(U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah via AP, File)
OHIO — The Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center (ONIC) released a public safety bulletin Friday warning Ohioans that counterfeit prescription tablets are being sold in Ohio.
The prescription tablets look like alprazolam (Xanax) and oxycodone (Oxycontin), according to the bulletin. The counterfeits contain fentanyl, a powerful drug that can kill, and other contents that could cause death.
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The number and letter markings, colors, and scoring lines on the fake pills look identical to the real/legitimate pills. It is nearly impossible to tell the difference with the naked eye, ONIC said.
Authorities with Columbus Division of Police Crime Lab, Lake County Crime Lab, Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Drug Chemistry Unit, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol Crime Lab have all reported to ONIC an increase in the submission and sophistication of counterfeit pills containing deadly substances over the past year.
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“Because of the potential lethality of these counterfeit pills, the ONIC issued this bulletin to raise awareness about the dangers of the drugs,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “ONIC analysts have found that traffickers are using the ‘dark web’ hidden websites and person-to-person sales to sell these counterfeit pills.”
ONIC is reminding people it is never safe to take a tablet or any prescription medication that is not from a licensed healthcare provider. Fake tablets are not being given out by licensed healthcare providers.
Signs that tablets could be fake, according to ONIC:
The following symptoms could be a sign that you or someone you know has taken a high dose of fentanyl or another opioid:
Anyone who believes they are in immediate danger from ingesting a counterfeit pill is urged to call 911 immediately.
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