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Fake pain pills causing overdoses in region

Counterfeit pills that some nearby counties are warning their citizens to beware of are apparently not widespread in Letcher County, where methamphetamines are still the main drug of concern.

The Perry County Sheriff ’s Office issued a warning on its Facebook page last Thursday warning of pressed counterfeit drugs known variously as Roxies or Mexican 30s.

The little blue pills have a 30 on one side and the letter M on the other, and look similar to a Percocet or oxycodone pill. Instead, the pills contain a mixture of other drugs, including fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller that produces a euphoric high and can kill even in small doses.

“In the last 48 hours we have encountered at least 6 overdoses according to 911 records,” the notice on the sheriff’s page says. “Deputies discovered several persons who had stopped breathing and were able to initiate life saving measures to bring them back. One family member had also resuscitated a loved one before our arrival who had stopped breathing.”

There have been no similar reports here, police said, though similar pills have been discovered here in the past.

“Last year, we did obtain some pills that did contain fentanyl,” Letcher County Sheriff Mickey Stines said. “The pills were blue tablets that had the number 30 and M on them.”

Several emergency responders and hospital officials said they have seen no real increase in the number of people suffering from overdoses here, though the numbers are usually higher around the first of a month. Stines said opioids are no longer the biggest problem now.

“We rarely see pills,” he said. “It’s all meth.”

Two people reportedly died last week in Perry County as a result of fentanyl overdose from the pills.

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