Authorities in central Iowa are seeing an upturn in the number of seizures of a drug so dangerous, even touching the tablets could be lethal. Captain Nick Lennie, chief deputy of the Story County Sheriff’s Office, says the so-called M-30 pills are stamped with an “M” on one side and a “30” on the other. It’s very difficult to tell whether they’re counterfeit or real prescription medications, and he says swallowing one could quickly result in an overdose if they’re laced with fentanyl or methamphetamine.
Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin, so Lennie says even handling the pills could be very risky. A deadly dose of fentanyl is about the size of a few grains of salt, he says, and it continues to be one of the primary sources of overdose deaths from opioids. Lennie says they’re seeing M-30 more often, even in rural Iowa.
The counterfeit M-30 pills are being manufactured in places like China, India and Mexico and Lennie says they’re often being distributed in the U-S through social media sites, typically to buyers in their teens and 20s.
Following up on the campaign “One Pill Can Kill,” Sergeant Nick Hochberger, also at the Story County Sheriff’s Office, says if there are unused medications in your household, you can dispose of them easily and anonymously.
Businesses, organizations and schools can get the overdose reversal drug, Naloxone, for free, through the website “naloxoneiowa.org”, while individuals can get Naloxone through many local pharmacies.