‘Fake’ pills can be deadly, warn drug officers | News, Sports, Jobs

ByDonald L. Leech

May 15, 2022

Drug law enforcement personnel, both local and regional, are warning people about the prevalence of “fake” lethal dose pills.

Their warning follows the deaths of two Ohio State University students earlier this month after taking prescription Adderall pills containing fentanyl.

Sheriff Capt. Michael Yannucci, commander of the Trumbull County TAG task force, said his officers encountered both Adderall containing methamphetamine and Oxycontin pills containing fentanyl.

Due to an open investigation, Yannucci could not give details but fears that fentanyl is present in all drugs, even marijuana. Yannucci said he didn’t know the origin of the “fake” pills, but said they could have come out of pill presses “anywhere from here to Mexico.”

“It’s just scary to think that many who believe marijuana is harmless could be killed by it,” Yannucci said.

Yannucci said he could not allow the confiscated fake Adderall pills to be photographed because they are also evidence.

sergeant. Larry McLaughlin, commander of the Mahoning County Drug Task Force, said he hasn’t seen Adderall containing fentanyl in his area in the past few months, but he warns anyone who buys the drug on the street or on the Internet to be careful.

“Everything has the potential to be (laced) because of the amount there,” McLaughlin said. “Those with prescriptions should get them from a doctor and/or a certified pharmacy.”

Adderall, an amphetamine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, costs almost $8 per pill without insurance, or $237.30 per month for an initial dose of a 5 mg pill once a day. DEA agents warn that buyers of Adderall should beware of anyone selling the drug for less online.

A local pharmacist said pharmacy policy states that since Adderall is a controlled drug, it must be locked in a safe until a prescription is filled.


“Innocently enough, the leading cause of Adderall abuse is academically related,” states a report from the US Addiction Centers. “Students say the drug helps them concentrate when they stay up late to study. The benefits also carry over to exam taking. Some users say they experience an improvement in their attention span and they are more able to concentrate.These elements make it one of the most popular drugs used today on college campuses.

But according to Psycom, an online mental health resource, instead of boosting academic achievement by sharpening concentration, the drugs can worsen short-term memory and leave people jittery and distracted. He concluded: “There is little or no cognitive performance benefit associated with prescription stimulants when given to people who do not have a diagnosis of ADHD. a tutor or take advantage of other study support options at your college.

After two people died and another was treated for an apparent drug overdose on May 4 at an off-campus house in Columbus, OSU President Kristina Johnson warned students of the dangers of drug use. drugs due to the prevalence of contaminated substances.

According to Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Brian K. McNeal in Detroit, counterfeit pills are on the rise, not just on college campuses, but everywhere.

“It is essential for everyone’s safety to be aware of the possibility of contaminated medication in our community,” Johnson said in a letter to OSU students. The Columbus Public Health District has shared an alert about fake Adderall pills containing the deadly opioid fentanyl, causing an increase in hospitalizations around the Ohio State campus.

Just before 11 a.m. on May 4, doctors attended a residence on the first block of East Lane Avenue, just east of North High Street in Columbus, to find three people overdosed. Two, identified as Jessica Lopez, 22, and Tiffany Iler, 21, died, while a third student being treated for an overdose was discharged from hospital.

A statement from the university said Lopez was a computer and information science student from Greendale, Indiana, and Iler was a neuroscience student from Broadview Heights, a suburb of Cleveland.

“We are heartbroken and express our deepest condolences to their families and friends at this extremely difficult time,” the OSU press release read.


Last year, Drug Enforcement Administration officers launched a campaign called “One Pill Can Kill,” warning students, educators, parents, community organizations and other law enforcement that someone who takes a medicine for the first time can die from these “deadly counterfeit mixtures”.

A DEA statement says counterfeit pills are easy to buy and widely available on websites, including social media.

“Drug traffickers are now exploiting the accessibility and anonymity of social media apps to push these deadly drugs into our communities faster, cheaper, and easier than ever before,” the DEA warns. Those selling illicit and deadly substances on social media have been known to use code words and emoticons in their marketing tactics, the statement said.

DEA agents warn that criminal enterprises have flooded the United States with fentanyl through mass-produced fake prescription pills, marketing them as legitimate prescription drugs, such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin , Xanax and Adderall. This has led to over 100,000 drug overdose deaths in America in 2021, with 64% of those deaths involving synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl.

Some 15,000 pounds of fentanyl were seized in 2021, which the DEA says is enough to deliver a life-threatening dose to every person in the United States. The DEA said 20.4 million fake pills were seized, including 9.89 million during a two-phase DEA. increase in public safety from August 3 to December 14, 2021. Four out of 10 fake pills tested by the DEA contained a potentially fatal dose of fentanyl.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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