DEA issues a rare public warning about counterfeit pills

On September 27, 2021, the DEA issued a warning to the public about "unprecedented quantities" of counterfeit pills being seized by law enforcement across the U.S. Testing has found that the fake pharmaceutical pills actually contain fentanyl and methamphetamine. Watch our weekly video below and read the transcript below to learn more about the changes we've seen over the last six years.

Over 9 and a half million counterfeit prescription pills have been seized by law enforcement so far this year. 

That’s more than what was seized in the previous two years combined. These “unprecedented quantities” of counterfeit pills made with fentanyl and methamphetamine led the DEA to issue its first public warning since 2015.

The news about fake pills made with meth is a problem PSM has been tracking. We’ve seen evidence they’ve been found in over a dozen states so far.

Even more scary, the number of fake pills that contain a lethal dose of fentanyl has increased from 27 to 40 percent.

In an interview with the Washington Post, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said “We are in the midst, in my view, of an overdose crisis, and the counterfeit pills are driving so much of it.”

Milgram also called out social media platforms, such as Snapchat and TikTok, to do more to protect their users from drug dealers. She said, “Social media is not doing enough to deal with this.”

Recently, a group of parents whose children were killed by drug dealers on Snapchat said the same thing, demanding increased transparency and external accountability for the platform.

Now is the time to have a conversation with your family and friends. Use the DEA’s One Pill Can Kill campaign information as a starting point.

And for educators: visit this link to find examples of what other schools have used that you can copy to educate students in your own school.