DEA warns of meth pills resembling candy being distributed in Northeast Ohio

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued a warning about illegal methamphetamine pills that are being distributed on the streets in Northeast Ohio.

The distribution and use of methamphetamine is on the rise across the nation, a DEA source told Cleveland-based FOX 8 News on Monday. Mexican drug trafficking organizations have over recent years become the primary manufacturers and distributors of meth in the United States.

The cartels manufacture the drugs in Mexico and then bring them into the U.S. Then they are distributed across the nation, including in Northeast Ohio.

The meth industry has been evolving. In addition to distributing the drug in its traditional powder or crystal forms, the DEA has of late observed an increase in the sale of meth pills in Northeast Ohio.

DEA agents believe that this is due, in part, to meth being easier to mail and smuggle across the U.S. southwestern border when it has been manufactured in pill form.

The pills are small and colorful, often resembling candy.

The DEA says parents need to be on the alert, as these pills can look appealing to children. Parents should check all candy and pills before they are consumed by children.

Ohioans should inspect all pills for stamped pharmaceutical code markings. However, the DEA warns that this may not be enough to identify counterfeit pills, as makers have become increasingly sophisticated, adding that it can be hard to distinguish between a legitimate pharmaceutical and an illegal pill with the naked eye.

The DEA says the biggest clue for identifying counterfeit drugs is the packaging. Pharmaceutical companies must apply certain labeling and packaging requirements to every bottle, vial or other container intended to hold retail drugs. Meth pills will most likely not be found in the type of packaging that meets official requirements.

Meth is a highly addictive drug with potent central nervous system stimulant effects and severe impacts on the body. High doses can elevate the body temperature to dangerous, at times lethal levels. Methamphetamine can cause convulsions, cardiovascular collapse and even death.

Meth use has also been known to cause organ problems, paranoia, ‘serotonergic neurotoxicity’ (damage to nervous tissue), extreme loss of memory, severe dental problems and anorexia, among other ill effects.

Online Resources

For more information on meth, citizens are urged to visit the DEA website.

Additionally, Ohio has many resources to help those who are struggling with addiction. Residents are urged to visit the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services website for more information on rehabilitation centers and resources available in their community.