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  • October 2023 Dangers of Fake Prescription Pills Newsletter


Introducing Our New Fake Pills:
Fentanyl Kills™ 3-D Display

Substance abuse and drug overdose are major, ongoing public health threats in the United States. According to most recent estimates, almost 111,000 overdose deaths occurred in the 12-month period ending in March of 2023. The majority of these deaths are the result of illicitly produced fentanyl and methamphetamine, which often have been combined with other dangerous drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin. Every day, more than 150 people in the United States die from drug overdoses related to synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, making fentanyl overdose a leading cause of death among adults ages 18–45.

Read on to learn more about fentanyl and our new Fake Pills: Fentanyl Kills 3-D Display, the latest addition to our innovative and effective line of drug education products, activities, and displays that raise awareness about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Deadly Deception of Fake Prescription Pills

Many people may assume that they can safely take or experiment with prescription medications—such as opioid painkillers (including OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin), the depressant Xanax, or the stimulant Adderall—because they are medications prescribed by healthcare professionals. The reality is that it is never safe to take medications prescribed for someone else, and, unless, you obtain prescription pills from a licensed pharmacy, you can’t be certain whether those are authentic prescription medications or what substances those pills actually contain.

Today, fake pills marketed as real prescription medications are widely available and easy to buy. Drug traffickers use emoji codes to advertise and sell fake pills on social media. Anyone, including unsuspecting young people or anyone else with a smartphone, can make a quick and easy purchase.

Fake pills can look exactly like real prescription medications. However, illicitly made fentanyl is often added to fake pills to provide cheaper, stronger, and more addictive heroinlike effects. More than half of all fake pills seized by law enforcement in the United States contain a potentially deadly dose of fentanyl. Other dangerous substances can also be found in fake prescription pills, such as methamphetamine and xylazine (tranq), an animal tranquilizer. The combination of xylazine and fentanyl can be highly lethal. Xylazine is not an opioid drug. Although the drug naloxone should always be administered when overdose is suspected to counteract the effects of possible opioid overdose, naloxone cannot reverse the life-threatening effects xylazine.

Raising Awareness With Our Fake Pills: Fentanyl Kills 3-D Display

Our new Fake Pills: Fentanyl Kills 3-D Display is an attention-grabbing display for drug education that raises awareness about the dangers of counterfeit (fake) prescription pills.

The framed, 3-D display (10" x 13¼" x 7") features realistic, sculpted models of five commonly abused prescription pills secured behind plexiglass, revealing to viewers that they cannot tell the difference between real and fake prescription medications simply by looking at them. Realistic pill models (pill fronts and backs) include facsimiles of the commonly abused attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Adderall and the benzodiazepine Xanax commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders, as well as opioid drugs Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin. The display’s built-in easel back allows it to stand on any tabletop.

An informational, two-sided tent card (8½" x 10") comes with the display and highlights the potential dangers of fake prescription pills, including the risk of deadly fentanyl overdose. It reinforces the message that viewers should only take prescription medications obtained through a licensed pharmacy and prescribed for them by a healthcare professional.

Find More Drug Education Resources to Combat Opioid Abuse

Opioid painkillers are among the most prominent drugs of abuse today, and Health Edco has a full line of teaching tools to combat drug abuse through education and awareness. Discover our Anatomy of an Opioid Abuser 3-D Display, Effects & Hazards of Opioids Folding Display, and other drug education products, activities, and displays that teach the facts about opioids and other substances of abuse.

The information contained in this newsletter is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional.

©2023 Health Edco®