EU alert for sale of fentanyl pills in Mexico

EU alert for sale of fentanyl pills in Mexico

Washington DC, United States.- The US State Department has issued a travel warning to its citizens about dangerous counterfeit pills sold in pharmacies in Mexico that often contain fentanyl.

The travel advisory released Friday argues that US travelers should “be careful when buying medicines in Mexico.”

Small pharmacies in tourist areas and border regions sometimes sell advertised drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax and others without a prescription.

The State Department warned that such pills are often counterfeit and “can contain deadly doses of fentanyl.”

“Counterfeit pills are easily advertised on social media and can be purchased at small, non-chain pharmacies in Mexico along the border and in tourist areas,” he warned.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 68 percent of 40 Mexican pharmacies visited in four cities in northern Mexico sold oxycodone, Xanax, or Adderall, and that 27 percent of those pharmacies sold fake pills.

UCLA said the study, published in January, found that “traditional pharmacies in tourist cities in northern Mexico are selling counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine. These pills are sold primarily to American tourists and often masquerading as controlled substances such as oxycodone, Percocet and Adderall.”

“These counterfeit pills pose a serious overdose risk to consumers, who believe they are getting a known amount of a weaker drug,” said Chelsea Shover, an assistant professor and resident of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that the problem exists in tourist cities like Playa del Carmen and Tulum as well, not just in border cities.

The State Department did not specifically respond to a request for comment on whether any Americans have overdosed or died from sales of those drugs in Mexico.

Instead, in response to the request, a State Department spokesperson wrote that the agency “has no higher priority than the safety of American citizens abroad.

“We take seriously our commitment to provide American citizens with clear, timely, and reliable information about every country in the world so they can make informed travel decisions,” he said.

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