SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A dose of fentanyl the size of two grains of salt can be deadly. Many fake pills with fentanyl are made to look just like prescription pills with the same colors and markings. Xanax, Percocet, Vicodin, and Oxycodone — even Adderall. These fake pills are increasingly common. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency laboratory found that 6 out of every ten counterfeit pills contained at least two milligrams of the synthetic opioid, considered a lethal dose.
“That’s so scary when you think of how little it takes, and when kids take it, if somebody gives it to them and they don’t know there often isn’t that time to get them help,” said Darcy Jensen, Director of Prairie View Prevention Services.
Jensen says police took 800 grams of fentanyl off the street in South Dakota in 2023, and the year isn’t over.
Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum has some advice regarding supposedly safe prescription medications.
“If you are taking a drug that is not from a pharmacist, I want you to assume there is fentanyl in it,” said Thum.
Never take a pill that was not prescribed directly to you, never take a pill from a friend, and never take a pill bought on social media.
Whether it’s online or in person Jensen says young people are more easily preyed upon by drug dealers.
“So when we talk about counterfeit or illegal drugs, I always tell my clients when they say, well, I don’t know how I got that because that’s not what I asked for. I say remember who you are buying from. It’s a dealer. They don’t care what happens to you. They are just there to make money,” said Jensen.
According to Jensen, a natural reaction for some is to put blinders on and say it doesn’t happen in South Dakota, but it does, and she sees it every day.
“And the only way we can make it better and make change is to do prevention and education,” said Jensen.
The South Dakota Department of Social Services and the Department of Health joined forces to create a website with all kinds of information on Fentanyl and other drugs.
South Dakota Resource Hotline 1-800-920-4343