NAMPA — The Nampa Police Department is seeing an increase in counterfeit oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.
On three occasions, people unknowingly possessed the counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl, according to the Nampa Police Department. These pills are being distributed illegally as disguised oxycodone 30 pills with similar stamping, color and shape.
“In the process of doing controlled purchases, it was revealed to us that these pills that were supposed to be oxycodone came back as positive for fentanyl,” Detective Cpl. Angel Calderon told the Idaho Press.
As the opioid epidemic continues to take about 130 lives every day, according to an Adams Publishing Group story, powerful synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, are being blamed for more of those overdose deaths than either heroin or prescription painkillers.
Fentanyl is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. A person can overdose on only a few particulates — about the amount of a couple of grains of salt, according to a previous Idaho Press report.
Because of the uptick in people possessing the disguised pills, the Nampa Police Department wants to warn the public about purchasing pills from anywhere other than a pharmacy. The department also cautions people to not consume pills they find and properly dispose of unused pills.
The public will be able to dispose of unused and unwanted prescription pills during Nampa Police’s drug take-back from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Walmart at 5875 E. Franklin Road in Nampa.