Counterfeit fentanyl pills are bought on social media

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – As law enforcement officers work hard to get drugs off the streets, many of the narcotics they find are mixed with fentanyl. But people aren’t just buying drugs in person anymore.

According to the executive director of the Safe Medicines Partnership, Shabbir Safdar, young people are taking to social media to order pills.

“Drug use among young people is declining, while the number of deaths continues to rise and this is a sign that counterfeit drugs circulating are increasingly deadly,” Safdar said.

Safdar said counterfeit pills from unauthorized pharmacies are made to look like Adderall, Xanax or prescription painkillers.

“They sold a lot of these pills that didn’t kill people, but you know, it’s Russian roulette with these things. even a few extra fentanyl grains in one of these pills is enough to be lethal,” Safdar said.

And it is difficult to track down resellers online.

“It’s a lot of work to have a good prevention program and a lot of money and resources that they should be spending and there are a lot of ways to hide in social media, right? There are many ways to hide one’s identity and drug dealers are pretty good at that sort of thing. They are professional criminals in many cases. That’s why they were able to flourish there.

Safdar said he talks to his teens about the risks of buying pills over the internet and warns everyone that the only way to be safe with prescriptions is to get them from a licensed pharmacy.

“The problem is unfortunately so serious, is that any pill that does not come from a licensed US pharmacy will be fake,” Safdar said.

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