Fake Pills Kill: South Dakota DSS warns of increasing danger of fentanyl

According to the South Dakota Department of Health, 29 fentanyl-related deaths were reported in...
According to the South Dakota Department of Health, 29 fentanyl-related deaths were reported in 2021. This accounts for 28% of all drug-related deaths for the year.(NONE)
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:15 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Buying drugs online through social media platforms is growing in popularity—a trend that is contributing to “unprecedented” quantities of counterfeit pills containing deadly amounts of fentanyl being seized in South Dakota and across the country.

Drug dealers targeting kids through social media often use code words and emojis to market and sell the illicit and deadly drugs. These code words and emojis are meant to avoid detection by law enforcement.

According to the South Dakota Department of Health, 29 fentanyl-related deaths were reported in 2021. This accounts for 28% of all drug-related deaths for the year.

There are two types of fentanyl: pharmaceutical fentanyl and illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF). Pharmaceutical fentanyl is prescribed by doctors to treat severe pain or advanced-stage cancer. IMF, known for its heroin-like effect, is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous. A dose of IMF small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil is considered a lethal dose.

South Dakota Department of Health
What to look for

•IMF can be found in liquid form in nasal sprays, eye drops, or dropped onto paper to look like small candies.

•Powdered IMF is commonly mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine, and is also pressed into counterfeit pills and made to look like real prescription opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin).

What to do

If you come across anything that looks suspicious, do not touch it and contact law enforcement immediately. Never take a pill that was not prescribed directly to you, never take a pill from a friend, and never take a pill bought on social media.

South Dakotans can learn important information about opioid misuse and find help for those struggling with addiction by visiting avoidopiodsd.com.