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Carter, DEA Raise Alarm About Deadly Counterfeit Pills

U.S. Representative Earl L. "Buddy" Carter is urging Georgians to heed a recently issued Public Safety Alert by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) warning about an increase in counterfeit prescriptions in pills containing fentanyl and meth.

“We have an epidemic on our hands,” said Carter. “These deadly fake pills are increasingly easy to purchase and widely available online. They’re showing up in the hands of children and are often kept secret from loved ones until it’s too late. If we’re going to combat this, we’ve all got to come together to make sure everyone understands the danger we face.”

The alert issued by the DEA warns Americans of an, “alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine.” The agency points to both international and domestic drug ring mass-producing the fake pills before falsely marketing them online as legitimate. The alert does not apply to legitimate pharmaceutical medications prescribed by medical professionals and dispensed by licensed pharmacists.

The agency has seized more than 9.5 million counterfeit pills so far this year, putting it on track to seize more in 2021 than the previous three years combined.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last year more than 93,000 people died of overdoses in the United States, marking the largest number of drug-related deaths ever recorded in a year. Fentanyl, the synthetic opioid most commonly found in counterfeit pills, is the primary driver of this alarming increase in overdose deaths.