Whitesburg KY

Fake pills are causing OD’s; some are fatal

Officals issue warning

The Kentucky River District Health Department is warning that a pill being sold on the street is causing overdoses and overdose deaths.

According to an advisory put out by the department, “there has been an uptick in overdose activity and overdose deaths (suspected) around the region.”

The department advisory said the pills are small, round and blue and imprinted with “M 30.” The description indicates that the pills are counterfeit oxycodone hydrochloride, 30 mg, an opioid painkiller, however police say the pills are not what they appear to be.

“We have some of those pills in our possession in our evidence locker, and it was from a case in 2019 that were sent to the lab,” Letcher County Sheriff Mickey Stines said. “The lab report came back as fentanyl.”

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, 75 to 150 times stronger than oxycodone, and can migrate through the skin and directly into the blood stream.

Stines said the pills his department has were brought in by a user who said he had purchased them from a dealer, and took one, and it nearly killed him. Stines said he agreed to collect the pills and have them tested if the man would tell them where he got them. He said some aspects of the story didn’t check out, and before deputies could interview him again, federal authorities arrested the man.

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