CAMDEN, N.J. (WTXF) - Men and women struggling to beat their drug addictions are, sadly, not hard to find.
People like Carl, who after knee replacement surgery, couldn't afford the meds for long and at one point, went to street dealers in search of pain relief.
“You're getting what looks like real prescription medication?" asked FOX 29's Brad Sattin. "But it's not. It's not,” says Carl.
He says dealers can press the pills to make them look like anything. There is proof of that in this new state health alert.
In New Jersey this year, law enforcement has seized over half a million fake prescription pills sold on the streets. Pills that may claim to be morphine, but instead were heroin, two times stronger, fentanyl, a hundred times stronger, or carfentanyl, 10-thousand times stronger.
These drugs are enough to tranquilize an elephant and kill a person with the equivalent of a grain of salt.
“Anybody who is buying drugs on the street is never necessarily getting what they think they're getting,” says John Pellicane, Director of Camden County Mental Health & Addiction.
John says the good news is that the crisis has sparking teamwork like never before. There is help available. Health alerts like these are now shared by federal state and local officials with the aim of educating.