According to the Yakima Herald, police in Washington warned residents to be on the lookout for a counterfeit batch Xanax being sold on the streets. Although authorities do not think anyone died from taking any of these pills, this is not the first time that counterfeit drugs have showed up on their city streets. The Yakima Herald also reported on a spate of overdoses linked to fake pills laced with fentanyl in 2016.
As the number of overdoses in town shot up – including two or three on just one Sunday – from taking the counterfeit pills, the police felt it was important to issue a public warning: purchasing Xanax on the street is not only illegal, but it can also be deadly. Yakima police chief Jeff Schneider stated: “We don’t know what it’s laced with at this point — it could be any number of things. But it’s not Xanax, at least not only Xanax.” To make matters worse, Schneider warned, the pills looks exactly like real Xanax and because the pills don’t look different, people don’t question what is really in them.
Astria Regional Medical Center and Astria Heart Institute Director of Pharmacy Keith Prouse stressed the risk of buying pills from anywhere other than a state-licensed pharmacy. “Counterfeit drugs are often times very difficult to identify from their true prescription counterparts, making consumers believe they are getting a great deal. This is illegal and very dangerous,” Prouse said. Schneider made this suggestion to anyone who may have purchased any of the current bad Xanax batch: “If you have it, for whatever reason, throw it away.”