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Columbus Public Health talks dangers of laced, counterfeit drugs

Police are still investigating three reported overdoses that happened just off Ohio State's campus Wednesday night that has now resulted in two student deaths.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A scene. A call that no parent wants to think about.

“I just came downstairs and one of my roommates and two of her friends are passed out in the kitchen,” the caller to 911 said.

Police were called to a home on East Lane Avenue near Ohio State, Wednesday, and on Thursday the Ohio State University announced three students overdosed, one of them had died and another was released from the hospital.

Friday morning, Ohio State confirmed a second student had also died.

University President Kristina Johnson, in a statement to 10TV, says “these tragic deaths in our community in such a short period of time are devastating.”

“There’s a white substance on the counter,” the caller told a 911 dispatcher. “I think they did some sort of drug. They’re purple. Two of them are unresponsive and one is kind of dry heaving.”

Though the university’s Office of Student Life sent out a safety message, Thursday, to students about fake Adderall pills that appear to contain fentanyl, Ohio State has not said what the students took or why.

“It can happen anywhere and it does happen everywhere,” Dr. Mysheika Roberts said.

Roberts, the city of Columbus health commissioner calls it unfortunate both the students’ deaths and the fact accidental overdoses happen far too often saying many times people think they’re getting one thing not knowing what the product is or what might be in it.

“Manufacturers out there are really good at mimicking the actual drug and so you might buy something off the street or from someone else and it might really look like the drug you intended to [get] but it can be counterfeit or laced.”

Thursday night Columbus Public Health put out its own warning about fake Adderall pills containing fentanyl near Ohio State’s campus. Dr. Roberts says all drugs should come from a pharmacy or reliable source in their original packaging. But, she knows counterfeit drugs are easy to find and purchase.

She says if you use something not prescribed to you, always have Naloxone, don't use alone and to be sure to use fentanyl testing strips.

“I think parents should not be naïve to the fact that drugs are readily available and used from middle school on up,” Roberts said.

Roberts says those fentanyl testing strips are available many places, for free, including Columbus Public Health.

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