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Counterfeit “Xanax” pills contain fentanyl, could cause overdose

MONROE COUNTY, IL (KTVI)- Illinois State Police are issuing a deadly warning: drug dealers are now counterfeiting Xanax, a popular treatment for people who have anxiety.  The fake pills, sold on the street, contain a mixture that could be deadly.

Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing says  Xanax is one of the most abused prescription medicines by people with addictions.

Sheriff Rohlfing says, “We want the public to be aware. We want everyone to know the current dangers of this drug trend.”

A photo comparison from the San Francisco Department of Public Health shows just how talented drug dealers are.  Real Xanax is on the left. The counterfeit is on the right.

Counterfeit “Xanax” on red background. Real Xanax on grey background. Photo: San Francisco Department of Public Health

Counterfeit “Xanax” on red background. Real Xanax on grey background. Photo: San Francisco Department of Public Health

“These counterfeit pills are created and made with a pill press so it actually says Xanax on it, just like the prescription medication.”

The sherriff explains that the fake pills contain a lethal dose of fentanyl, which is much stronger than morphine.

Pharmacists like Steve Wightman says it's sad that medicine created to help people is being turned into look-alike killer.

Wightman says, “You got all this good medicine and people of any age are trying to make money. They're trying to...I think it’s ridiculous.”

Police say the fake "Xanax" has been found in 21 states so far, but not Missouri or Illinois.  Law enforcement officials feel it’s only a matter of time before it does.