Fentanyl, an effective synthetic opioid, proceeds its lethal toll disguised in some instances as legitimate prescription drugs, officials warn.

When a Hamden male texted his dealer for four 30-milligram oxycodone in March, he may not have recognized what he was actually buying.

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It wasn"t till after the 30-year-old guy died that it was found those pills were dangerous counterfeits.

An autopsy revealed the victim, not identified by authorities, overdosed on drugs including fentanyl, an effective man-made opioid 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Oxycodone was not one of those drugs, documents present.

As component of a continued initiative to go after suspected dealers behind deadly overdoses, the U.S. Attorney"s office is prosecuting the suspected dealer, Agustin Cirino, for selling these counterfeit pills — among the first situations of its kind in Connecticut, officials shelp.

Though cases favor these aren"t yet common in Connecticut, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration released a report that counterfeit pills disguising fentanyl, even more effective and also cheaper to produce, has actually end up being another prospering danger in the deadly opioid epidemic.

Special Agent Timothy Desmond via the DEA"s New England Division said word of this trend picking up began on the West Coast around a year earlier.

"As is typical, it worked its way to the East Coast, wbelow we have actually a strong opioid epidemic," Desmond sassist.

After Hamden police were dubbed to the untimely death the morning of March 9, they quickly found 3 blue pills marked "M 30," in addition to a cut orange straw in the residence, a criminal complaint charging Cirino shelp.

They learned that the victim had actually set up through Cirino to buy four oxycodone at a price of $120, corresponding the widespread street worth for the widespread prescription opioid: roughly $1 a milligram, the records show. Text messeras continued till not long after the purchase. The following morning, his mommy uncovered him lifemuch less in his bedroom.

Federal investigators accumulated the three staying pills from Hamden police. An internet search by a task force agent turned up that the marmonarchs on the pills would identify them as oxycodone produced by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, yet he sent them to a DEA lab for trial and error.

Results obtained in April proved the pills were made of fentanyl, acetaminophen and dipryone. The job pressure agent would certainly write in his report: "The pills did not contain oxycodone."

Among those to have watched first-hand also the lethal affect of fentanyl is Dr. Gail D"Onofrio, chief of emergency medication at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Though reports of these types of instances are rare in the New Haven area, D"Onofrio acknowledges fentanyl have the right to be made right into a counterfeit pill, a dangerous proplace for a drug user.

"Unfortunately, given that they are so a lot even more powerful than oxycodone, the user does not know that and also they take them and also have the right to overdose," she shelp.

Daily coronavirus updates: 70% of recent COVID-19 instances in Connectireduced are among unvaccinated human being, new state numbers present »

D"Onofrio shelp fentanyl deserve to compound the danger as a lot as "50 to 100 times" over various other morphine-choose drugs.

Officials and experts have long said that prescription opioids have actually prcooktop an effective gatemeans to addiction. Exploiting this demand, the DEA states drug traffickers have actually taken to developing counterfeits through more powerful, even more dangerous opioids and also making astronomical revenues.

Last July, the DEA released the report on this new lethal trend in drug trafficking seen months later on in the overdose in Hamden.

"The drug trafficking institutions will take the powders and also push ... and also they will certainly create them to specifically mimic an oxycodone," Desmond shelp. "It can be mimicking any type of prescription drug also the color and the stamp."

D"Onofrio said with this trfinish "we aren"t also going to see these human being. They are going to take the pill and also die."


The report highlighted that agents in the New England also office had turned up thousands of these 30-milligram counterfeits from 2014 to 2015. Similar reports of seizures have actually cropped up in Tennessee and also New Jersey. In Los Angeles, federal authorities say they raided a counterfeit pill operation via presses and also various other vital products to develop the fakes.

In spite of the DEA"s warning about the prevalence of these pills, state police, which teams up through police departments across Connectireduced with a statewide narcotics job force, has actually yet to have actually reports of counterfeits, a department spokeswoman sassist.

These pills, federal authorities compete, have the right to make drug traffickers a sustainable amount of money for a small investment especially if they usage fentanyl.

The organizations have the right to buy a kilogram of the drug from China for as little bit as a number of thousand dollars. For as a lot as $995, traffickers obtain an oxycodone press and also turn that fentanyl into thousands of countless pills that would later on sell for totals in the countless dollars, the DEA outlined in the report.

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Given the demand also and also the profit potential, the DEA warned that they just observed this trouble flourishing in the "near term."

"Overdoses and also deaths from counterfeit drugs containing fentanyls will boost as customers proceed to inaccurately dose themselves through imitation medications," the DEA created.

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Daily coronavirus updates: 70% of recent COVID-19 instances in Connectireduced are among unvaccinated civilization, brand-new state numbers display