WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — More than a dozen people in Williamson County overdosed this month after taking two different types of fake prescription pills.
Since the beginning of April, paramedics from Williamson County EMS responded to a “five-fold increase” in opioid overdose calls compared to the usual monthly average. First responders said they were all related to these counterfeit pills.
The county reported that almost all of the pills blamed for the overdoses are blue, round and have the letter M on one side. They are counterfeit oxycodone 30 mg pills and are commonly pressed, containing a dangerous amount of illegally-manufactured fentanyl. At least one of the samples in the area has tested positive for fentanyl.
According to Williamson County, 15 people overdosed on these pressed oxycodone pills, including two on Friday alone.
Another person overdosed this month in Williamson County after taking pressed Xanax. These particular pills are white, rectangular and have three score marks on one side. They are pressed to look like Xanax 2 mg “bars.” These are believed to contain illegally manufactured fentanyl because the overdose was reversed by naloxone, which is used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation.
Experts describe fentanyl as a strong opioid that is approximately 100 times stronger than morphine. An overdose on that drug can cause rapid loss of consciousness and respiratory arrest. However, naloxone, which is commonly known as Narcan, can reverse a fentanyl overdose if administered quickly.
Williamson County advises that people can get a Narcan kit and training from the Williamson County Mobile Outreach Team, which can be reached at (512) 864-8277.
To learn more about how people can recognize and respond to an opioid overdose, visit https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/treatment/overdose-response.
For information on how to get help for addiction, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). People can also go to https://www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov to find a treatment center.