Erie County warns of counterfeit pills that can kill

Erie County

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County says they’ve seen an influx of counterfeit pills seized by county law enforcement. Health officials say many of the pills contain fentanyl, contributing to “alarming” rates of opioid overdoses in the area.

The Erie County Central Police Services Forensic Laboratory have been processing a big increase of counterfeit alprazolam and oxycodone tablets.

There’s been a 57% jump in opioid-related overdose deaths in Erie County from 2019 to 2020, according to ECDOH.

Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein echoed the message that these pills can kill.

“The volume of suspected opioid-related overdose deaths currently under investigation by the Erie
County Medical Examiner’s Office is alarming,” said Dr. Burstein.

“These losses are tragic and devastating to families. We have to get the message out that counterfeit pills can kill.”

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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