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Counterfeit pills caused accidental overdoses, Fishers police believe

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Fishers Police Department says it has investigated several accidental overdoses over the past several months.

Three people have died, and police believe the deaths are connected to the use of counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl. Fishers Police Department urges city residents to be aware of the dangers of counterfeit pills and to only take medications prescribed to them.

“It’s terrifying as a resident. It’s terrifying as a mom, as a daughter,” said Jill Hutchinson, a Fishers resident.

“Before school this morning, I sat my son down and had a conversation that we need to make sure that we’re not taking pills from anyone we know unless it came from the doctor to the pharmacy,” Hutchinson said.

A Fishers City Council member, Crystal Neumann, said, “I know that this kind of scary information is something that is a nationwide issue and it’s honestly even more terrifying that it’s hit really close to home here in Fishers.”

“Never in my wildest dreams would I think that would be something that we would have to worry about here, but I’m glad that there’s a lot of information getting out there to promote awareness,” Neumann said.

In October, officers assigned to the Fishers Police Department Crime Reduction Unit seized more than 25,000 counterfeit pills believed to contain fentanyl. Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and alprazolam (Xanax), amphetamines (Adderall) and other pills are being marketed as legitimate prescriptions and often sold on social media platforms

Capt. Mike Johnson of the Fishers Police Department said, “We’re actually working closely with our state and local partners as well as the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) as well as some federal partners in dealing with this issue all across Indiana.”

“Somebody takes one of those pills. One pill in that particular package of pills maybe something that gives somebody a high, but the very next pill could actually be a lethal dose of fentanyl,” Johnson said.

Fishers Police Department says the overdoses are happening to people who believe the pills are originally distributed by a licensed pharmacy. They say Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and other apps give drug dealers a chance to connect with teens without revealing their identity.

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