Over the counter medicine discovered in North Myrtle Beach laced with Fentanyl

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David Hucks
David Huckshttps://myrtlebeachsc.com
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com


Fentanyl disguised as over-the-counter medicine is a scary trend sweeping the Grand Strand, according to North Myrtle Beach Police.

On Wednesday night, North Myrtle Beach Police officers recovered 22 grams of fentanyl.

Police arrested Zuri Keche Phifer for trafficking fentanyl after smelling marijuana during a traffic stop.

During the search, police found several pills, a blue powder, and “a sleep aid containing diphenhydramine sold under various store brands.” The pills tested positive for fentanyl.

According to a department spokesperson, this practice isn’t widely known.

Basically, they’re going to inject it into the pill itself, and that’s how they’ll keep us from intercepting it, Officer Patrick Wilkinson explained. In the event they are pulled over and we see it, it may easily appear like a pain reliever. Something you can get at the store.

Additionally, Wilkinson said officers are taking extra precautions when handling drug seizures.

Fentanyl: What is it?

Fentanyl, often referred to as “synthetic heroin,” is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Originally developed for medical use in managing severe pain, Fentanyl has found its way into the illicit drug market. Its potency and affordability have made it an attractive option for drug dealers looking to maximize profits.

The drug works by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain, rapidly inducing feelings of euphoria and relaxation. However, this powerful high comes at a devastating cost. Even small amounts of Fentanyl can be lethal due to its extraordinary strength.

What makes Fentanyl particularly dangerous is its ability to be easily disguised and mixed with other drugs like heroin or cocaine without detection. This puts unsuspecting users at even greater risk of accidental overdose.

The effects of Fentanyl on the body are swift and unforgiving. It depresses respiration and can cause breathing difficulties, leading to oxygen deprivation and potentially fatal consequences if left untreated.

Law enforcement agencies across the globe are struggling in their battle against this deadly substance, as new forms of fentanyl continue to emerge on the black market. The reach of this epidemic knows no bounds; it affects people from all walks of life regardless of age, gender or socioeconomic status.

In our next section, we will explore just how many lives are lost each year due to Fentanyl’s ruthless grip…

The Dangers of Fentanyl

Fentanyl: a tiny, yet incredibly potent opioid. Its dangers cannot be underestimated. Even the smallest amount of this drug can have devastating consequences. The potency of fentanyl is what makes it so dangerous – even more powerful than morphine or heroin.

One of the biggest risks associated with fentanyl is its potential for overdose. Due to its strength, users may unknowingly take too much, leading to respiratory depression and ultimately death. What’s alarming is that fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs like cocaine or heroin, making it even more lethal.

Another danger lies in the fact that fentanyl can be found in counterfeit prescription pills and street drugs such as powder or tablets sold as ecstasy or oxycodone. This presents a significant risk for individuals who are seeking recreational drugs without realizing they are actually consuming something far deadlier.

Even those who use opioids recreationally should be cautious about fentanyl’s presence in their supply chain. It has been known to contaminate other substances without the user’s knowledge, putting them at risk of accidental overdose.

The dangers of fentanyl extend beyond just individual users; first responders and law enforcement personnel also face serious risks when handling this drug due to its high potency and potential for accidental exposure.

In conclusion (not conclusive), understanding the dangers surrounding fentanyl is crucial for everyone – whether you’re an opioid user, a concerned family member, or someone working in healthcare or law enforcement. By increasing awareness about this deadly substance and taking precautions to avoid it altogether, we can help reduce the number of tragedies caused by Fentanyl each year

How many people die from Fentanyl each year?

Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, has become a significant public health concern in recent years. Its use has surged due to its high potency and availability on the black market. Sadly, this increase in fentanyl use has led to an alarming number of fatalities.

In terms of how many people die from fentanyl each year, the statistics are deeply concerning. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were over 36,000 deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl in 2019 alone. This represents a staggering increase compared to previous years.

The numbers continue to rise at an alarming rate as illicit drug suppliers frequently lace their products with this deadly substance without users’ knowledge or consent. The danger lies not only in intentional misuse but also in unintentional exposure when individuals unknowingly consume drugs contaminated with fentanyl.

It is essential to note that these statistics represent lives lost—sons, daughters, parents, friends—all victims of this devastating epidemic sweeping across our communities.

As we grapple with these distressing figures, it becomes evident that urgent action needs to be taken on multiple fronts. Increased access to addiction treatment programs and resources is crucial for those battling substance abuse disorders related to fentanyl. Additionally, law enforcement efforts must target the illegal manufacturing and distribution networks responsible for flooding our streets with dangerous counterfeit drugs.

Education plays a vital role as well. It is imperative that individuals understand the risks associated with using illicit substances such as fentanyl and recognize the signs of an overdose so they can act quickly and potentially save lives by administering naloxone—an opioid antidote—in emergency situations.

By addressing both supply and demand factors while prioritizing prevention measures like education campaigns and harm reduction strategies, we can hope to see a decline in the heartbreaking number of lives lost due to fentanyl each year.

Who is most at risk of dying from Fentanyl?

Who is most at risk of dying from Fentanyl? Let’s take a closer look at the demographics and factors that contribute to this alarming trend.

It’s important to note that anyone who consumes or comes into contact with Fentanyl is potentially at risk of dying. However, certain groups are more vulnerable than others.

One group particularly susceptible to the dangers of Fentanyl includes individuals who struggle with opioid addiction. These individuals may be seeking a stronger high or trying to combat withdrawal symptoms by turning to illicit substances such as Fentanyl. Unfortunately, their desperation can lead them down a dangerous path.

Another group at heightened risk are those who unknowingly consume counterfeit prescription medications laced with Fentanyl. In recent years, there has been an increase in these counterfeit drugs flooding the market, making it difficult for users to distinguish between legitimate prescriptions and deadly imitations.

Furthermore, people who have previously overdosed on opioids are also more likely to die from Fentanyl use due to their increased tolerance levels and potential reliance on higher doses.

It’s crucial not to overlook another vulnerable population: individuals experiencing chronic pain conditions who may be prescribed opioids as part of their treatment plan. They must exercise caution when taking medications containing Fentanyl and follow their doctor’s instructions precisely, minimizing any potential risks.

Remember that no one is immune from the dangers posed by this potent drug. It emphasizes the importance of awareness campaigns targeting all age groups and populations so that everyone understands the risks associated with using or being exposed to Fentanyl.

How to avoid Fentanyl

One of the best ways to protect yourself from the dangers of Fentanyl is to be aware and educated about its presence in various forms. Stay informed about local drug trends and be cautious when attending parties or events where drugs may be present.

If you are prescribed pain medication, it’s crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and never exceed the recommended dosage. Discuss any concerns or questions with your healthcare provider openly.

When consuming recreational drugs, always exercise caution and know what you are taking. Be wary of substances that could potentially contain Fentanyl, as they can have deadly consequences even in small amounts.

Another important step is to develop a strong support network. Surround yourself with people who will encourage healthy choices and discourage drug use. Having a reliable group of friends who prioritize your well-being can make all the difference in avoiding dangerous situations involving Fentanyl.

If you suspect someone may be experiencing an overdose due to Fentanyl or any other substance, don’t hesitate to call emergency services immediately. Acting quickly can save lives.

Remember, staying informed, making smart choices, having a support system in place, and knowing how to respond during emergencies are all essential steps towards avoiding the risks associated with Fentanyl exposure.

Hi David and team, 

Hope you are doing well. I am reaching out on behalf of my client, Haleon, the makers of Advil products. We saw your recent coverage on MyrtleBeachSC News titled, “Over the counter medicine discovered in North Myrtle Beach laced with Fentanyl” which ran on September 15, 2023. In the coverage you state, “During the search, police found several pills, a blue powder, and three liquid Advil pills. The Advil pills tested positive for fentanyl.”, – which has now been found to be factually incorrect and we are requesting a correction to this article.

As you might have already heard from the Public Information Officer from the North Myrtle Beach Police department, who was also going to contact you, the department has confirmed the seized pills were not Advil or Haleon products. The seized pills were only stamped with the marking “PC5”, and the word “Advil” or any other wording did not appear on the “PC5” pills. The container that the pills were discovered in also did not have any references to “Advil” or any other references associated with a manufacturer.  

Additionally, Haleon can confirm by the pills’ markings, that these are private label, single ingredient diphenhydramine sleep aids. Haleon does not market a product with the single ingredient diphenhydramine. Also of note, the Advil Liqui-Gel products have the Advil name embossed on the liquid filled capsule, which was not the case with the product in question in the case you covered.  

Based on this information, we suggest the piece should strike any mention of Advil and read, “a sleep aid containing diphenhydramine sold under various store brands.” 

Thank you so much, and please feel free to reach out with any questions.  

Kim Angelastro

Edelman on behalf of Haleon

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