The Police in eastern Idaho are warning residents that counterfeit pain pills laced with a dangerous synthetic opioid have been found in the region. According to news report , the Pocatello Police Department said a bag of about 3,000 pills that contained fentanyl — but that were disguised to look like less-potent oxycodone — were found at a local trailhead . Investigators fear the pills could cause lethal overdoses.
“These pills are extremely dangerous and essentially impossible to discern as being fake or legitimate by appearance alone,” said Pocatello Police Capt. Bill Collins. “We have seen lots of overdoses in our area because of fentanyl, which we have found laced with methamphetamine, heroin and other pills. We don’t want anyone touching them and we certainly don’t want anyone to ingest them.”
Collins said the Pacific Northwest region has been “inundated” with similar pills in recent months “but we haven’t seen them left out in the open in this quantity before.”
The 3,000 or so pills — with a street value Collins said is somewhere around $60,000 — are colored and marked to resemble Oxycodone 30mg, a commonly prescribed medication for chronic or severe pain. Fentanyl is a controlled substance about 100 times more potent than morphine that is usually used to treat patients with chronic or severe pain after a surgery.
Some drug dealers are mixing fentanyl with other drugs. This is because it takes very little to produce a high with fentanyl, making it a cheaper option. This is especially risky when people taking drugs don’t realize they might contain fentanyl as a cheap but dangerous additive. They might be taking stronger opioids than their bodies are used to and can be more likely to overdose.