Counterfeit Oxycodone pills blamed for 6 weekend overdoses, 1 death in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) The Wichita Police Department warns of "numerous cases" of counterfeit oxycodone pills embedded with Fentanyl. A recent case within the past few days turned deadly.

Wichita Police Department

The department says it's investigating six overdose cases from the weekend, four involving a 16-year-old boy, a 19-year-old man, a 23-year-old man and a 27-year-old man.

"WPD is currently working with the Regional Forensic Science Center to determine if the Oxycodone pills seized in the cases are counterfeit and embedded with Fentanyl," police say.

Over the weekend, police say a 19-year-old man died after ingesting pills and a 16-year-old was unresponsive and taken to a local hospital after ingesting pills.

"Additionally, a 27-year-old male and a 23-year-old male both required medical attention after ingesting pills and becoming unconscious," police say.

In 2019, Wichita police say the department's Special Investigations Bureau investigated 23 cases involving Fentanyl.

"The counterfeit pills appear from their markings to be legitimate Oxycodone pills. Howver, upon testing, the pills are confirmed to contain Fentanyl instead of the ingredients of authentic Oxycodone," police say.

Police warn these pills are 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin.

"Small amounts of Fentanyl are toxic, and people are dying because of ingesting this drug," police say. "Even just touching Fentanyl can put you at risk."

Police issue a reminder that "any or prescription drug not purchased with a doctor's prescription at a legitimate pharmacy should be considered unsafe and could potentially contain Fentanyl or other harmful substances."

"(The Wichita Police Department) recognizes the severity of Fentanyl in Wichita and remains committed to addressing the opioid crisis and arresting and prosecuting individuals illegally distributing narcotics," police say."

Anyone with information about the illegal sale or use of any drug should call detectives with the WPD Special Investigation Bureau at 316-268-4171, Crime Stoppers at 316-2672111 or the See Something Say Something Hotline at 316-519-2282.

"Also those needing help with a drug addiction should call Sedgwick County COMCARE Addiction Treatment Services at 316-660-1100.