Potentially deadly drug fentanyl being disguised as other pills, medical examiner warns

Potentially deadly drug fentanyl being disguised as other pills, medical examiner warns
Fake pills (Source: Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner issued a public health warning after fentanyl was detected in pills disguised to appear as oxycodone.

“This is a cause for major concern," says Dr. Thomas Gilson.

Oxycodone is a powerful opioid used to treat severe pain, but fentanyl can lead to serious consequences, including death.

"Fentanyl is a far more toxic drug than oxycodone and may have deadly consequences for the person who unwittingly uses it,” Dr. Gilson added.

Common brand names that contain oxycodone include OxyContin, Roxicodone and Percocet.

The Ohio Department of Health says 4,854 overdose deaths were reported in 2017. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl were serious contributors to the dramatic increase in fatalities.

The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County provides a 24-hour crisis hotline at 216-623-6888.

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