OK: Overdoses, deaths linked to fake oxycodone pills continue to climb in Oklahoma

KOCO 5 News –

The pills were blue in color and stamped to look like 30 milligram oxycodone

OKLAHOMA CITY — Officials with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics said Wednesday that overdoses and deaths linked to fake oxycodone pills continue to increase across Oklahoma, and they are seeking information from the public to help identify those responsible for distributing the pills.

In early May, OBN officials began an investigation involving two people who overdosed and died in central Oklahoma after buying counterfeit oxycodone that tested positive for fentanyl.

OBN Spokesman Mark Woodward said at least six more overdoses and four additional deaths can be attributed to these fake pills.

“Fentanyl is a powerful and cheap drug that can be 100 to 1000 times more potent than morphine or heroin. It is sold on the black market and used by drug organizations as a filler in heroin or pressed into pills that resemble legitimate U.S. pharmaceuticals,” Woodward said.

Since May, Woodward said at least six additional overdoses have occurred in communities in south central, southern and southwestern Oklahoma involving the same type of pills.

“Most of the pills were blue in color and stamped to look like 30 milligram oxycodone. Side-by-side, it would be hard for anyone to tell the difference. We are concerned there are more of these pills circulating the streets and we could see additional overdose victims,” Woodward said.

OBN officials are working with the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad to pursue and prosecute those responsible. Since the investigation began, Woodward said three people have been arrested and several hundred fake oxycodone pills have been seized.

Officials said they believe there are additional people involved in the distribution of these pills and are asking anyone with information to contact their agency at 1-800-522-8031.

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