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Nationwide increase in fentanyl, meth-laced pills

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Officials across the country say there’s a significant amount of people buying fake pills laced with deadly amounts of fentanyl.

Out of the 9.6 million fake pills the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has collected so far this year, one official I spoke with says nearly 2 million of those pills were collected over the past two months.

“In 2020, there was approximately 93,000 fatal drug overdoses in the United States, which was attributed to fentanyl,” said Resident Agent In Charge Todd Phillips with the DEA.

With more and more people across the nation buying illegal, counterfeit pills from people off the street, the DEA has launched its One Pill Can Kill campaign.

“The pill that you’re buying off the street, there’s a very high likelihood that it is not that pure oxycodone that you may be used to,” said Phillips.

Instead, officials say many of the pills are actually laced with deadly amounts of fentanyl or meth. As for how someone is able to mix the two opioids up, take a look at the images of the pills below.

Nationwide increase in fentanyl, meth-laced pills
Nationwide increase in fentanyl, meth-laced pills(Source: DEA)

Officials say drug dealers are buying pill pressers online and putting the same stamp on the counterfeit pills on the bottom to make them look real.

Columbus resident John Burdeshaw is a seven-year recovery addict. He says he’s well aware of how big this issue is in the Fountain City.

“I have lost a lot of friends to addiction and OD’ing recently,” said Burdeshaw. It’s just all the time here in Columbus. It’s definitely a huge issue here in Columbus, Georgia.”

Burdeshaw is now a recovery coach through Connections on 14th Avenue where he helps those in recovery get jobs and hosts meetings. Burdeshaw says people are also able to visit the location to receive Narcan, a nasal spray used to treat drug overdoses, for free.

As the entire community and nation struggles with this issue, Burdeshaw says he wants those in recovery to know they have plenty of resources.

Anyone in Columbus trying to safely dispose of their prescriptions can do so at the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office.

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