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  • Smoking Blues & M30s | The Dangerous Rise Of Counterfeit Pills

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    Smoking Blues & M30s | The Dangerous Rise Of Counterfeit Pills

    The illegal drug market contains numerous substances that pose a high risk of addiction and overdose. Most of these substances go by various street names. In recent years, many drug dealers have started selling highly dangerous drugs known as “blues” or “M30s.”

    What Are Blues Drugs?

    M30 “Blues” Pills

    Blues or M30s are round, blue pills stamped with “M” on one side and “30” on the other side. They contain illegally manufactured fentanyl

    Fentanyl is a synthetic (human-made) opioid that doctors use to treat severe cancer pain. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), it’s 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. 

    Fentanyl-Laced Pills

    Like other opioids, fentanyl can make you feel relaxed and euphoric, or “high.” That’s why some people abuse it. It’s often sold on the street under names like “apache,” “China girl,” and “TNT.’

    Most people who use blues and M30s don’t realize they are ingesting fentanyl

    That’s because drug dealers try to pass the pills off as oxycodone, a prescription opioid that’s much less deadly than fentanyl. They do this to give buyers a stronger high and cut production costs (as fentanyl is relatively cheap to manufacture). 

    In the past, most blues were produced in Mexico, China, and India. Recently, though, many U.S. drug traffickers have started producing them as well. This is likely because so many Americans have become addicted to opioids. 

    Also, since the opioid crisis has led lawmakers to place much tighter restrictions on prescription opioid use, many people find blues more accessible than prescription opioids.

    Teens & Social Media

    Blues are often sold to teenagers and young adults on social media. In general, young people are more likely to use pills than other types of street drugs because they’re usually cheaper. They also lack strong smells, which helps teenagers hide their drug use from their parents.

    Many people who use blues heat them on a piece of tinfoil. This practice produces vapors that can be smoked. 

    The Dangers Of Blues Drugs

    People who smoke blues and M30s face a high risk of fentanyl overdose. Even two milligrams of fentanyl (the size of a few grains of sand) can be fatal. The most common symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include:

    • confusion 
    • nausea and/or vomiting
    • pale, clammy skin
    • bluish lips and/or fingernails
    • slowed or stopped breathing
    • slowed or stopped heart rate
    • loss of consciousness

    If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, call 911 right away. Also, administer naloxone if you have it. Naloxone is a medication that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. 

    It’s available at most pharmacies under the brand Narcan. Your pharmacist or doctor can teach you how to administer it.

    Opioid Addiction

    Using blues and M30s can also lead to fentanyl addiction. This serious disease makes you feel unable to stop using fentanyl even if you want to. Other symptoms can include:

    • mood swings
    • loss of motivation
    • loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
    • avoidance of friends and family members
    • tolerance (needing increasingly larger or more frequent doses of fentanyl to feel the desired effects)  
    • physical dependence (experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and nausea, when you don’t use fentanyl)

    How To Stay Safe From Counterfeit Drugs

    In most cases, blues and M30s look identical to genuine oxycodone pills. That’s why you should never buy oxycodone on the street or online. Instead, use it only when it’s prescribed to you by your doctor. 

    You should also encourage your loved ones, especially teenagers and young adults, to do the same. Explain that many street pills are secretly contaminated with fentanyl and that it’s impossible to identify which pills are fake

    Along with being pressed into blue pills, fentanyl is also secretly added to a wide variety of other street drugs, including:

    • other opioids, such as codeine, hydrocodone, and heroin (also called “dope,” “skag,” or “black tar”)
    • methamphetamine (also called “meth”)
    • cocaine (also called “coke”)
    • benzodiazepines (or “benzos”), such as alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), and diazepam (Valium)
    • prescription stimulants (or “poppers”), such as amphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) 
    • marijuana (also called “weed,” “skunk,” or “ganja”)
    • synthetic marijuana (also called “black mamba” or “spice”)
    • psychedelics, such as LSD (also called “blotter”), psilocybin mushrooms (also called “shrooms” or “mushies”), ketamine (also called “special K” or “vitamin K”), PCP (also called “angel dust,”) peyote (also called “mescaline”), and MDMA (also called “ecstasy”)
    • club drugs, such as MDMA (also called “ecstasy”) and GHB (also called “liquid ecstasy”)
    • synthetic cathinones (also called “bath salts,” “bliss,” and “vanilla sky”)

    Ultimately, the only way to avoid a deadly fentanyl overdose is to never use street drugs. If you or someone you love feels unable to stop using street drugs, seek help at a drug addiction treatment center. 

    Addiction Treatment

    Drug rehab centers offer a variety of recovery-focused services, including medical detox, mental health counseling, and support groups

    To learn more about drug addiction treatment options, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist. Our board-certified treatment providers offer personalized, evidence-based care to help you or your loved one stay healthy and sober.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2021 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Sources

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Fentanyl
    Oregon Health & Science University - Opioids, counterfeit pills may contain deadly fentanyl
    United States Drug Enforcement Administration - Counterfeit Pills
    United States Drug Enforcement Administration - Fentanyl
    United States National Library of Medicine - Fentanyl

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