One authentic and one counterfeit 30mg oxycodone pill sit next to each other.

An increase in potent "Frankenstein opioids" prompts warning from Ohio attorney general

“A growing presence of dangerous synthetic opioids called nitazenes in Ohio has prompted a warning from the state’s Attorney General Dave Yost. The drugs, nicknamed ‘Frankenstein opioids,’ have been deemed a public health concern by the Drug Enforcement Administration and are not approved for medical use anywhere in the world.”

One authentic and one counterfeit 30mg oxycodone pill sit next to each other.

Teen drug overdose deaths rose sharply in 2020, driven by fentanyl-laced pills

Overdose deaths among teens increased dramatically in 2020 and kept rising in 2021, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Fatal overdoses among teens nearly doubled from 492 in 2019 to 954 in 2020, most of which involved fentanyl hidden in fake pills.

Fentanyl-laced pill seizures have increased nearly 50-fold since 2018, study finds

The number of fentanyl-laced pills seized by law enforcement has increased nearly 50-fold between 2018 and 2021, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The rise in seizures comes amid a period of record-high overdose deaths, researchers said. 

Fentanyl overdose becomes leading cause of death for adults age 18 to 45

Fentanyl overdose is now the leading cause of death for US adults ages 18 to 45, according to numbers from the CDC and Families Against Fentanyl.

Official overdose numbers for 2020 were 40% higher than the previous year. Fentanyl was to blame for 73% of those overdoses. In 2021, fentanyl was involved in 77% of overdose deaths.

That 77% is a dramatic increase from the 31% of fentanyl-involved overdose deaths in 2016. The percentage has increased every year since, up to 53% in 2017, 56% in 2018 and 61% in 2019.

Drop boxes are making it easier to get rid of old medication

If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s that we have a lot of excess stuff in our homes — including bottles and bottles of expired or no-longer-needed medications.

That’s a problem, according to Elizabeth Skoy, an associate professor at North Dakota State University’s School of Pharmacy. “In recent years, there’s been a spotlight on medication disposal, because of the opioid epidemic,” she said. “It’s important to get rid of any medication when you are done with it to prevent misuse or having it fall into the hands of others.” Plus, having old medications in the home increases the chances of accidental poisoning of children or pets.

Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition

RAYSAC is a group of concerned citizens striving to keep the youth and young adults of the Roanoke Valley informed, educated and aware so that they can make healthy decisions surrounding alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

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Address: P.O. Box 13543, Roanoke, VA 24035  |  Phone: 540.982.1427  |  Email: