The Drug Enforcement Administration issued its first public safety alert in six years after discovering an uptick in fake prescription pills laced with meth and fentanyl being sold illegally.
Treatment counselors at Addiction Recovery Care Center in Crestview Hills, Ky., said buying illegal pain pills is common. People in pain with expiring prescriptions turn to illegal pills to get their medications.
The public safety alert warns of unprecedented volumes of fake prescription pills laced with meth and fentanyl, killing Americans at high rates.
In the last 30 days, Clermont County has seen as many overdoses as Butler and Hamilton counties put together.
"There has never been a more dangerous time in the history of addiction than right now," said Pat Fogarty, senior vice president of operations for Addiction Recovery Care.
Fogarty oversees more than 30 treatment centers in Kentucky.
"You may be searching for something that matches your prescription, and it looks just like it, but it's counterfeit," Fogarty said. "And it's not a hydrocodone or oxycodone. It is indeed fentanyl or a fentanyl analog, which is far stronger."
Addiction counselors at Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health said fentanyl is taking center stage in too many lives. Police, concerned about fentanyl's growing presence in pills, plan to seize more, while counselors said they want more than just drug busts.
"Well, thank goodness they got that off the street, but what has hit the street?" Fogarty said. "Imagine that."