Potentially deadly fentanyl could be disguised as oxycodone, Cuyahoga County medical examiner warns

CLEVELAND — The Cuyahoga County medical examiner issued a public health warning on Friday.

Dr. Thomas Gilson said the medical examiner’s office has detected fentanyl in pills that have been disguised to appear as Oxycodone. Oxycodone is a powerful opioid used to treat severe pain. The medical examiner said common brand names for Oxycodone include OxyContin, Roxicodone, and Percocet (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen).

“This is a cause for major concern. Fentanyl is a far more toxic drug than Oxycodone and may have deadly consequences for the person who unwittingly uses it,” Dr. Gilson said in  a press release. “Ideally, not using drugs will eliminate the problem, but harm reduction practices like not using alone and having Naloxone available can save lives.”

The medical examiner’s office says if you or anyone that you know is actively using or recovering from opioid addiction, contact Project DAWN for information at 216-778-5677. Eligible program participants are given FREE Naloxone kits – the opioid reversing antidote.

Additionally, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County provides a 24-hour crisis hotline at 216-623-6888.