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Press Release

United States Attorney and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Warn Iowans about the Dangers of Counterfeit Adderall Pills

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Pills Being Sold as Adderall Actually Contain Crystal Methamphetamine

United States Attorney Peter E. Deegan, Jr. and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Kristi Johnson today highlighted the danger that counterfeit Adderall pills pose to those who may attempt to purchase prescription stimulants on the street.  Drug trafficking organizations are using counterfeit Adderall pills containing crystal methamphetamine to target those who may be addicted to prescription drugs but who otherwise would not use methamphetamine.  These pills increase the health risk and addiction rates of prescription stimulant abusers in the United States.

Following an investigation by the FBI, in February 2020 three individuals pleaded guilty to drug distribution conspiracy charges in relation to their involvement with a drug vendor who sold counterfeit Adderall pills.  Although the pills were marketed as “100% authentic” Adderall pills, the pills tested positive for methamphetamine, according to DEA laboratory testing.

United States Attorney Deegan stated, “Drug traffickers are trying to deceive people across the country into purchasing, using, and becoming addicted to methamphetamine.  They will do whatever they have to do in order to make money at the expense of the health and safety of those buying these fake pills.  The public must be aware that while these pills may look like prescription drugs, they actually contain a deadly controlled substance.”

Special Agent in Charge Kristi Johnson said, “The safety of our community is the priority of the FBI.  We are committed to stopping deadly drugs before they make it to the streets.  We also must remind the public that medications not obtained by legitimate means can result in severe health risks and even death.  I would ask that you to share this potentially life-saving message with your loved ones.”

These counterfeit pills are also dangerous because users who believe that they are purchasing Adderall will assume the pills are safe because they appear to be quality-controlled products of a heavily regulated prescription drug industry.  Instead, users may be putting powerful crystal methamphetamine into their bodies, which leads to increased addiction rates and health risks.  In July and August 2019, one vendor of counterfeit Adderall pills containing methamphetamine attempted to attract resellers of his pills by posting on a darknet website “your customers body can’t tell the difference if it is amphetamine or meth.”

Unless prescription drugs are obtained from an authorized medical provider or pharmacy, the public should not consume or even handle these pills.  All Iowans are urged to only use prescription drugs prescribed to them by legitimate health care providers.

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Updated August 20, 2020

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