BUFFALO, NY - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came to Buffalo on Thursday, to warn of a new danger in Western New York tied to the opioid crisis.
Schneiderman revealed that blue pills, which look just like oxycodone even down to their markings, have surfaced on the streets.
However, the pills are fakes and are actually laced with Fentanyl, a powerful substance linked to numerous overdose deaths.
The problem, according to Schneiderman, is that users don't know how much Fentanyl may be in one, thus anyone who takes one is “playing Russian Roulette”.
"The mix that a drug trafficker makes in their basement with no quality control can have a grain or two of Fentanyl and produce a high you can survive,” Schneiderman told reporters. “However, another pill may have too much Fentanyl and be deadly."
Avi Israel, whose son ended up taking his own life after becoming addicted to pain killers, worries about other young people—who aren’t even struggling with addition--being killed.
“Let’s face it, we give kids pills for things all the time,” said Israel. “Kids are not afraid of taking pills, and a kid who looks at these little blue pills will use it,” he said.
"These blue pills are death. No one should go near them,” said Schneiderman. “And unless you stood at a pharmacy yourself, and saw a pharmacist hand you a prescription, stay away from them."
Schneiderman also noted that even law enforcement officers who encounter the pills are careful to wear gloves to handle them, fearful about the potential of the absorbing the Fentanyl through their hands.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, a quantity of the pills were recovered along with 31 lbs. of marijuana as part of a drug investigation in Western New York.
Schneiderman revealed that they’d been shipped from California, where similar pills have been linked to deaths.
He asked that anyone who has purchased them locally advised police as to where they acquired them, and urged those unwilling to reveal that information to immediately dispose of them, preferably at any one of several permanent medication drop boxes throughout the area.