Authorities have seized over 20 million fake opioid pills containing fentanyl so far this year, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
These pills are largely disguised as medications but really contain fentanyl manufactured by Mexican cartels, according the Wall Street Journal. Many of these pills are also mass-produced by Mexican drug cartels using the manufactured fentanyl.
Fentanyl is turning up in more illicit pills, with deadly consequences: “It robs you of any chance to get red flags.” https://t.co/BvqMws0D3C
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 17, 2021
“The supply of these pills is going up exponentially,” Joseph Palamar, an associate professor and drug epidemiologist at New York University Langone Health, told the WSJ. “They are easy to transport and difficult to track. Pills are the ultimate fake out. You can fake out your parents, your friends, your partner, law enforcement.”
The pills can show up in many different forms, including other types of opioids besides oxycodone, the Wall Street Journal reported.
More than 570 new cases related to these pills have been opened by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) the agency announced Thursday, according to the outlet.
Many people taking the pills don’t realize they are either taking fentanyl or that they are consuming such high amounts of the potent drug, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Now, if you’re a casual consumer, partying on the weekends, it can be the case that someone hands out pills – you overdose and die,” Rand Corp. Researcher Bryce Pardo said, reported the Journal. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Local DEA Chief Says A ‘Counterfeit Pill Epidemic’ Is To Blame For Record High Overdose Deaths)
Border officials seized almost 2,400 more pounds of fentanyl between January and April of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. Just two milligrams of the toxic drug is considered to be a lethal dose.