanyl.WHAT IS THEIR EFFECT ON THE BODY? Counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl can be deadly. A lethal dose of fentanyl is about two milligrams, equivalent in size to a few grains of salt. Fentanyl, similar to other commonly used opioid analgesics (e.g., morphine), produces effects such as relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, urinary retention, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression. Synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, remain the primary driver of the increase in overdose deaths, accounting for 80 percent of all deaths involving an opioid.Counterfeit pills containing methamphetamine are highly addictive and act on the central nervous system. Taking even small amounts of methamphetamine can result in wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, rapid breathing and heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and hyperthermia (overheating).WHAT ARE THE OVERDOSE EFFECTS? Fentanyl overdose may result in stupor, changes in pupillary size, cold and clammy skin, cyanosis, coma, and respiratory failure leading to death. The presence of the triad of symptoms such as coma, pinpoint pupils, and respiratory depression are strongly suggestive of opioid poisoning.A methamphetamine overdose may result in death from stroke, heart attack, or multiple organ problems caused by overheating. Which drugs cause similar effects?Drugs that cause similar effects to fentanyl include other opioids such as morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, methadone, and heroin. Drugs that cause similar effects to methamphetamine include cocaine and potent stimulant pharmaceuticals, such as amphetamines and methylphenidate.LEGAL STATUS IN THE U.S.? Fentanyl-like substances are currently emergency scheduled through October 22, 2021, as Schedule I narcotics. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant. Drug scheduling information can be found at www.dea.gov.

The Alabama Department of Public Health is warning of serious concerns over the alarming increase in fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. This comes after the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a nationwide warning in late September about the rise in counterfeit prescription drugs. Learn more in the video above.

“The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is seriously concerned that these pills are falsely marketed in Alabama as prescription drugs sold online or through social media and are intentionally made to look like legitimate drugs in size and color,” the ADPH said Wednesday.

The counterfeit pills are marketed as legitimate prescription pills and are killing Americans at an unprecedented rate, according to the DEA alert. Some of the fake pills contain two milligrams of fentanyl and are killing unsuspecting Americans.

“These counterfeit pills are easy to purchase, widely available, and often contain deadly doses of fentanyl,” the health department said in a release. “Pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous and potentially lethal. The only safe medications are ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.”

The DEA said more than 9.5 million counterfeit pills have been seized so far this year. That’s more than in the last two years combined.

The ADPH said DEA laboratory testing further reveals today that two out of every five pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose.

Some of the most common counterfeit pills made to look like prescription opioids include:

  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax®)
  • Stimulants/amphetamines (Adderall®)

oxycodone oxy fake real counterfeit drugs pills dea

DEA

30mg Oxycodone Authentic (left) and Counterfeit(right) 

“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 teens and young adults. DEA reports that these counterfeit pills have been seized in every U.S. state, and in unprecedented quantities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States, including 1,027 in Alabama, in 2020, marking the largest number of drug-related deaths ever recorded in a year.

For more information, visit https://www.dea.gov/onepill.

DRUG FACT SHEETS

Counterfeit Pills Fact Sheet

Fentanyl Drug Fact Sheet

Methamphetamine Drug Fact Sheet

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites:

www.justthinktwice.gov

www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov

www.dea.gov

Counterfeit Pills

WHAT ARE COUNTERFEIT PILLS?

Counterfeit pills are fake medications that have different ingredients than the actual medication. They may contain no active ingredient, the wrong active ingredient, or have the right ingredient but in an incorrect quantity. Counterfeit pills may contain lethal amounts of fentanyl or methamphetamine and are extremely dangerous because they often appear identical to legitimate prescription pills, and the user is likely unaware of how lethal they can be.

WHAT IS THEIR ORIGIN?

The majority of counterfeit drug production occurs in other countries, mainly China, Mexico, and India. Furthermore, an increasing number of pills laced with fentanyl are being produced in the U.S. Mexican and domestic drug trafficking organizations operating in the U.S. produce counterfeit pills with pre-made chemicals and drugs from China and/or Mexico. They are usually produced in substandard conditions, labeled incorrectly, and may include dangerous unapproved substances. There are no quality control mechanisms in the illicit labs producing counterfeit pills to ensure dosing is not lethal. Online sales via internet marketplaces and social media are the major sources for obtaining counterfeit pills.

A significant number of high school and college students purchase Adderall and Xanax from dark web drug markets and/or through social media referrals, which market deadly versions of these drugs tainted with fentanyl and/or methamphetamine. Some students begin using prescription stimulants, often referred to as “study drugs,” in the belief it will benefit their academic performance, but the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants has not been proven to improve academic performance.

WHAT ARE THE COMMON STREET NAMES?

Counterfeit oxycodone M30 pills are also known as Mexican Blues, Blues, M-Boxes.

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

Counterfeit pills are nearly identical to actual prescription medications. The majority of counterfeit pills resemble oxycodone 30mg pills (M30s), but can also mimic hydrocodone, alprazolam (Xanax), Adderall, and other medications.

Counterfeit drugs

DEA

LEFT: Authentic oxycodone M30 tablets (top) vs. counterfeit oxycodone M30 tablets containing fentanyl (bottom); RIGHT: Authentic Adderall tablets (top) vs. counterfeit Adderall tablets containing methamphetamine (bottom)

There are indications that drug trafficking organizations are specifically targeting kids and teens by creating counterfeit pills in a variety of shapes and bright colors to appeal to that age group. Counterfeit M30 pills can vary in color from white to blue. The best way to avoid counterfeit medication is to take only medications prescribed by a licensed medical professional and dispensed by a registered pharmacist.

HOW ARE THEY USED?

Counterfeit pills are especially dangerous because people think they are purchasing legitimate prescription medications. However, these fake pills often contain lethal amounts of illicit drugs. Distributors in the United States are selling counterfeit pills on social media, appealing to a younger audience that uses these apps. Minors and young adults experimenting, as well as regular substance users, believe they are buying authentic oxycodone, Adderall, Xanax, or other medicines, but are unwittingly purchasing counterfeit pills that contain lethal amounts of drugs, usually fentanyl and methamphetamine. Fentanyl is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine, and 50 times more potent than heroin as a painkiller. Twenty-six percent of tablets tested in a DEA laboratory contained a lethal dose of fentanyl.

WHAT IS THEIR EFFECT ON THE BODY?

Counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl can be deadly. A lethal dose of fentanyl is about two milligrams, equivalent in size to a few grains of salt. Fentanyl, similar to other commonly used opioid analgesics (e.g., morphine), produces effects such as relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, urinary retention, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression. Synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, remain the primary driver of the increase in overdose deaths, accounting for 80 percent of all deaths involving an opioid.

Counterfeit pills containing methamphetamine are highly addictive and act on the central nervous system. Taking even small amounts of methamphetamine can result in wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, rapid breathing and heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and hyperthermia (overheating).

WHAT ARE THE OVERDOSE EFFECTS?

Fentanyl overdose may result in stupor, changes in pupillary size, cold and clammy skin, cyanosis, coma, and respiratory failure leading to death. The presence of the triad of symptoms such as coma, pinpoint pupils, and respiratory depression are strongly suggestive of opioid poisoning.

A methamphetamine overdose may result in death from stroke, heart attack, or multiple organ problems caused by overheating. Which drugs cause similar effects?

Drugs that cause similar effects to fentanyl include other opioids such as morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, methadone, and heroin. Drugs that cause similar effects to methamphetamine include cocaine and potent stimulant pharmaceuticals, such as amphetamines and methylphenidate.

LEGAL STATUS IN THE U.S.?

Fentanyl-like substances are currently emergency scheduled through October 22, 2021, as Schedule I narcotics. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant. Drug scheduling information can be found at www.dea.gov.

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