‘There’s no safe way to do drugs,’ Illinois Poison Center warns

Dr. Michael Wahl speaks on the synthetic drug epidemic.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:08 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Concerts, music festivals, sporting events lead, for some, to curiosity. That’s why the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) is warning the public to stay safe by avoiding recreational drugs, especially synthetic recreational drugs.

“We are seeing a significant spike of overdose cases across the nation due to synthetic drugs,” said IPC Medical Director, Michael Wahl, M.D.

In June, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported more fatal and non-fatal overdose clusters in several Northern Illinois counties related to heroin, cocaine and fentanyl than last year.

“Illegal drug manufacturers are mixing fentanyl with cocaine, methamphetamines, ecstasy and other known ‘party drugs’ and selling the product at parties, festivals and special events. Experimenting with street drugs can be fatal and that first time could be your last.”

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), drug traffickers are using fake pills to exploit the opioid crisis and prescription drug misuse in the United States, bringing overdose deaths and violence to communities nationwide.

Since fentanyl is cheap and easy to produce, illicit drug manufacturers often mix it into counterfeit oxycodone (brand names: Percocet® and OxyContin®), alprazolam (brand name: Xanax®) and Adderall®—substances popular with young adults and teenagers.

“Taking prescription drugs for recreational purposes, especially those provided by someone other than your physician or pharmacist, can be a deadly decision,” says IPC Assistant Vice President Carol DesLauriers, PharmD. “Fake pills are being deliberately laced with synthetic opioids like fentanyl and sold to people across the country, which has proved to cause life-threatening symptoms. These drugs are dangerous and addictive and not worth the risk.”

Copyright 2022 WIFR. All rights reserved.