Dramatic increase in counterfeit fentanyl pills

Dramatic increase in counterfeit fentanyl pills

A recent study highlights a disturbing increase in the circulation of counterfeit fentanyl pills in the United States. In 2023 alone, law enforcement seized more than 115 million counterfeit pills, a staggering 2,300-fold increase since 2017.

These counterfeit pills often look like prescription drugs but contain lethal doses of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Experts warn that just one pill can be deadly. The majority of these seizures have occurred in the western United States, underscoring the widespread nature of this crisis.

The study highlights the urgent need for greater public awareness and caution. Health authorities are urging citizens to be vigilant and recognize the signs of an overdose.

OPIOID CRISIS IN LOUISIANA

Recent data from the CDC shows that Louisiana has seen a significant increase in drug overdose deaths. The number of deaths has increased from nearly 800 in 2015 to more than 2,300 in 2023. This alarming trend is expected to continue in 2024, highlighting the ongoing opioid crisis in the state.

RESPONSE EFFORTS

In response to this growing crisis, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released an Overdose Prevention and Response Kit. This kit includes essential information on how to recognize the signs of an overdose, administer naloxone (commonly known as Narcan), and provide emergency care. These guidelines are essential for anyone who may be in an overdose situation.

For more information and to access the Overdose Prevention and Response Toolkit, visit the SAMHSA website.

LOOKING FOR HELP

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available. The National Helpline, a free and confidential service, offers support to people struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. The helpline provides information about treatment options and referral services nationwide. The number to call is 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357).