The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a rare public safety alert warning about an alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake prescription drugs that are laced with fentanyl and methamphetamine. Merilee Fowler, executive director of MATFORCE, a coalition in Yavapai County fighting drug abuse, talked about the dangerous trend.
“Our streets right now are being flooded with counterfeit pills,” Fowler said. Fowler added that synthetic counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl are replacing the use of heroin. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin, she mentioned. “People can take a smaller quantity and get that same high as heroin.”
The DEA came out with a study that said that 42% of the counterfeit pills have a deadly dose of fentanyl. “We are seeing an alarming rate of young people taking one people and dying,” she said.
Fowler added that internet sites are common places to get drugs like fentanyl. “It can even be delivered to the parent’s house and the parents are not even aware.”
In 2021, there have been nine million pills just in Arizona that have been confiscated. Fowler’s solutions to solve this crisis and keep children safe are to have conversations and for parents to monitor kids’ social media. “We want people to be aware of this problem and what is going on.”
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