Local law enforcement officials warn residents, especially parents, to be aware of counterfeit Oxycodone pills that appear to be laced with Fentanyl.
Maypearl ISD Police Chief West Warren addressed the issue in a Friday Facebook post.
In his post, Warren wrote that he has been notified that two students from Venus High School were hospitalized this week after taking “M/30 blue colored, circular pills that were probably laced with Fentanyl.”
One student has lost kidney function and the other is on life support, according to Warren’s post.
Warren added that a Joshua ISD student died earlier this week after taking the same type of pill.
Warren concludes his post by cautioning that the pills are being sold as counterfeit Oxycodone and appear to be laced with Fentanyl.
Johnson County Stop the Offender Program Special Crimes Unit Commander Larry Sparks said the pills are commonly referred to as Perc/30 and typically blue or green in color.
An opioid, also known as Oxycodone or Paracetamol, is a pain reliever legally available only by prescription.
It’s illegal, Sparks said, for people to consume such medications unless they’ve been prescribed by a doctor.
Sparks added that he cannot comment on specific cases involving drug overdoses and/or deaths but added that the situation described by Warren is a problem throughout the country.
“Without getting into details I can say that they’ve seen a lot of fatalities from these type situations in Fort Worth and we’ve seen fatalities in Johnson County,” Sparks said. “People shouldn’t take prescription drugs if they’re not prescribed to them. The problem, in these situations, is that people are not getting what they think they’re getting.”
In many cases, those buying pills on the street or otherwise illegally are actually buying Fentanyl when they think they’re buying Percocet, which, authorities say, has led to instances of overdoses and deaths.
“They’re called cartel pills because they’re not coming from a legitimate pharmaceutical company,” Sparks said.
Drug cartels and/or drug dealers with pill pressers instead manufacture counterfeit Percocet pills containing Fentanyl rather than Oxycodone, which, unfortunately, often leads to disastrous results for unsuspecting buyers.
Cleburne Police Chief Rob Severance said he’s aware of the situation.
“Fortunately, our officers have not encountered any of these tragic situations yet,” Severance said. “Certainly we urge everyone not to take any prescription medications unless they’re specifically prescribed to you. We also urge the community to be aware of these counterfeit drug situations and for parents to talk to their children about the dangers of taking any illegal drugs.
Severance also reminds residents of the Reach Across Johnson County drop box in the Cleburne Police Department’s lobby.
“Just to encourage residents to drop off unneeded prescription medications there,” Severance said. “That doesn’t so much apply to these situations of people selling counterfeit prescription pills. But it’s still important to get rid of any prescription medicine you may have around the house that you no longer need so that it can be disposed of safely without possible danger to others and without ending up in our water supply or landfills.”