CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson, today issued a public health warning today, indicating that the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office has detected fentanyl in pills that have been disguised to appear as Oxycodone (30mg tablets). This is an immediate threat to public health safety, causing a heightened concern for potentially fatal overdoses.

Oxycodone is a powerful opioid used to treat severe pain. Common brand names for Oxycodone include: OxyContin, Roxicodone, and Percocet (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen).

As a reminder, there is no regulation or quality control with illicit drugs. Therefore, anyone taking a street drug cannot know for sure they are taking what has been advertised to them. This can lead to serious consequences, including death.

“This is a cause for major concern. Fentanyl is a far more toxic drug than Oxycodone and may have deadly consequences for the person who unwittingly uses it,” said Dr. Gilson. “Ideally, not using drugs will eliminate the problem, but harm reduction practices like not using alone and having Naloxone available can save lives.”

If you or anyone that you know is actively using or recovering from opioid addiction, contact Project DAWN for information at 216-778-5677. Eligible program participants, are given FREE Naloxone kits – the opioid reversing antidote.

Additionally, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County provides a 24-hour crisis hotline at 216-623-6888.