DHEC warns South Carolinians about the dangers of buying prescription drugs online, without a prescription

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services are warning South Carolinians to beware of ordering medication online without a prescription.

The warning comes after a recent series of overdoses of a potent counterfeit benzodiazepine in the Upstate. Benzodiazapines treat anxiety and other issues. Common brand names include Xanax and Valium.

Health officials emphasized the danger that comes with purchasing prescription drugs from unofficial distributors. “Purchasing drugs online without a prescription can be very dangerous because they may be counterfeit, which means they were created in an uncontrolled environment and may also contain other harmful ingredients,” said Emma Kennedy, director of DHEC’s Division of Injury and Substance Abuse Prevention. “If counterfeit pills are laced with fentanyl, as they often are, they can be particularly deadly. Now is the time to have conversations with loved ones and check-in with your junior high, high school and college-aged children to remind them of these dangers.”

According to officials, suspected opioid overdoses were up 40-50% in South Carolina in 2020, compared to 2019.

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