DEA warning on pills containing lethal doses of fentanyl

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SHAWNEE, Kan. – An alarming increase in overdoses of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl prompted the Drug Enforcement Administration to issue its first public safety announcement in six years.

He says a pill can kill and never take drugs that are not from a reputable pharmacy.

A Shawnee family is one of nearly 100,000 families suffering this year from what the DEA calls an epidemic.

Cooper Davis, 16, was an adventurous kid who wanted to go faster, jump the highest, and had an attraction to dangerous sports. Someone who’s never known a stranger, lit up every room they walked into, messed up just for fun and was the life of the party. He was also a recreational drug user.

“We tried to convince him that he wouldn’t always know what he was given, that there were just too many unknowns and that what he was doing was dangerous.” Cooper’s mother, Libby Davis, said. “But Cooper always had the mentality that this would never happen to me. He always thought he was invincible in all the risky things he would do.

On August 29, Libby Davis received a phone call she feared. Her son was at a friend’s house and had a medical emergency. When he arrived, emergency teams were trying to save his life.

“We must have watched him come out of this house with the machine violently pumping his chest,” Davis said through tears. “It’s a show we don’t want other parents to see.”

Despite their best efforts, the doctors were unable to save Cooper, and his mother said her last words to her son before he escaped.

“We said we love him,” Davis said. “No matter how difficult it could be sometimes, you know when he wasn’t making the decision we wanted him to make, we still loved him.”

Right before his death, Cooper sent a friend a photo of two blue pills in a bag he believed to be percocet. One of them was most likely related to a fatal dose of fentanyl. Cooper took one and died, his friend took the other and survived.

“The tip of a pencil, that little bit is the amount of fentanyl that can kill you, it’s in these pills. So it’s like a milligram, ”said Rogeana Patterson-King, DEA deputy special agent in charge of Kansas. “One pill can kill and your life is too important to play Russian Roulette with it. “

Ninety-three thousand people died from this type of overdose last year, which is a 30% increase. So far this year, the DEA has seized more than 9.6 million deadly counterfeit pills, more than the previous two years combined. Two in five fake pills entering the country contain lethal doses of fentanyl.

Patterson-King likens the production process to making a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

“You put like, a bunch of your chocolate chips in your dough and when you bake them you think everything is mixed evenly, but you can get one that has three chocolate chips and one of them in. at 10, “she said. “It’s the same thing they do in these labs when they make these counterfeit pills over there. “

Counterfeit pills are easy to obtain. Davis believes her son bought his meds from someone on Snapchat, a social media platform also identified by the DEA as a problem.

“They know what’s going on and I don’t feel like they’re doing enough not to allow their app to be the vehicle to distribute drugs,” Davis said.

A spokesperson for Snap, Inc, the company that owns and operates Snapchat, said in a statement:

“As the devastating fentanyl epidemic continues, we are committed to doing all we can to fight it on Snapchat. We strictly prohibit drug-related activities on our platform, we aggressively enforce against such violations, and support law enforcement in their investigations. We are focused on both educating young people about the dangers of fentanyl directly in our app and significantly improving our operational work against drug traffickers on our platform. Over the past several months, we have continued to strengthen our machine learning tools to proactively detect drug-related activity and to work with the DEA and other third-party experts to keep these efforts current as behaviors evolve. We have an important message for dealers: you are not welcome on Snapchat. If we detect drug dealer activity, we will delete your account and may also provide it to law enforcement. ”

The pill that killed Cooper Davis also broke the hearts of so many who knew and loved him. Her mother finds strength and healing in sharing her story and said, “Because we need something good to happen. We want to use Cooper’s story to save lives.

The DEA has set up a website where people can go for resources.


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