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DEA launches 'One Pill Can Kill' campaign as people in Cincinnati and nationwide die after consuming counterfeit pills

The pill on the left is a counterfeit.
The pill on the left is a counterfeit. The DEA says often times, one fake pill can kill because it is mixed with other drugs.

Last year, the DEA seized 32 kg of fentanyl in Greater Cincinnati. That has the potential to kill 16 million people, enough to wipe out Ohio and Kentucky, says the agency.

An increasing number of young people are dying after taking a deadly mix of drugs designed to look like prescription pills. DEA Special Agent in Charge for Cincinnati, Jason Schumacher, says people in China ship the synthetic chemicals to Mexico where they are mixed and produced. Those drugs come to distribution points in Cincinnati and Dayton and beyond.

“What we see is a significant amount of young adults and children — the high school students and can be younger — are purchasing these counterfeit pills through social media platforms,” Schumacher says.

The DEA is so concerned about the nationwide problem it's starting the "One Pill Can Kill" campaign.

Last year officials seized 32 kilograms of fentanyl in Greater Cincinnati. Schumacher says that has the potential to kill 16 million people and wipe out Ohio and Kentucky.

The DEA says it takes just 2 mg of fentanyl to kill.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.