6 hospitalized in Pee Dee after taking ‘counterfeit’ roxicodone

The fake pills (left), which look similar to Roxicodone (right), are being sold on the streets as the pain killer, but in fact contain no amount of oxycodone.

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Florence investigators say over the past two weeks six people have been hospitalized after taking what they thought was the prescription drug Roxicodone when they bought it from someone off the street.

Major Michael Nunn with Florence County Sheriff’s Office says narcotics investigators have been working in Florence and Williamsburg Counties attempting to find the people selling the poisonous tablets. The pills, which look similar to Roxicodone, are being sold on the streets as the pain killer, but in fact contain no amount of oxycodone, adds Major Nunn.

Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office obtained one of the suspected tablets and submitted it to the drug lab at Florence County Sheriff’s Office for analysis. FCSO’s chemist confirmed that the tablet was not Roxicodone. Instead, the analysis indicated that the pill contained a synthetic based cannabinoid, the active chemical in marijuana.

Synthetic cannabinoid has recently become more prevalent, says Major Nunn, especially since the recent trend of the popular vaping devices. A formal, full report of the counterfeit tablet is pending, preliminary findings suggest that this synthetic THC may be as much as 100 times more potent than that found in regular marijuana, reports Major Nunn.

FCSO is working closely with Lake City Police Department, Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI and other officials to track down the source of these counterfeit substances. Synthetic cannabinoid is a schedule one controlled substance and have no recognized medical value and are illegal to possess under both state and federal law.

Anyone with information on the source of these counterfeit Roxicodone tablets is urged to contact FCSO Narcotics Investigators at (843) 665-2121, ext. 330 or Crime Stoppers of the Pee Dee at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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