According to Fox 17 News Nashville, a Tennessee mother is speaking out about the dangers of counterfeit drugs after losing her 20-year-old son to a fake Xanax that contained fentanyl. Rachel Blado of Antioch lost her son Josh after he took just a single counterfeit pill bought off the internet and now wants to ensure that everyone knows about the dangers of counterfeit medicines.
Josh worked full-time while also being a part-time student. He had a love for photography, TED Talks, buying stocks, and was learning about real estate. For someone with such a strong drive in life, Rachel does not know why Josh wanted to try Xanax, but he did. Josh made what turned out to be a fatal mistake when he went onto the defunct web market AlphaBay and purchased some pills. After he was found dead, three of Josh’s friends volunteered to speak with the police and all admitted to having purchased Xanax online, something they never thought in a million years could kill them.
Deadly fentanyl pills are not just being sold online. According to WREG Memphis, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) stated that counterfeit opioids are responsible for the increase in drug overdoses in the state. TBI Spokesman Michael Jones said, “Literally any pill that is a drug of choice on the street, there is the counterfeiting making mechanism to produce pills that resemble people’s drug choice.” While the pills might look like regular pills, many counterfeit drugs contain fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin.
While TBI is working hard to close pill mills, Rachel is using Josh’s story as a cautionary tale to others. She said Josh, “was just someone who pushed himself all the time and unfortunately he miscalculated. He thought what was he getting was exactly what he ordered but what should have never killed him at all. The last thing I tell them is ‘one pill can kill.’”