STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A family and addiction doctor in Stanislaus County is warning residents about fentanyl-laced pain medication after the county has seen a spike in deaths.
The Modesto Police Department reports that since January the county has seen at least 20 deaths compared to just six last year.
“The color, the imprint, the scoring, everything’s the same,” said Dr. Vikram Khanna.
The little blue pills are made to look and feel like real oxycodone, but Khanna said what may look like pain medication may really be laced with fentanyl.
“What they’re getting from some friend is actually fentanyl, which is 100 times stronger than oxy,” Khanna told FOX40.
His warning comes as Modesto police say 20 deaths have occurred from January to August.
“Be aware of the dangers taking illegal drugs or drugs you buy off the street. You don’t know where they come from and you’re putting yourself at risk,” said Modesto police spokesperson Sharon Bear.
Khanna theorized that we may be seeing an increase of these cases due to a number of issues.
“The other pills are not available, the IV heroin isn’t as available. Literally, unintended consequences on our war on drugs,” Khanna said.
Shawna Phillips, a case manager at the New Hope Recovery, said she’s seen a fair share of clients who believed they were taking pain medication only to find out they were duped.
“Didn’t know they were taking fentanyl and thought they were struggling with just a regular opioid, oxy addiction,” Phillips said.
Khanna warned that fake oxy is not only more addictive and dangerous but it also has the potential to do some some serious brain damage.
“If it doesn’t kill you, it kills the soul,” Khanna said.
If you do come across fake M30s, don’t risk it. Throw them away by using a drug disposal box.
For people battling addiction and in search of resources, there is a list below.