Four overdoses from fake prescription pills in county prompts health warning

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Contra Costa County residents warned about counterfeit pills following overdoses

After four reports since March of patients overdosing on counterfeit prescription pills laced with Fentanyl that are purchased on the street, Contra Costa County health officials published a health advisory Wednesday.

While none of those overdoses resulted in death, there have been reports of over a dozen deaths from similar cases in other Northern California counties, according to Contra Costa Health Services.  Fentanyl is an extremely powerful drug — more powerful than heroin — that cannot be safely used except in very small amounts.

The drug is often sold in the pill form as fake Oxys, Xanax, Norco or other club drugs, heath officials said. It is also sold in powder form as heroin, fent or mixed with drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine.

“We know that in other jurisdictions, the pills have looked identical or very similar to those administered by pharmacies, such as Xanax or Norco,” Dr. David Goldstein, medical director of Contra Costa Emergency Medical Services, said in a statement.

Anyone who believes they are in possession of counterfeit prescription drugs should call the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s tip line at (530) 722-7577.

Bay City News contributed to this report

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