TUCSON, Ariz. - There’s a new concern on the rise surrounding opioids.
It's dangerous enough to abuse prescription drugs, now police are finding pills that look like prescription medicines, that contain different, dangerous drugs like fentanyl.
Tucson Police chemist Deborah Merritt wears protective gear as she examines drugs police bring in from busts.
She knows fentanyl can kill with simple skin contact and drug dealers are making it look like Oxycodone or Xanax--prescription drugs with legitimate uses that are also sold and abused on the street.
She says, “One tablet that looked like this there was Cyclopropylfentanyl with methamphetamine and in the other tablet that looked like this there was a synthetic cannabinoid that, we don't really know what they do. They've never been tested on humans, so it could be a hallucinogen or a stimulant of a combination."
Lieutenant Chris Wildblood of TPD and the Counter Narcotics Alliance says, "If you're getting it from any other source and it's not coming through that pharmacy pick-up window, really, you're playing Russian Roulette with some of these that are out there."
Some counterfeit pills may be crudely made but Lieutenant Wildblood says some drug traffickers make sophisticated copies hard to tell from the real thing.
"It certainly fools people and people have overdosed and died in our community from them.”
And here's a high profile example---the rapper Lil Peep.
As he was headed to Tucson to perform he posted a video on Instagram talking about taking six Xanax.