Police crime lab tests identify seized pharmaceutical drugs as being fake

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - After testing multiple seizures of pills represented as the pharmaceutical product oxycodone hydrochloride, the Tucson Police Department Crime Lab found that these pills were illicit (fake) pills that were produced in a clandestine laboratory and not to FDA regulated standards.

According to Counter Narcotics Alliance, most of these pills were stamped with "M 30," or "A 215," identifier markings. Both of these types of pills are light blue and look nearly identical to the pharmaceutically produced products to the untrained eye.

"These additional chemical compounds are used to either assist in the binding of the substances during the pill pressing process; and/or, to enhance the power and effects of the drug." - CNA

CNA wants to remind people to carry the overdose reversal drug naloxone, should you or a loved one be using any illicit or powerful opioid drugs.

CNA also encourages people who are battling this substance use disorder to seek treatment from a properly licensed physician, therapist, or treatment center.

"Should there be a legitimate need for an opioid-based pain medication, please obtain them from a licensed pharmacist and at a pharmacy in the United States. Never trust a friend, relative, “street source,” or unknown origin as a supplier for medications. Doing so could subject you to the below listed potentially lethal or harmful chemical compounds. It is important to safeguard all medications from children, teens and other people who have not been prescribed these medications by properly securing them. Always follow the advice of a licensed medical professional when taking prescribed medications." - CNA

The below-listed compounds, in addition to fentanyl, were identified by the TPD Crime Lab from January 2017 to August 2017.

According to CNA:

"Pills containing these compounds are being sold on the streets in Tucson and can cost up to $30/pill. They are often called “Mexican Oxy” by street sources. Consumers of these street drugs are to be reminded that all of these pills seized have tested positive for the powerful synthetic drug fentanyl. Fentanyl is one of the drugs fueling the “Opioid Epidemic” raging through our community, state, and country. It is largely responsible for the increases in overdose deaths across the nation." - CNA

Not every pill tested contained all of these compounds, but according to CNA, all of these compounds have been found in the random samplings done at the TPD Crime Lab.

Additional Chemical Compounds Identified in Tucson Area Fentanyl Seizures:

Acetyl Fentanyl: The chemical structure of acetyl fentanyl is very similar to fentanyl. Studies suggest that its potency is 5 to 15 times that of heroin.

Furanyl Fentanyl: is an opioid analgesic that is an analog of fentanyl. (More potent than heroin.)

U-47700 “pink”: a synthetic opioid added to enhance/add to the effects of the fentanyl. (More powerful than morphine.)

Tramadol: a synthetic opioid added to enhance/add to the effects of the fentanyl.

para-fluoroisobutyrylfentanyl (FIBF): is an opioid analgesic that is an analog of fentanyl. Not much is known on this analog at this time.

4-anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperadine (4-ANPP): is a precursor to manufacture fentanyl and related opioids.

5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-meO-DMT): is a psychedelic of the tryptamine class. It is found in a wide variety of plant species, and a single psychoactive toad species, the Colorado River toad.

Cocaine: is a strong central nervous system stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug.

Lidocaine: is a medication used to numb tissue in a specific area. It is also used to treat ventricular tachycardia and to perform nerve blocks.

Methamphetamine: a strong central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational drug and less commonly as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity.

Diclazepam: also known as chlorodiazepam and 2'-chloro-diazepam is a benzodiazepine and functional analog of diazepam. It is not currently approved for use as a medication, but rather sold as an unscheduled substance. Efficacy and safety have not been tested in humans.

Noramidopyrine: analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory agent. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID.) In some countries, this medicine may only be approved for veterinary use.

Levamisole: sold under the trade name Ergamisol among others is a medication used to treat parasitic worm infections. Specifically, it is used for ascariasis and hookworm infections.

Dipyrone (Metamizole): a non-opioid, uncontrolled analgesic banned in the US but sold OTC in Mexico and used as a cutting agent. It causes blood toxicities. (noramidopyrine is sometimes found instead of dipyrone, but they come from the same source.)

Noscapine: like morphine, noscapine comes directly from the opium poppy; however, it has not an analgesic. It is used as a cough suppressant and is being studied for some anti-cancer properties. It is easily purchased online and used as a cutting agent.

Meconin: a breakdown product/metabolite of noscapine.

Papaverine: is an opium alkaloid antispasmodic drug, used primarily in the treatment of visceral spasm, vasospasm (especially those involving the intestines, heart, or brain), and occasionally in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Caffeine: a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the methyl xanthine class. It is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world.

Acetaminophen: generic form of OTC available “Tylenol.” Commonly used as a binding or cutting agent in the manufacturing of these pills.

Unidentified Compound: no lab standards currently available to identify unknown compounds located in seizure samples. In layman‟s terms-“no clue” what it is, does or how dangerous.

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