MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Drug Enforcement Administration is issuing a public safety alert after a nationwide increase in fake prescription pills.
According to the DEA, over 9.5 million counterfeit pills have been seized this year alone. That has number more this year than in the last two years combined.
These drugs sold on the black market could potentially be laced with fentanyl and methamphetamine.
According to the DEA, it only takes a small amount of these illegal substances to cause an overdose — a dose of fentanyl the size of a pencil tip could be deadly,
Virginia Guy, executive director of the Mobile Drug Education Council Virginia Guy, said any substance you purchase on the streets should be considered suspicious and unsafe.
“Unless you get your prescription from a physician,, and you fill it at a legitimate pharmacythat’s the only way you can be guaranteed that your medications are safe,” Guy said.
These fake prescription pills look almost identical to the real prescription pill.
The DEA says these counterfeit pills are usually made to look like real drugs like Oxytocin, Percocet, hydrocodone, Vicodin, Xanax, or Adderall.
Guy said, even locally, she has spoken with several families of victims who lost their lives accidentally.
“This has been an increasing situation,” Guy said. “It’s really even highly alarming now. I’ve talked to several families who lost loved ones who thought they were taking something that was a legitimate pill and ended up being something harmful.”
For those who have an addiction to prescription drugs, Guy wants those in the community to know they are not alone, and help is available to them.
“Help is available so if anybody knows somebody or has a loved one who has crossed that line of addiction please reach out for help,” Guy said.
If you or someone you know needs help with substance abuse, contact The Drug Education Council at 251-478-7855.