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Counterfeit Fentanyl Pills on the Rise: Over 115 Million Seized in 2023

A new study reveals a dramatic increase in counterfeit fentanyl pills, with law enforcement seizing more than 115 million pills in the past year, posing a significant public health risk.
Pills laced with fentanyl
Posted at 8:07 AM, Jul 08, 2024

A recent study highlights a concerning rise in the circulation of counterfeit fentanyl pills across the United States. In 2023 alone, law enforcement agencies seized over 115 million counterfeit pills—a staggering 2,300-fold increase since 2017.

These counterfeit pills are often made to resemble prescription medications but contain deadly doses of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid. Experts warn that even a single pill can be fatal. The majority of these seizures occurred in the Western U.S., emphasizing the widespread nature of this crisis.

The study underscores the urgent need for increased public awareness and caution. Health officials are urging individuals to be vigilant and to recognize the signs of an overdose.

LOUISIANA'S OPIOID CRISIS

Recent data from the CDC shows that Louisiana has experienced a significant rise in drug overdose deaths. The number of deaths has surged from nearly 800 in 2015 to more than 2,300 in 2023. This alarming trend is expected to continue into 2024, highlighting the ongoing opioid crisis in the state.

RESPONSE EFFORTS

In response to this growing crisis, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released an "Overdose Prevention and Response Kit." This kit includes essential information on how to recognize the signs of an overdose, administer naloxone (commonly known as Narcan), and provide emergency care. These guidelines are vital for anyone who may encounter an overdose situation.

For more information and to access the Overdose Prevention and Response Kit, visit the SAMHSA website.

SEEKING HELP

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is help available. The National Helpline, a free and confidential service, offers support for individuals facing mental health and substance use disorders. The helpline provides information on treatment options and referral services across the country. The number to call is 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357).