Fentanyl-Related Deaths Prompts Fake Pill Warning in Santa Clara County - NBC Bay Area
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Fentanyl-Related Deaths Prompts Fake Pill Warning in Santa Clara County

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    Fentanyl-Related Deaths Prompts Counterfeit Pill Warning

    The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is warning residents of an uptick in deadly fentanyl overdoses. Ian Cull reports.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 13, 2019)

    The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is warning residents of an uptick in deadly fentanyl overdoses.

    Nine people have died in Santa Clara County so far this year after ingesting a pill they thought was a painkiller or anxiety drug, but its main ingredient was fentanyl. Four people died in August. Most of the victims were under 25 years old.

    Investigators said a 15-year-old Campbell girl died after taking only half a pill of she thought was oxycodone, but it contained fentanyl.

    The counterfeit drugs are circulating on South Bay streets. Prosecutors say these pills are sold on the street and resemble hydrocodone, Xanax, and oxycodone.

    "It's getting worse in that it's killing a lot of people," Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Brian Buckelew said.

    Fentanyl is a drug officials said is 50 times more powerful than heroin -- just two milligrams can kill a person.

    "A group of young people, who are experimenting with drinking alcohol, maybe taking a Xanax," Buckelew said. "These oxycodones are part of that social scene, so we have these young people who are just experimenting and they're dying."

    Law enforcement around the county are finding more of these fake pills in recent drug busts.

    Just this week, 350 pills seized tested positive for fentanyl. The most common fentanyl-containing pill is blue with "M" on one side and "30" on the other.

    The pills are not just from one dealer or area.

    "Anybody, if you buy drugs on the streets you do not know what's going to happen to you. You do not know if you're going to live or die. That's not overstating things. We're seeing too many people die from taking this stuff."

    The DA's Office sent a warning to all school districts and police departments.

    High school parents like Michael Salas says he'll alert his kids right away.

    "It’s concerning in a sense that it's not that far from being one step closer to them," Salas said. "It's more of a reality than something they see out on the street or in a movie"

    The DA's Office is working to find out who is supplying the pills. They say if your doctor didn't prescribe it, don't take it.

    them," Salas said. "It's more of a reality than something they see out on the street or in a movie"

    The DA's Office said four people died in August alone. They are working to find out who is supplying the pills. The problem is, it's in so many places.

    The DA's Office warns, if your doctor didn't prescribe it, don't take it.

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