JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The drug Adderall is used by people with attention deficit hyperactive disorder, or ADHD, as well as people who have narcolepsy.
Now, the Drug Enforcement Administration is warning people about counterfeit Adderall sold online. Federal agents say it's a fairly new trend in illegal narcotic production and trafficking.
The warning comes after agents recently seized counterfeit Adderall pills that were destined for Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. DEA Special Agent Mike Dubet says counterfeit Adderall sold online is being laced with methamphetamines.
“The fact that we (have) meth traffickers replacing the ingredients of Adderall with methamphetamine poses a serious threat to public health and safety," Dubet told News4Jax.
Pharmacist Zach Langston, of North Beach Pharmacy, says it’s a threat with serious consequences.
“It’s going to elevate your heart rate too much. It could throw people into heart attacks or strokes," Langston said.
Real Adderall has an identifying number engraved into the pill or capsule that can be Googled.
"And it will tell you what this pill is and who’s the manufacturer," Langston explained.
Federal agents have a theory behind this type of counterfeit operation.
“Meth traffickers may be looking to increase their market and gain some of these Adderall users and bring them over to the meth side," Dubet said.
Large quantities of meth are known to come from countries like Mexico.
“However, as far as putting them into the counterfeit pills, this is happening right here in the United States," Dubet said.
In fact, in Florida, agents shut down two counterfeit operations: one in South Florida and the other in Tampa Bay.
“On one of the occasions, we seized three industrial-sized pill presses," Dubet said.
Since there are so many risks involved in purchasing Adderall online, experts are urging people to go to legitimate pharmacies that have obtained their drugs through Food and Drug Administration-registered wholesalers.
“At any point in time, you know where that drug has been and you know what’s in the drug," Langston said.
Within the last year and a half, the DEA has closed in on six counterfeit Adderall operations nationwide.