Multiple California Counties Warn Parents About Deadly Fake Pills After the Deaths of Two Teens in Santa Clara County

Source: Santa Clara Department of Public Health

On September 30th, the Public Health Department of Santa Clara County, California updated a public health warning they had issued September 10th about deadly counterfeit 30mg oxycodone pills. The initial warning described “tablets visually appear to be the pharmaceutically manufactured version—they are circular in shape, light blue to light green in color, and have an ‘M’ inside a square stamped on one side and a ‘30’ stamped on the other side. Numerous fatal overdoses have been tied to these tablets, with a strong uptick in fatal overdoses in August 2019.” 

According to CBS SF Bay Area, the updated warning, which was aimed directly at the parents of school children, was prompted by the deaths of a 15-year-old girl from Campbell who died after taking only half of a counterfeit oxycodone pill and a16-year-old boy elsewhere in the county. CBS points to the fact that “the death toll from January through August of this year due to fake opioid pills containing fentanyl now stands at 11.”

The Monterey Herald reports that Monterey County officials warned about counterfeit Percocet and oxycodone made with fentanyl in late September. The warning came after the overdose of a CSU Monterey Bay student who took one of the fake pills on September 14th. CSUMB police officers responded at the scene and were able to revive the student with naloxone. 

Both UC Santa Cruz and the Milpitas Unified School District have also issued warnings to students as the result of these fentanyl deaths and poisonings. 

Dr. Sara Cody, head of the Santa Clara County Health Department, had an urgent warning to the youth of the county via CBS: “There are fake pills in circulation in our county,” said Cody. “Don’t take a pill unless you or your parent got it directly from a pharmacy. Don’t take a pill that a friend has given you. Don’t take a pill that you buy on the street, because you have no idea what’s in it. And it could be deadly.”