11 May 2022 | Bridgette Norring

What is a 'Fentapill'?

Summary: It’s nothing but a marketing moniker, used to cutely describe counterfeit pills, pressed and distributed to look like pharmaceutical grade prescription drugs that contain what could be likely a lethal dose of illicit fentanyl.

In discussing this confusion, I will use my son Devin’s death as an example.

A search of the ICD-10 and DSM-5 codes turns up no results for ‘Fentapill’. I checked a variety of online Pill Identifier sites, and found nothing. There’s no mention of a ‘Fentapill’ on the DEA website. Police catalogued no reference to the seizure of ‘Fentapills’ in their inventory of items discovered in Devin’s room. Devin’s autopsy report makes no reference of a ‘Fentapill’. His toxicology doesn’t cite a ‘Fentapill’ in the substances detected. His death certificate reads “Cause of death – acute fentanyl toxicity”; nowhere does it say he died from a toxic ‘Fentapill’. Simply put, there is no acceptable medical classification for the term ‘Fentapill’

What is a ‘Fentapill’? It’s nothing but a marketing moniker, used to cutely describe counterfeit pills, pressed and distributed to look like pharmaceutical grade prescription drugs that contain what could be likely a lethal dose of illicit fentanyl.

I have been repeatedly asked by people in my community, “What’s a Fentapill?’ Is it a new drug out there?” “Is it a new version of ecstasy?’ After explaining it, the common response is, ‘Then why don’t they just say that?’ If I didn’t know better and heard ‘Fentapill’ used out in the streets, I would assume it was drug slang for whatever product the drug dealers are plaguing our communities with. I can only imagine someone saying their child didn’t take a “Fentapill”, that isn’t what they bought!

As advocates, we must always distribute accurate information. ‘Fentapill’ is doing nothing but creating confusion where none is needed. This isn’t the time for cute little tag lines. If we are going to educate people about pills killing thousands of our children and loved ones, call them what they are! Illicit fentanyl, counterfeit pills, even fake pills is a better description than ‘Fentapill’.

“Fentapill” has no place in the cause of raising awareness.