The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a warning on buying online prescription medications. The recommendations included counterfeit medicines such as Xanax, Adderall, OxyContin, and Vicodin. These drugs are increasingly contributing to overdoses of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
The DEA rarely makes any public recommendations. The last was in 2015 when it warned of an increase in heroin laced with fentanyl on the streets.
Fake pills contain methamphetamine and fentanyl
In a statement issued by the DEA, Anne Milgram says that such drugs have become readily available online. This issue poses a risk as they contain highly addictive substances.
DEA officials analyzed the pills and discovered that 2 in 5 of the fake pills have a lethal dose of fentanyl. The DEA has become increasingly concerned about drug overdoses as drug overdose deaths in the U.S surged to 93,000 in 2020. Fentanyl in counterfeit pills appears to be the substance most responsible for the deaths. The DEA also found that Methamphetamine is increasingly becoming a component of fake drugs.
Officials managed to seize 9.5 million counterfeit pills in 2020 alone. This number is more than those found in the last two years. They discovered that manufacturers made most of the fake drugs in Mexico. China also provided fentanyl that for production.
Drug overdose in San Francisco is on the rise
San Francisco residents have been severely affected by the fake pills as the number of addictions, and fentanyl-related drug overdoses are on the rise. The number of accidental overdoses in San Francisco has risen by 483% from 2018-2020. In 2018, about 89 out of 260 people who overdosed had fentanyl in their blood. However, 500 people out of the 700 who overdosed in 2020 had the substance.
The illegal use of fentanyl has been a big problem for San Francisco in recent years. For instance, in 2016, the DEA seized about 15kgs. Since then, the numbers have steadily risen, with officials taking 74kg so far this year.
According to Wade Shannon, a special agent leading the San Francisco DEA division, the number is twice what they had apprehended in the previous year.
Drugs bought from an unlicensed vendor are illegal and dangerous. The DEA advises people only to buy medication from a licensed pharmacy.