‘Ottawa’ Counterfeit Pills Carry Overdose Risk, Police, Health Officials Warn
Health and police officials issued a warning Monday to obtain pain killers only from trusted sources such as pharmacies or physicians.
Ottawa Public Health and the Ottawa Police Service said they suspect counterfeit drugs have been the cause of “recent life-threatening overdoses” in Ottawa. The alert points out that counterfeit pills can be made to appear nearly identical to prescription opioids such as OxyContin and Percocet.
Since even small variations in the makeup of these pills can deliver an overdose, officials warned residents not to acquire the painkillers from non-medical sources, whether through online suppliers or drug dealers.
Late last fall, the Ottawa Overdose Prevention and Response Task Force outlined the large risks of taking pills that have been made with illicit fentanyl, a particularly strong opioid. The task force went as far as urging people to carry a naloxone kit to deal with potential overdoses until paramedics arrive.
Ottawa Public Health officials said Monday that lab tests were underway to confirm the chemical compositions of the counterfeit pills involved in recent overdoses.