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DEA warns ‘one pill can kill’

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:35 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Drug Enforcement Agency routinely confiscates a lot of drugs that come across the border. With that, they have discovered another pandemic problem. The number of counterfeit pills has increased dramatically, up 400% in the last year.

Also, when those fake pills are analyzed, they are finding a high concentration of Fentanyl, so high that the DEA and other experts want people to know that “One Pill Can Kill.” 

Dr. Charles Seifert, Pharm.D., is the Dean of the School of Pharmacy at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He is also a toxicology expert. This is how he explains the escalating problem of fentanyl in fake pills. 

“The way a lot of people abuse drugs is by crushing the tablets and snorting it. So what they do with these pills is they crush them,” he said. “Because they have so much fentanyl in there, they cut them down with other inert substances like lactose and other things, and then inhale it. But if you’re unaware that it’s in there, bang, you take it. You’re gone. It’s bad.”     

You may remember it was back in May that U.T. linebacker Jake Ehlinger was found dead off campus. An ESPN report confirmed with the family that Jake took a counterfeit Xanax pill that was laced with fentanyl and it killed him.      

When Fentanyl is used in a hospital setting, the dosage is carefully measured and it is safe. But Dr. Seifert says if someone buys a pain killer or any drug in Mexico or from an online pharmacy outside the U.S., it’s hard to know for sure what’s in it. That’s why the DEA slogan carries such a powerful warning, One Pill Can Kill.

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