EL DORADO, Ark. (KNOE) – Authorities say there has been a significant increase in overdoses in the Union County area in recent months.
According to the El Dorado Police Department, several of these overdoses were due to prescription drugs containing fentanyl, a very dangerous combination.
As an added danger, police say it is difficult to tell these counterfeit pills from the real ones.
“These pills are illegally manufactured to look like normal prescription drugs that would be bought at a drugstore, but are in fact counterfeit pills mixed with the lethal controlled substance Fentanyl. With the naked eye, it would be almost impossible for a normal citizen to determine whether the pills are “real” or “fake”. Several different versions of these pills have been seized by law enforcement, including the pills Xanax, Oxycodone, and Hydrocodone.
Police say street drugs containing fentanyl are a nationwide problem. They strongly advise against taking medications that have not been prescribed by a doctor and collected from a pharmacy.
The Centers for Disease Control website states, “Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid approved for the treatment of severe pain, usually advanced cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is prescribed as a transdermal patch or lozenge and may be diverted for abuse and misuse in the United States.
“However, the most recent cases of fentanyl-related damage, overdose and death in the United States have been linked to illegally manufactured fentanyl. It is sold in illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often mixed with heroin and / or cocaine as a combination product – with or without the user’s knowledge – to increase its euphoric effects.
Learn more: fentanyl data
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