What is Pill Pressing?
The latest innovation in the illegal sale of harmful substances is pill pressing. Lately, dealers have been using this method to mass sell counterfeit Adderall on the street. But what is pill pressing?
Easily obtainable online, a pill press is a small hand-held device that can combine unregulated ingredients into a tablet form. While purchasing a pill pressing machine is not illegal, the sale of tablets made with harmful substances surely is. Because their sale is not regulated or tracked in any way, law enforcement has had difficulty deterring criminals from this practice. Simply owning a pill press carries no consequence, and without proof of intent, there is no actual crime as written.
Due to the ease of obtaining the machine, cheap materials and then mass production, drug dealers are increasing profits dramatically while also increasing death tolls. Today, we will discuss more about this trend, the dangers and the drugs that are being produced. Awareness and education are key to survival in the world of addiction and recovery.
Why are Pressed Pills Dangerous?
It is safe to say that few drug dealers are actually well educated in the art of pharmacology. Rather than trying to create safe substances with the least amount of impact, their goal is to make money off of addiction. The simple fact is that when you are buying homebrewed pressed pills, you have no idea what materials and chemicals were used to make the drug. You don’t know if what you are buying or taking is even the substance you were seeking.
The death toll from counterfeit pills has been on the rise since the practice became popular, just a few years ago. Many drug dealers who are using this method are cutting their pills with fentanyl, one of the most lethal synthetic opioids on the market. To put it into perspective, fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. While 30 milligrams of heroin is enough to kill an average adult, it takes just 3 milligrams of fentanyl for a lethal overdose.
Quick Facts about Fentanyl
To understand the dangers of fentanyl and why it is so widely used in pill pressing, it is important to understand:
- It’s extremely cheap: You need very little for a serious effect, so there’s a lot of bang for your buck.
- It’s highly addictive: Addiction sets on fast, making repeat customers, until they can’t repeat anymore.
- It is currently causing 59% of opioid related deaths: Many buyers do not even know they are purchasing Adderall or other pills cut with fentanyl.
What Substances are Usually Pressed?
Drugs typically taken in pill form are obviously going to be the most frequently pressed. Percocet, OxyContin, Ecstasy and Xanax are commonly made counterfeit, with Adderall not far behind. There are even cases of cocaine being sold as nothing more than powdered fentanyl. Drugs have never been safe or healthy for the body, but it is now more dangerous than ever before.
When purchasing these medications on the street, it is impossible to tell if they are authentic or cut with harmful substances without the aid of drug testing kits. Typically, the dealers who make these drugs go above and beyond to make their product look as identical to the real deal as possible.
To prevent the continued crisis of opioid addiction, fentanyl overdose and contaminated pills, many Harm Reduction centers will test drugs for fentanyl. This may not be the most reliable source, as there may not be a clinic near you to do this – but the option is available.
Schedule II drugs typically have production quotas set by the DEA. Though demand will rise for some prescription medications, the quotas are typically kept form, which can and will lead to a shortage. Adderall, it’s generics and other similar medications are now considered to be in major backlog from prescription producers. Due to the rise in substance abuse of amphetamine based prescription drugs, the DEA has pulled back on what it will allow to be produced legally. Doctors and pharmacies are also trying to limit the amount that they give out.
This behavior causes two problems. The first, is that it negatively impacts the community of actual sufferers of ADHD who need Adderall to be effective at school and work. The second is that it increases the demand for the drug on the street – which as we have learned, leads to potentially lethal counterfeits.
The need for Adderall has caused many users to turn to the streets. Earlier, we discussed that many pressed pills are cut with fentanyl, which is causing severe overdoses. While this is still true for Adderall, many dealers have turned to meth as an alternative for producing their counterfeit pills. Because meth and Adderall have similar effects, pill pressers are selling meth in the form of Adderall to unknowing buyers. Though they are similar, their dosages are extremely different and street meth is chemically produced in unregulated labs. This can lead to dangerous results or an even more powerful drug addiction.
Adderall vs Meth
Because of their similarities, regular Adderall users are at risk of moving onto methamphetamines – especially during a shortage. They are actually composed largely of the same chemicals – although in different percentages. Many people with regular Adderall prescriptions have actually admitted to going straight to unregulated street meth or pressed Adderall containing meth as an alternative while they struggle to get their prescription filled.
Without a true ADHD disability, the effects of Adderall will feel very similar to the effects of meth – it functions as a stimulant that greatly increases energy. The actual purpose of Adderall is to calm the user down and help their focus. If this is not happening, then it is likely that you do not actually need it and are abusing the drug. Those without this knowledge think that the stimulating effects are what they are seeking.
Dangers of Adderall
People who are abusing Adderall regularly will experience dramatic side effects over long term use. Some of these effects will include:
- Heart Disease
- Panic Attacks
- Weight Loss
- Inability to Concentrate
Dangers of Meth
Meth, on the other hand, while feeling similar has significantly more dangerous and life changing effects on the body. Replacing your Adderall prescription with meth may seem like a short-term, cheaper solution, but can cost you everything. Obtaining cheaply produced pressed Adderall has a high probability of containing street meth.
Meth use can cause:
- Serious Addiction
- Memory Loss
- Violent Behavior
- Tooth Decay
- Skin Sores
- Dramatic Weight Loss
If you or a loved one is using Adderall, make sure it is being used correctly. If there is a risk for purchasing street drugs or pressed pills, intervention is critical. We are here if you need assistance. Royal Life Centers admissions staff is available 24/7 to answer your questions and address your concerns about drug addiction treatment. We can be reached at (877)-RECOVERY or 877-732-6837. Because We Care.