ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WRIC) — Officials in the City of Alexandria are warning about a recent spike in drug overdoses linked to fentanyl and the presence of counterfeit Percocet pills that contain it.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is said to be 80-100 times more potent than morphine, is often used to cut opiates to make them less expensive to produce and can be deadly if enough is ingested.

According to a release from the city, 12 opioid overdoses were reported in Alexandria in April. None of the 12 people who overdosed died, but six of them were under 17 years old. There have been 30 reported overdoses of opiates in Alexandria so far in 2022, resulting in two deaths that were confirmed to be linked to fentanyl.

A recently confiscated pill (pictured below) was made to look like a Percocet tablet. Pills like this one can be extremely dangerous as they often appear identical to the real thing, according to the DEA.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, counterfeit pills like the one pictured (left) are dangerous because often appear identical to legitimate pills. Burnt aluminum foil (right) is often used to inhale the pills.

The City of Richmond has some resources available for people affected by substance abuse. The Richmond Behavioral Health Authority has a 24-hour emergency crisis intervention hotline that can be reached by calling 804-819-4100.

REVIVE! is Virginia’s Opioid Overdose and Naloxone (Narcan) Education program, which teaches people how to recognize an opioid overdose and how to use Narcan, which is used to treat overdoses in emergency situations.

The Richmond Behavioral Health Authority has REVIVE! training and Narcan distribution on the third Wednesday of every month from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at 107 South 5th Street. More information can be found by calling 804-819-8741.

The Richmond City Health District has REVIVE! training and walk-in Narcan distribution on the second Friday of every month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on the third Tuesday of every month from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 400 East Cary Street. More information can be found by calling 804-205-3700.

A REVIVE! training completion card or counseling on proper Narcan use is required to pick up Narcan from either location. More information on harm reduction resources in Richmond can be found here.