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FISHERS, Ind. — Police in Fishers are issuing a warning to the community after three people died after taking counterfeit pills that were believed to be laced with fentanyl.

The department says pills like oxycodone, hydrocodone and alprazolam are being marketed as legitimate prescription drugs.

“One pill in a bottle may get someone a high, another pill in the same bottle can be instant death,” Captain Mike Johnson with the Fishers Police Department said.

Johnson said they’re worried this trend will trickle in to even younger crowds. The department said the drugs are mostly ordered via social media apps like Snapchat and TikTok. The pills are accessible to anyone and everyone.

“We’ve been dealing with overdose cases for some time, but I think now the more concerning thing is the fact that one of these pills could absolutely be fatal,” Johnson said. “The old adage drug dealer in a dark alley somewhere isn’t really the case so much anymore.”

Last month, the department’s Crime Reduction Unit seized more than 25 thousand counterfeit pills that they say are believe to contain fentanyl. Johnson says this is not just happening in Fishers, it’s a nationwide issue.

“In my time I have seen some of these national trends that seem to have avoided the suburbs, this pill epidemic around our country has not,” Johnson said.

New data from the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) shows overdoses deaths have risen by nearly 30 percent across the country — 32 percent here in Indiana. Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said he’s seen the effects of fentanyl first-hand in his community.

“Drug dealers are trying to make money and they don’t really care what happens to the people on the other end of that,” Cummings said. “[Dealers] get fentanyl, they replace it and make it look like cocaine for example and [buyers] are being fooled and then they kill themselves inadvertently.“ 

Both Cummings and Johnson say the best course of action is to not take pills that aren’t prescribed to you.

For additional information on identifying legitimate prescription drugs you visit the DEA’s website.