Counterfeit Pills


Counterfeit pills are fake medications that have different ingredients than the actual medication. They may contain no active ingredient, the wrong active ingredient, or have the right ingredient but in an incorrect quantity. Counterfeit pills may contain lethal amounts of fentanyl or methamphetamine and are extremely dangerous because they often appear identical to legitimate prescription pills, and the user is likely unaware of how lethal they can be.

They are usually produced in substandard conditions, labeled incorrectly, and may include dangerous, unapproved substances. There are no quality control mechanisms in the illicit labs producing counterfeit pills to ensure dosing is not lethal. Online sales via internet marketplaces and social media are the major sources for obtaining counterfeit pills.

A significant number of high school and college students purchase Adderall and Xanax from dark web drug markets and/or through social media referrals, which market deadly versions of these drugs tainted with fentanyl and/or methamphetamine. Some students begin using prescription stimulants, often referred to as “study drugs,” in the belief it will benefit their academic performance, but the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants has not been proven to improve academic performance. (excerpt is taken from Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Fact Sheet)
Learn more at
DEA – One Pill Can Kill
You Think You Know CT