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6 Things You Should Know About Counterfeit Pills Sold Online

6 Things You Should Know About Counterfeit Pills Sold Online

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Almost half of the medicines sold via the internet are counterfeit. Despite this, the appeal of purchasing medications online continues to grow. It’s no surprise they’re hard to resist.

Pervasive advertising and seemingly cheaper pricing make them an extremely attractive choice. However, counterfeit pills may be “too good to be true.” Evidence of this is becoming more apparent, and the truth is deadly.

Unfortunately, when you purchase them, they can have the wrong dosage or none at all. Even worse, you may end up with fentanyl-laced pills. Out of every five counterfeit pills seized in the US, authorities found at least two with lethal amounts of fentanyl.

The packaging of counterfeit pills may be the closest they come to authenticity. But those in the medical field can clearly see the difference. Don’t get caught up in the deception.

Purchasing prescription pills online is illegal for a reason. Read on to find out what else you should know about counterfeit pills sold online.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It’s usually used to treat pain.

It’s also combined with other medications for anesthesia. Unfortunately, many people use it as a recreational drug. They may also mix it with cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.

There is a growing market of counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. These are highly addictive and can wreak havoc on the central nervous system. Naloxone can neutralize the effects of an overdose if caught in time.

Online Counterfeit Drugs 101

Purchasing drugs online is a dangerous practice. One of the main reasons is due to fentanyl-laced counterfeit drugs.

It’s also essential to use the correct dosage, whether drugs to treat pain or a specific ailment. This isn’t guaranteed with online counterfeit drugs. Here are a few other things you need to know about them:

1. Largest Market Size of All Illicit Goods

Counterfeit pills, fentanyl, and other opioids continue to be a global problem. This issue has only increased over the years.

The illegal trading of counterfeit pills is now easier. It’s also far-reaching due to internet access.

Their prevalence is as high as 70% in some parts of Asia and Africa. Rough estimates calculate the size of the market at $200 billion globally.

This is significant. Other illicit goods such as cocaine, opium, and heroin, although pervasive, are still not as widely traded as counterfeit pills.

Unfortunately, lapses in security can result in counterfeit pills entering the supply chain of legitimate drugs. When this occurs, they can be unknowingly distributed to hospitals and pharmacies. This can have dire consequences.

Luckily, these breaches are usually caught in time and fake drugs recalls.

2. Widely Advertised and May Appear Cheaper

The advertising of counterfeit pills is appealing, as with most forms of advertising. Overly highlighted benefits minimize their risks, not to mention their illegality.

Despite all the happy, healthy people featured, US ads for legally prescribed drugs must list all the known side effects. The list is usually extremely long.

Compare this to a less extensive list or none at all. Not to mention the emphasis on the fact that a physician or prescription isn’t required.

You’re also reminded that the process is confidential. So no one will know. For those in desperate need of pain pills, the choice may be easy.

People also believe that buying pills online is cheaper. Some studies showed they cost more than traditional avenues. The cost-benefit of online pills is usually only felt after purchasing in large quantities.

3. Packaging Isn’t Easily Identifiable From Legitimate Pills

There are measures in place to make legitimate drugs easily identifiable. However, advanced technology makes it easier for illicit versions to adapt quickly. Differentiating the packaging of counterfeit pills to legitimate ones is more difficult now.

It’s easy to replicate almost all components of the packaging using 3D printing technology. The result is packaging that is extremely close to those used for authentic drugs.

A slight color variation might be the only thing to raise suspicions. But this is not always noticeable to the untrained eye.

4. Extremely Easy to Buy

In the ’90s, access to counterfeit pills wasn’t as easy. It required being well-versed in the ins and outs of the darknet.

It’s a part of the internet that facilitates anonymous, encrypted connections. It allows your physical location and web history to be untraceable.

Then came the advent of social media. Clandestine connections to obtain unprescribed drugs were no longer necessary.

Platforms such as Snapchat make purchasing them easy. It’s as simple as placing an online order for any type of legal merchandise.

Unfortunately, this platform is popular among US teens. Fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills accessed via this channel resulted in deaths in at least 15 states.

5. Some Contain Fentanyl

Some of the more widely purchased online drugs include Oxycodone M30, Adderall, and Xanax. Many students believe these can help them perform better academically. In addition to being easily accessible, they usually look authentic.

Lacing them with opioids makes them more addictive, ensuring repeat purchases. Taking small amounts of fentanyl can heighten alertness and allow increased physical activity. However, the same amount can also cause:

●      Overheating

●      Rapid heart rate

●      Rapid breathing

●      Increased blood pressure

●      Irregular heartbeat

What’s worse is that as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal.

6. Linked to Many Deaths

Fentanyl pills and other synthetic opioids are responsible for about 80% of all overdose deaths. Over 93,000 Americans died from overdoses last year. This is an increase of 30% from the previous year.

Death due to an overdose may be a result of a:

●      Heart attack

●      Stroke

●      Respiratory failure

It can also cause overheating, which leads to problems with multiple organs.

Know What You’re Putting in Your Body

You go to a doctor to seek treatment. Often it’s to relieve pain or reduce the effects of a particular ailment.

You wouldn’t want to risk making your illness or pain worse. And you certainly wouldn’t want to die from treating them, either.

You risk doing this when you purchase counterfeit pills online. They may seem cheaper and hassle-free, but you may pay a higher price in the long run, even if they reduce your pain initially.

Fentanyl-laced drugs account for almost 40% of counterfeit medicines sold online. You won’t know the difference.

You’ll need to do your research. You may even be interested in learning more to help others.

You can start with a degree from InterCoast Colleges. We also offer a Medical Assistant Certificate Program. Why not get started today?

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