CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning Northeast Ohioans about illegal methamphetamine pills being distributed on the streets.
The distribution and use of methamphetamine is on the rise across the nation, a DEA source told FOX 8 Monday. Mexican drug trafficking organizations have become the primary manufacturers and distributors of meth in the US.
Those organizations make the drugs in Mexico and then bring them into the US and distributed across the country, including in Northeast Ohio.
However, the meth industry has been evolving. In addition to distributing the drug in powder or crystal form, the DEA has now seen an increase of meth pills being sold in Northeast Ohio.
Officials believe this is in part because meth is easier to mail and get across the US-Mexico border when in pill form.
The pills are small, colorful and often resemble candy.
The DEA says citizens, especially parents as these pills can look appealing to children, need to be alert. They should check all candy and pills before consumption.
Ohioans should look for stamped pharmaceutical codes on all pills. However, the DEA warns code markings may not be enough to identify counterfeit pills as “makers have gotten more sophisticated.” Adding it can be hard to distinguish between a pharmaceutical and a homemade pill with the naked eye.
The DEA says the biggest clue for identifying illegal drugs is the packaging. Pharmaceutical companies have certain labeling and packaging requirements they must apply to every bottle, vial or other consumer container intended to hold drugs. Meth pills will most likely not be found in that type of packaging.
Meth is a highly addictive drug with potent central nervous system stimulant properties. It has severe impacts on the body. High doses can elevate body temperature to dangerous and sometimes lethal levels. It can cause convulsions, cardiovascular collapse and even death.
Meth use has also been known to cause organ problems, paranoia, serotonergic neurotoxicity, extreme memory loss, severe dental problems and anorexia, among other side effects.
For more information on meth, visit the DEA website.
Additionally, Ohio has many resources to help those who are struggling with addiction. Visit the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services website for more information on rehab centers and resources available in your community.