DEA warns nation about counterfeit pills with fentanyl coming from Mexico –

WASHINGTON (3TV/CBS 5) – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency issued a warning Tuesday about dangerous counterfeit prescription pills being manufactured in Mexico and bought into the U.S. “in bulk … for distribution.” The pills are laced with “potentially lethal doses of fentanyl,” the DEA said.

Arizona’s Family has in-depth reports on the opioid crisis, and the part fentanyl plays in it. Fentanyl is a synthetic pain reliever that is 100 times more powerful than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin.

In August, the DEA said more than 1 million deadly fentanyl pills were seized in Arizona this fiscal year. That’s a massive increase from the 2018 fiscal year when 380,000 pills were seized. The most common pills are designed to look like blue oxycodone M-30 tablets.

In an interview with Arizona’s Family earlier this year, Dr. Frank LoVecchio of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center compared taking an M-30 to a game of Russian roulette.

“This one you’re going to die from. This one you’re not going to die from. And you’re relying on a drug dealer to actually be a chemist,” LoVecchio said.

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