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TBI warns of dangerous drug disguised as oxycodone
WBIR Staff, WBIR May 14, 2015
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a warning Thursday about a potentially dangerous drug disguised as oxycodone, a commonly abused prescription drug.
The TBI said pills seized during a recent traffic stop in the state looked like 33mg Oxycodone. They were the same size and featured the signature A/215 stamp characteristic of oxycodone, but an analysis showed the pills contained fentanyl, a pain killer 50 times as potent as heroin that can be deadly in high doses.
“This disturbing discovery only compounds the problem of fighting drugs in Tennessee,” said Tommy Farmer, TBI Special Agent-in-Charge and Director of the Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force. “We want those addicted to prescription drugs to get help, not seek pills from illicit sources. It’s just a matter of time until it costs someone their life.”
The TBI has already taken precautionary measures against fentanyl, which can be absorbed through the skin if not handled properly. Last year, TBI agents and forensic scientists were issued auto-injectors containing naloxone, which could help save a person from a fentanyl overdose.
The agency advised people to only use prescription medications they obtain through a licensed pharmacy and avoid purchasing prescription medications online.
“It might look convenient to order medicines from home, but it’s not a safe alternative because you have no assurance of the quality or the actual ingredients,” said Farmer. “Furthermore, our state is ranked 3rd in the country for prescription drug abuse. It’s not just typical drug addicts, either. It cuts across demographics. It’s time for lawmakers to further enhance our state’s laws to address the new ways criminals are trying to take advantage of our state’s residents for the sake of profit.”