The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is warning the public about a dramatic increase in counterfeit prescription drugs in the state.

TBI Special Agents with the Drug Investigation Division say they have seen a spike in adulterated Percocet pills being sold on the street.

Users of the counterfeit pills could prove to be fatal. The counterfeit drugs look similar to legitimate Percocet pills but contain potentially lethal ingredients.

Numerous overdoses across Middle Tennessee are being attributed to this batch of dangerous drugs, and Agents are warning users that more overdoses and deaths are likely as these pills make their way to users.

“We want to make the public abundantly clear that these pills being made in clandestine labs present a very real and life-threatening danger to anyone who takes them,” says TBI Deputy Director Jason Locke. “We can’t stress enough that the pills people buy on the streets can and do contain deadly elements.”

During the last year, dozens of case submissions from counties across Tennessee share a common thread: pills shaped, colored, and stamped to look like a particular type of prescription medication have proven to be something different in laboratory analysis.

In May 2015, a Tennessee law enforcement agency recovered what appeared to be several 30mg pills of oxycodone during a traffic stop. Each was the same size and featured the signature A/215 stamp characteristic of oxycodone. 

Laboratory analysis performed by TBI Forensic Scientists indicated the pills were counterfeit and did not contain oxycodone. I

Instead, they contained fentanyl, a painkiller 50 times as potent as heroin that can be deadly in high doses.

TBI continues to investigative the source of these pills.