Public Safety Alert: One Pill Can Kill

The Drug Enforcement Administration has released a Public Safety Alert regarding a sharp increase in fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. 

11 October 2021 | News

It was in June earlier this year that the DEA’s Washington Division first published a warning regarding how “One Pill Can Kill”, but now, the Drug Enforcement Administration as a whole has issued a Public Safety Alert and rolled out their nationwide “One Pill Can Kill” campaign urging all citizens to be cautious with where the medicine they use come from.

The Public Safety Alert is the first one being issued in six years due to the increase of fake prescription pills that poses an urgent threat to the entire U.S. with large amounts of counterfeit pills that have been seized by the DEA in every state. So far this year, 9.5 million illegal pills have been seized, which is more than during the last two years combined.

The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis of overdose deaths fueled by illegally manufactured fentanyl and methamphetamine. Counterfeit pills that contain these dangerous and extremely addictive drugs are more lethal and more accessible than ever before. In fact, DEA lab analyses reveal that two out of every five fake pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose.

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram

The counterfeit pills are made to look just like real prescription pills but an alarming number also contains a deadly dose of fentanyl. Today, fake prescription pills are also easier to access than ever before and are often sold via social media platforms, meaning that anyone with a smartphone has access to them, including minors.

Through the “One Pill Can Kill” campaign, the DEA wants to educate the public of the dangers of counterfeit pills and urges all Americans to only consume medication that has been prescribed by a medical professional, and dispensed at a licensed pharmacy. Pills purchased through other means are illegal, dangerous, and can potentially be lethal.

One Pill Can Kill - Mentor USA
One Pill Can Kill - Mentor USA
One Pill Can Kill - Mentor USA

It's Russian roulette, but it's even more dangerous in one sense...

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram

In an interview with NBC’s TODAY morning show, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram explained the dangers of counterfeit pills with the powerful metaphor of playing Russian roulette. Milgram said that counterfeit pills are even more dangerous since people believe they are actually buying a legitimate prescription drug from an illegal market, not knowing that they contain fentanyl or methamphetamine.

The legitimate prescription supply chain is not impacted! The DEA stresses that this alert does not apply to legitimate pharmaceutical medications that have been prescribed by a medical professional and dispensed by licensed pharmacists. If you are filling a prescription at a licensed pharmacy you can be confident that the medication you receive is safe when taken as directed by your medical professional.

Watch the NBC’s TODAY interview with DEA Administrator Anne Milgram below:

Read more about the Public Safety Alert.

Read the full statement from the DEA published in June here.

Mentor USA first acknowledged the DEA’s Washington Division’s “One Pill Can Kill” warning in June 2021. Read the article here.