WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWS10) – On Thursday, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a Public Safety Alert to Americans of the nationwide surge in counterfeit pills that are mass-produced by criminal drug networks in labs, often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms, available to anyone with a smartphone, including minors.

The increased availability of fake prescription pills containing lethal amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine are illegally manufactured through criminal drug networks, made to look like real prescription opioid medications like oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and alprazolam (Xanax), and stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall). 

“Counterfeit pills that contain these dangerous and extremely addictive drugs are more lethal and more accessible than ever before,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. Lab analyses reveal that two out of every five fake pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose.” 

The DEA says it is focusing its resources on taking down drug traffickers posing the greatest threat to the safety and health of Americans so that people have the information they need to protect themselves and their children.

The vast majority of counterfeit pills brought into the United States are produced in Mexico, and China is supplying chemicals for the manufacturing of fentanyl in Mexico said, Officials.

More than 9.5 million counterfeit pills were seized so far this year said the DEA, which lab tests reveal counterfeit pills containing at least two milligrams in the lethal amount of fentanyl.

A deadly dose of fentanyl is small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil said Officials.

This alert does not apply to legitimate pharmaceutical medications prescribed by medical professionals and dispensed by licensed pharmacists. says the DEA, the legitimate prescription supply chain is not impacted, and prescriptions at a licensed pharmacy are safe when taken as directed by a medical professional.

DEA warns that pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous, and potentially lethal. For more information, visit https://www.dea.gov/onepill.