Counterfeit drugs, overdoses on the rise, TN officials warn

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Monday, multiple agencies issued an alert following an increase in counterfeit pills contributing to an “epidemic” among Tennesseans.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the state Department of Health, and other organizations held a press conference noting a growing concern about “fake pills” that are created at many times overseas.

These pills are meant to look like prescription pills but contain other substances like fentanyl, a drug contributing to many overdoses within the state.

Officials compared images of real oxycodone and Xanax pills to fake drugs, showing the difficulty one may have in finding the difference.

TBI said half of the oxycodone pills the agency has submitted as evidence do not contain oxycodone, but instead, fentanyl.

“If you’re buying pills on the street in our state, you’re gambling with your life,” TBI Director, David Rausch warned the public.

The public was pleaded by officials to reach out for help in treating drug addiction, specifically for prescription pills. If you or someone you know needs substance abuse treatment, you can call or text the Tennessee Redline at 1-800-889-9789.   

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