Friday, October 7, 2022


Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.


Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.


Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

Social Media Drives Sales of Illicit Pills Laced with Fentanyl


Friday, June 3, 2022   

Online sales of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl are on the rise, and experts say social media apps like Snapchat and TikTok are driving the surge, including in Tennessee.

Shabbir Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, said an alarming number of counterfeit prescription drug pills containing fentanyl are being bought online by teens and young adults.

"And in fact, just in the last four years, we've tracked fatalities in 19 different states from people who've met a drug trafficker on Snapchat and then bought a fake pill," Safdar reported.

According to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, more than 2,000 Tennesseans died of fentanyl-related drug overdoses in 2020, more than double the number in 2019.

Tennessee is one of many states recently passing laws decriminalizing fentanyl test strips in an effort to reduce deaths. The tests work by dipping the strip in water containing dissolved drugs.

Safdar noted he believes strips should be legal, but pointed out they do not always detect fentanyl in large batches.

"In fact, there's a young man in Tennessee that we profiled in the last couple of years, who he and his friends all order Xanax off the dark Web, and they each took a pill," Safdar recounted. "It was only this young man's that had the fatal amount of fentanyl in it."

Safdar pointed out more Americans are turning to online pharmacies for acetaminophen, aspirin, blood thinners and other routine medications, but said there's risk in buying products from any source other than a licensed pharmacy.

"During the pandemic, as many as one in seven Americans went online to purchase medication, and many of them went to these fake Canadian pharmacy websites," Safdar emphasized.

According to a study in the Journal of the American Pharmacies Association, there are more than 11,000 websites based in the U.S. and Canada calling themselves "pharmacies" and selling drugs online.

get more stories like this via email
In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…

Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …

The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

Methane released into the atmosphere is responsible for at least 25% of current global warming, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. (


Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

Health and Wellness

Even for people who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although often …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021