WASHINGTON — A big warning Thursday for people buying pain pills or anti-anxiety medications on the street or from places like Snapchat and TikTok.
Chemists at DC's Department of Forensic Sciences say they're finding more and more of those illicit pills are laced with potentially deadly fentanyl.
The scientists say more than 62% of the pills seized by police last year were counterfeits made to look like the real thing. And more than three-quarters of those pills were full of the synthetic opioid that's 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
The scientists say just five to seven milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal.
"Think about five to seven grains of salt," said Samantha Leach with the DC Department of Forensic Sciences.
"And that can be deadly?," replied WUSA9 reporter Bruce Leshan.
Scientist Alexandra Evans also spoke with WUSA9.
Evans said, "The message is definitely 'be cautious.' Especially with pills. There's no quality control systems. They're kind of blindly mixing ingredients, pressing them into pills and distributing them."
The scientists say if you have any questions about whether pills are authentic, you can go to the website drugs.com and type in the pill you think you have.
Fake pills usually don't look right -- they're splotchy, chipped, or the wrong color or shape.