Counter Narcotics Alliance issues counterfeit oxycodone warning - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Counter Narcotics Alliance issues counterfeit oxycodone warning

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Courtesy: Counter Narcotics Alliance Courtesy: Counter Narcotics Alliance

The Counter Narcotics Alliance is warning the public that many narcotic pills taken off the streets by law enforcement were found to be counterfeit by Tucson Police Department’s crime lab.

According to a media release, the drugs were sold as products appearing to be oxycodone hydrochloride. However, lab test results indicated that the pills were actually produced in a clandestine laboratory and did not meet FDA regulated standards.

Most of the pills were stamped with the pill identifier markings “M 30” or “A 215,” the media release stated. “Both of these pills are light blue in color and to the untrained eye nearly identical to the pharmaceutically produced products.” 

Additional chemical compounds are used to either assist in the binding of substances during the pill pressing process and/or to enhance the power and effects of the drug, the release stated. The compounds found in the counterfeit pills by TPD’s crime lab between January and August are listed below.

All of the seized pills have tested positive for the powerful synthetic drug Fentanyl, the release stated. Fentanyl is one of the drugs fueling the "opioid epidemic,” and is largely responsible for the increases in overdose deaths across the nation.

Pills containing these compounds can cost up to $30 apiece, according to the release. They are often called “Mexican Oxy” by street sources.

“The Counter Narcotics Alliance would like to remind people that If you or a loved one will be using any illicit and powerful opioid drugs, to consider carrying the overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan),” the release stated. “Your local pharmacist can assist you in obtaining this drug by using a standing order issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

“We would also encourage people battling this substance use disorder to seek treatment for their dependency from a properly licensed physician, therapist or treatment center.

“Should there be a legitimate need for an opioid-based pain medication, please obtain them from a licensed pharmacist and at a pharmacy in the United States,” the release stated. “Never trust a friend, relative, ‘street source,’ or unknown origin as a supplier for medications. Doing so could subject you to the below listed potentially lethal or harmful chemical compounds.” 

For more information, please contact the Counter Narcotics Alliance at 791-2002, x826 or visit the Counter Narcotics Alliance website here.

Additional chemical compounds identified in Tucson area seizures:

  • Acetyl Fentanyl: The chemical structure of acetyl Fentanyl is very similar to Fentanyl. Studies suggest that its potency is 5 to 15 times that of heroin.
  • Furanyl Fentanyl: is an opioid analgesic that is an analog of Fentanyl. (More potent than heroin.) U-47700 “pink”: a synthetic opioid added to enhance/add to the effects of the Fentanyl. (More powerful than morphine.)
  • Tramadol: a synthetic opioid added to enhance/add to the effects of the Fentanyl. para-fluoroisobutyrylfentanyl (FIBF): is an opioid analgesic that is an analog of Fentanyl. Not much is known on this analog at this time.
  • 4-anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperadine (4-ANPP): is a precursor to manufacture Fentanyl and related opioids.
  • 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-meO-DMT) : is a psychedelic of the tryptamine class. It is found in a wide variety of plant species, and a single psychoactive toad species, the Colorado River toad.
  • Cocaine: is a strong central nervous system stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug.
  • Lidocaine: is a medication used to numb tissue in a specific area. It is also used to treat ventricular tachycardia and to perform nerve blocks.
  • Methamphetamine: a strong central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational drug and less commonly as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity.
  • Diclazepam: also known as chlorodiazepam and 2'-chloro-diazepam is a benzodiazepine and functional analog of diazepam. It is not currently approved for use as a medication, but rather sold as an unscheduled substance. Efficacy and safety have not been tested in humans.
  • Noramidopyrine: analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory agent. A non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID.) In some countries, this medicine may only be approved for veterinary use.
  • Levamisole: sold under the trade name Ergamisol among others is a medication used to treat parasitic worm infections. Specifically it is used for ascariasis and hookworm infections.
  • Dipyrone (Metamizole): a non-opioid, uncontrolled analgesic banned in the US but sold OTC in Mexico and used as a cutting agent. It causes blood toxicities. (noramidopyrine is sometimes found instead of dipyrone, but they come from the same source.)
  • Noscapine: like morphine, noscapine comes directly from the opium poppy; however, it has not an analgesic. It is used as a cough suppressant and is being studied for some anti-cancer properties. It is easily purchased online and used as a cutting agent.
  • Meconin: a breakdown product/metabolite of noscapine.
  • Papaverine: is an opium alkaloid antispasmodic drug, used primarily in the treatment of visceral spasm, vasospasm (especially those involving the intestines, heart, or brain), and occasionally in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
  • Caffeine: a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the methyl xanthine class. It is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world.
  • Acetaminophen: generic form of OTC available “Tylenol.” Commonly used as a binding or cutting agent in the manufacturing of these pills.
  • Unidentified Compound: no lab standards currently available to identify unknown compounds located in seizure samples. In layman?s terms-“no clue” what it is, does or how dangerous.
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