WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The changing landscape of substance abuse is being mapped out to families in Westfield.
Westfield Police and the Hampden DA among the educators at Westfield Technical Academy, saying these pills are easily accessible and that “one pill can kill.”
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, fake pills are easy to purchase, widely available, often contain fentanyl or methamphetamine, and can be deadly.
Many fake pills are made to look like prescription opioids such as oxycodone or stimulants like amphetamines. They are often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms, making them available to anyone with a smartphone, including minors.
Kristine Hupfer, a Substance Abuse Counselor at Westfield Technical Academy, told 22News, “There is an uptick in fentanyl in these counterfeit pills, and I want parents and caregivers to know that children are more at risk than ever.”
According to the CDC, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S.
DEA lab testing reveals that six out of every ten fake pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose. If you suspect someone is overdosing, you should call 911 immediately.
Law enforcement stress that any pill purchased on social media is not safe. 22News has a list of more helpful tips from the DEA on their website.