Counterfeit medicine being sold online

October 29, 2021

Criminal drug networks are flooding the US with deadly fake pills. These networks are mass-producing fake pills and falsely marketing them as legitimate prescription pills to deceive the public.

Counterfeit pills are easy to purchase and widely available, according to the US Department of Justice-Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The fake “medicines” often contain fentanyl or methamphetamine and can be deadly. DEA and law enforcement partners are seizing these deadly counterfeit pills at record rates.

The pills are often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms, which make them available to anyone with a smartphone. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable. Many counterfeit pills are made to look like prescription opioids pills such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), alprazolam (Xanax); or stimulants such as amphetamines (Adderall, etc.)

Counterfeit pills such as these have been identified in all 50 states, and officials report a dramatic rise in the number of counterfeit pills containing at least 2 mg. of fentanyl, which is considered a deadly dose. DEA lab testing reveals that two out of every five pills with fentanyl contain a possible lethal dose.

The DEA warns that pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous, and potentially lethal. These “medications” are often hard to distinguish from their legal counterparts, thus making them even more of a danger. Street names abound for these drugs. For example, the street names for oxycodone are: 30s; 40s; 512s; Beans; Blues; Buttons; Cotton; Greens; Hillbilly Heroin; Kickers; Killers; OC; Oxy; Oxy 80s; Roxy; Roxy Shorts; Whites.

The only safe medications are those that come from licensed and accredited medical professionals. For more information about counterfeit pills, go to