PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — The Prince George's County Police Department (PGPD) is warning residents of fentanyl-laced pills that have been found circulating the area recently and has been linked to overdoses.
Police say recently they have recovered pills, in particular blue-toned pills with a distinct “M” emblem. Several of the pills have been tested and found to contain fentanyl.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and up to 100 times stronger than morphine, is a “major contributor” to overdoses in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Many people who took the pills believed they were prescription pain killers. But, now, the pills have been linked to multiple suspected overdoses, including two incidents that led to death. Police said the toxicology tests are still pending on those cases but, it is suspected that the victims died of fentanyl poisoning.
This discovery of the pills comes months after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a warning about “rainbow” fentanyl, saying authorities have seized the drug in 21 states. Of those states, Maryland made the list.
PGPD is now urging all residents to avoid taking any medication not prescribed to them by a medical professional.
"We strongly encourage all parents and guardians to immediately talk to their children about this danger," a spokesperson for the police department said.