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Perils of Counterfeit Prescription Pills
Prescription drug abuse in the United States has grown into a behemoth with people of all ages
rampantly abusing opioids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths
involving opioid overdose have quadrupled since 1999 in the U.S. More than 183,000 people
succumbed to prescription opioid overdose during 1999-2015.
The opioid abuse has led to drastic increase in the sales of prescription drugs, as well as fake
prescription pills. Medications like methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone are quite
popular among users, so their fake versions seem to have taken over the illegal drug market.
The counterfeit medicines may look exactly like the prescription medications, but contain harmful
constituents capable of inflicting irreparable damage to the user. They may prove to be more fatal
than the bona fide drugs.
People falling prey to counterfeit prescription medicines
As many as 40 people in
overdosed (nine of them
succumbed to it) in 2016
after taking pain reliever
Such incidents were not
confined to just one
place. News of people
medicines in different
states are regularly
splashed in media.
Reports claim that the
pills were bought from
the street and they
resembled the actual
Norco drugs and carried the same markings. These drugs often contain high levels of fentanyl, a
powerful opioid pain reliever which is 50 times stronger than heroin.
Looking at the grim situation arising out of the use of fake medicines, major regulatory bodies have
devised stringent laws to rein in the rogues. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), CDC
and other enforcement agencies have issued safety alerts to warn people about dangers of drugs like
fentanyl and of counterfeit pills containing it.
Even psychiatric medicines are heavily duplicated with Xanax, Ativan, Adderall or Ambien topping the
chart. The counterfeit psychiatric drugs can be more harmful and can exacerbate symptoms further.
The marketplace for counterfeit medicines is exploding and despite stringent measures, those
involved in producing these drugs keep coming up with innovative methods to wriggle out of the legal
system. They have managed to stay one step ahead of agencies.
Poison in name of prescription painkillers
When people consume medicines bought from the street or borrow them from friends, there is no
way to determine the composition of these drugs. Either they may have a higher amount of the
constituents (to the extent of becoming fatal) or something completely different. People who
consume these medications without a prescription (which is the sole reason why they are not buying
them from a chemist) stand at risk of harming themselves gravely.
Whatever may be the reason, be it for satiating their cravings or numbing a pain on one’s own, taking
counterfeit medicines bought from illegal sources is a malpractice which can bring insurmountable
problems for the user. Even during treatment, the doctors would not be able to decide about the line
of treatment because of being unaware of the composition of the medicines. This creates a problem
in saving a person who has overdosed. So, one should stay away from such counterfeit medicines and
Dealing with drug abuse
It takes nerves of steel and determination to break free from the shackles of addiction. An addiction
alters the structure and functioning of brain that can make a person inept in taking any decision to
manage the adverse effects of drugs. Hence, the onus is on near and dear ones to initiate the process
of seeking treatment.
If you have a loved one who is abusing a drug and you are scouting for drug abuse helpline in the USA,
contact the 24/7 Drug Addiction Help. Call at our helpline number 866-403-5607 for a prompt
response regarding the best help for drug abuse.
For more information, please visit