The Portland Police Bureau's Drugs and Vice Division want to warn the community about counterfeit prescription drugs that are being illegally sold in the Portland area, around the state and online.
These counterfeit drugs are illegally marketed and sold by individuals as prescription drugs such as Xanax, Oxycodone, Alprazolam and others. Examples of drugs seized by police and sent to the Oregon State Crime Lab show that the counterfeit drugs often contain extremely potent substances that can and have caused overdose deaths.
For example, officers have investigated counterfeit oxycodone tablet cases where the pills actually contained heroin, Furanyl Fentany1, Tramadol, Alprazolam and other substances. Officials want to warn the public that fentanyl and other opioid analogs are extremely potent and have caused accidental overdose deaths in Portland and around the state.
Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine, but it crosses the blood-brain barrier faster than more commonly encountered opioids and can be 100 to 10,000 times more potent than morphine or heroin.
In Oregon, 80 people have died in accidental overdoses from synthetic opioids since 2014, but the deaths are increasing according to the State Medical Examiner.