Counterfeit drug overdoses reach record high – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The CDC reports more than 100,000 people died of a drug overdose last year, the highest number ever recorded in the US

The agency also blames fentanyl, a common ingredient in counterfeit pills, as the primary reason for the surge in deaths. And they warn the situation is only going to get worse.

News 8 spoke with Shabbir Safdar, Executive Director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, who explains what’s catapulting this public health crisis ravaging our country.

“Recently we’ve seen drug traffickers selling counterfeit pills move on to social media because there is very little accountability and they can operate there with relative impunity,” he said. “The worst thing that happens is they get removed from the platform and even that doesn’t happen very often. With that we’ve seen fatalities trend younger and younger because these drug traffickers have access to young people using social media”

Safdar says these pills are getting into the hands of kids as young as twelve years old.

He lists several things that need to be done individually and on a public policy level to stop the epidemic. First, parents and caregivers should talk with their kids about the risks of taking pills not prescribed by a doctor. Safdar also urges policy makers to support law enforcement by giving them every investigative tool they need. He also says its critical to speak with elected officials about ways to solve the problem.

By this, Sadfar means having a voice discouraging the purchase of drugs from overseas. Even though they may be cheaper, he says, it should not be at the expense of our nation’s safety.

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