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Overdoses in Loudoun and Frederick Counties suspected to be from counterfeit prescription drugs

Similar warnings have been issued from both counties but no official link between the prescription drugs has yet to be made.

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — Both the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Frederick County Health Department are warning people of suspected counterfeit prescription medications after several overdoses were reported over the last two weeks.

Agencies within both counties said they have been not been able to make a connection between the two, but both are believed to involve pills that may be sold as something else.

According to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, two people died in fatal overdoses in the past two weeks. Both deaths were preliminarily believed to involve street-level Percocet. 

“Any counterfeit prescription pills purchased online or on the streets may contain Fentanyl or other cutting agents. These substances, when added to the counterfeit pills, can easily and quickly cause death,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. 

In Frederick County, the Health Department is issuing a similar warning after reporting a number of non-fatal overdose incidents involving counterfeit pills.

"We have received reports of suspected counterfeit prescriptions in our community and they're being identified and called Percocet, M30s, and Xanax, and they have resulted in non-fatal overdoses,” said Jessica Ellis, the Harm Reduction and Diversion Programs Manager with the Frederick County Health Department Behavioral Health Services.

RELATED: Inmates given fentanyl test strips, opioid overdose reversal medication leaving jail in Arlington

According to the Frederick Co. Health Dept. the counterfeit pills could contain fentanyl or other drugs. Some of the pills are described as bluish tablets and reported to have been bought online.

Ellis said it's possible people were unaware the pills may have been counterfeit.

“I think the only way to know for sure that you're getting a safe prescription is if it is your prescription in your name and you're obtaining it from a pharmacy," Ellis said. "There is no way for us to know if these individuals, you know where they're obtaining them from and under what pretense they're obtaining them from.”

Ellis said the county has had people access their services to obtain fentanyl test strips since there is a possibility medications could be counterfeit. 

Ellis said if you are taking prescription drugs prescribed to you, and received from a pharmacist there is no reason to be concerned.

RELATED: No, briefly being exposed to fentanyl cannot cause an overdose, medical experts say

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