‘It’s happening here’: Steuben County Sheriff warns of dangerous rise of counterfeit pills

Local News

STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) – Steuben County Sheriff James Allard is warning residents of an increase in availability and fatality of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and meth.

“You can bet if it’s happening across the nation, it’s happening here,” Allard said. “With the social media
and e-commerce platforms, counterfeit prescription pills are available to anyone with a smartphone. That
includes teens and young adults who are being heartlessly exploited by criminals profiting from the
opioid epidemic here and across the country.”

He said the warning does not apply to legitimate pharmaceutical medications prescribed by medical
professionals and dispensed by pharmacists.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration recently said international and domestic criminal drug
networks are mass-producing deadly fake pills and falsely marketing them as legitimate prescription
pills,” Allard said. “These counterfeit pills are easy to purchase, widely available, and often contain
deadly doses of fentanyl.”

Earlier this week the DEA issued a warning that counterfeit pills were on the rise, with more than 9.5 million pills having been seized so far this year—more than the last two years combined. The agency warned that the pills, often produced by criminal networks, have been seized in every U.S. state in “unprecedented quantities.”

Allard said the only safe medications are those prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed
by a licensed pharmacist. “Any pills that do not meet this standard are unsafe and potentially deadly.”

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