OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Officials with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says overdoses linked to fake prescription pills are on the rise across the state.
In early May, OBN started an investigation into two deaths linked to overdoses. Officials say the two victims died in central Oklahoma after buying counterfeit Oxycodone pills. Instead, the pills tested positive for fentanyl.
So far, agency officials say at least six overdoses and four deaths can be attributed to the fake pills.
“Fentanyl is a powerful and cheap drug that can be 100 to 1000 times more potent than morphine or heroin. It is sold on the black market and used by drug organizations as a filler in heroin or pressed into pills that resemble legitimate U.S. pharmaceuticals,” said Mark Woodward, OBN spokesman.
Woodward says the overdoses have occurred in communities in south central, southern, and southwestern Oklahoma since May.
“Most of the pills were blue in color and stamped to look like 30 milligram Oxycodone. Side-by-side, it would be hard for anyone to tell the difference. We are concerned there are more of these pills circulating the streets and we could see additional overdose victims,” said Woodward.
Officials with OBN say they are working with the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad to aggressively pursue and prosecute those who are responsible for the counterfeit pills.
So far, three people have been arrested and several hundred fake Oxycodone pills have been seized.
However, officials say they believe there are additional people involved in the distribution of the pills. If you have any information on the operation, call the agency at 1-800-522-8031.