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Counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl being bought on social media

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 4:34 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - While law enforcement officers work hard to get drugs off the streets, many of the narcotics they’re finding are mixed with fentanyl. But people aren’t just buying drugs in person anymore.

According to the Executive Director of Partnership for Safe Medicines Shabbir Safdar, young people are turning to social media to order pills.

“Youth drug use is going down, whereas the fatalities are still rising and that is a sign of how the counterfeit medicines that are floating around are more and more deadly,” said Safdar.

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

“They have sold lots of these pills that have not killed people, but you know, it is Russian roulette with these things. even a few extra grains of fentanyl in one of these pills is enough to be fitting fatal,” Safdar said.

And it’s hard to track down the dealers online.

“It’s a lot of work to have a good prevention program and a lot of money and resources they would have to expend and there’s a lot of ways to hide in social media, right? There’s a lot of ways to hide your identity and drug traffickers are pretty good at that sort of thing. They’re professional criminals in many cases. So that’s why they’ve been able to flourish there.”

Safdar said he talks to his teenagers about the risks of buying pills on the internet and warns everyone that the only way to be safe with prescriptions is to get them from an authorized pharmacy.

“The problem unfortunately is so bad is that any pill that didn’t come from a licensed us pharmacy is going to be fake,” Safdar said.

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