Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, continues its lethal toll disguised in some situations as legit prescription drugs, public representative warn.

when a Hamden man texted his dealer for 4 30-milligram oxycodone in March, he might not have actually known what the was actually buying.

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the wasn"t until after the 30-year-old man passed away that that was found those pills to be dangerous counterfeits.


one autopsy revealed the victim, not determined by authorities, overdosed on drugs consisting of fentanyl, a an effective synthetic opioid 50 come 100 times stronger than morphine. Oxycodone to be not one of those drugs, records show.


As part of a continued effort to seek suspected certified dealer behind deadly overdoses, the U.S. Attorney"s office is prosecuting the suspected dealer, Agustin Cirino, for marketing these counterfeit pills — among the first cases the its type in Connecticut, public representative said.


Though situations like these aren"t yet usual in Connecticut, the U.S. Drug Enforcement management released a report the counterfeit pills disguising fentanyl, much more powerful and also cheaper to produce, has become another growing hazard in the deadly opioid epidemic.


unique Agent Timothy Desmond through the DEA"s brand-new England department said word of this trend picking up started on the West Coast around a year ago.


"As is typical, it worked its way to the eastern Coast, wherein we have actually a solid opioid epidemic," Desmond said.


~ Hamden police were dubbed to the untimely death the morning of march 9, castle soon uncovered three blue pills marked "M 30," together with a reduced orange straw in the home, a criminal complaint charging Cirino said.


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castle learned the the victim had set up v Cirino to buy 4 oxycodone in ~ a price that $120, matching the usual street value for the usual prescription opioid: roughly $1 a milligram, the documents show. Message messages ongoing until not lengthy after the purchase. The following morning, his mother found him lifeless in his bedroom.


commonwealth investigators built up the three remaining pills native Hamden police. An net search through a task force agent turned up that the markings top top the pills would identify them together oxycodone created by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, but he sent them come a DEA lab because that testing.


Results obtained in April verified the pills were made that fentanyl, acetaminophen and dipryone. The task force agent would write in his report: "The pills did no contain oxycodone."


among those to have actually seen first-hand the lethal affect of fentanyl is Dr. Gail D"Onofrio, cook of emergency medication at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Though reports that these varieties of situations are rare in the brand-new Haven area, D"Onofrio acknowledges fentanyl have the right to be made right into a counterfeit pill, a attention proposition for a drug user.


"Unfortunately, because they room so much much more powerful 보다 oxycodone, the user doesn"t know that and they take them and can overdose," she said.


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D"Onofrio said fentanyl have the right to compound the hazard as lot as "50 to 100 times" over other morphine-like drugs.


Officials and experts have long stated that prescription opioids have proven a powerful gateway come addiction. Exploiting this demand, the DEA says drug traffickers have actually taken to producing counterfeits with stronger, much more dangerous opioids and also making large profits.


critical July, the DEA exit the report on this new lethal trend in medicine trafficking viewed months later in the overdose in Hamden.


"The medicine trafficking organizations will take the powders and press ... And also they will produce them to precisely mimic one oxycodone," Desmond said. "It can be mimicking any type of prescription drug also the color and also the stamp."


D"Onofrio claimed with this tendency "we aren"t even going to watch these people. They room going to take it the pill and also die."


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The report highlighted the agents in the new England office had actually turned up hundreds of these 30-milligram counterfeits indigenous 2014 come 2015. Comparable reports of seizures have cropped increase in Tennessee and brand-new Jersey. In Los Angeles, federal authorities to speak they raided a counterfeit pill operation with presses and also other necessary materials to develop the fakes.


regardless of the DEA"s warning about the pervasiveness of these pills, state police, which teams up v police departments throughout Connecticut through a statewide narcotics task force, has actually yet to have reports the counterfeits, a room spokeswoman said.


this pills, federal authorities contend, can make medicine traffickers a sustainable lot of money for a little investment specifically if they usage fentanyl.


The organizations can buy a kilogram the the medicine from China for as little as number of thousand dollars. For as much as $995, traffickers acquire an oxycodone press and turn the fentanyl into thousands of thousands the pills that would later on sell for totals in the millions of dollars, the DEA outlined in the report.

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provided the demand and the profit potential, the DEA warned that they only saw this problem growing in the "near term."


"Overdoses and deaths indigenous counterfeit medicine containing fentanyls will rise as users continue to inaccurately sheep themselves through imitation medications," the DEA wrote.


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