"No Cap, Those Pills are Sus" CMPD Launches Fentanyl Campaign

Published on November 09, 2023

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Charlotte, N.C. – (Thursday, November 9, 2023) – Today the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) launched a unique public awareness campaign (www.street-pills-kill.com) to inform the Charlotte community about the dangers of illegal street pills as the department is reporting a 20% increase in overdose deaths.

The campaign draws upon slang phrases like “no cap” and “sus” to target the message to younger individuals and their families. The main goal is to prevent overdose deaths through education and to spark conversations within an impressionable audience that is unaware of the prevalence and risks of fentanyl-laced drugs. The social media hashtag for this campaign is #StreetPillsKill.

In 2023, CMPD has reported a 20% increase in confirmed fatal overdoses compared to this time in 2022, totaling 179 deaths. The majority of these deaths (60%) are individuals under 40-years-old.

Through investigations, CMPD detectives continue to seize large amounts of pills designed to look like common pharmaceutical drugs like Oxycodone, Percocet or Xanax, that are actually laced with suspected fentanyl. In 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported that out of all the fentanyl-laced prescription pills they analyzed, seven out of ten contained a potentially lethal dose. Only two milligrams of fentanyl are enough to cause a fatal overdose, an amount that can fit on the tip of a pencil. This year, the DEA has seized a record 62 million fentanyl pills to date already exceeding last year’s total of 58 million pills.

CMPD’s campaign includes printed and digital materials with various slang phrases coupled with statistics and warnings for Charlotte citizens. Resources, tips for parents and a list of secured drop box locations for people to safely dispose of drugs is listed at street-pills-kill.com. The drop-off locations include CMPD headquarters at 601 East Trade Street, the Matthews Police Department and the UNC Charlotte Police Department, as well as many local pharmacy locations. For a full list of drop box locations click here: https://street-pills-kill.com/#page-5

CMPD Violent Crimes Division Lieutenant Bryan Crum spoke in a video message about the importance of the Charlotte community utilizing the drop boxes.

“When folks turn their pills into us, we ask no questions. It’s completely anonymous. This is not something to get people in trouble, we just want to save lives,” said Lieutenant Crum.

Today Lieutenant Robert Sprague with CMPD’s Covert Operations Division spoke about the dangers of fentanyl-laced pills and the immense amount of suspected fentanyl that CMPD’s Vice Unit is finding on the streets of Charlotte.

“Many drug users and especially younger ones – aren’t aware of what’s in the drugs they are taking or understand why taking a street pill is like playing Russian roulette,” said Lieutenant Sprague.

On September 13, 2023, CMPD’s Vice Unit searched a suspected fentanyl lab and seized $120,000 worth of suspected fentanyl pills as well as three electric pill presses. Officers on scene wore HAZMAT suits and encountered large amounts of suspected fentanyl powder coating surfaces in the home.

Today, CMPD and the Union County Sheriff’s Office also announced the results of a joint narcotics operation that resulted in the seizure of several thousand fentanyl-laced pills and the arrest of two drug trafficking suspects in Monroe who received a combined $3 million secured bond.

So far in 2023, CMPD’s Vice Unit has seized approximately 75 pounds of suspected fentanyl. CMPD will continue to make drug seizures and target criminals who are making and distributing dangerous counterfeit pills. However, the Department needs the public’s help to understand the risks and dangers and to protect themselves and their loved ones from making fatal mistakes.

For more on CMPD’s campaign please visit: https://street-pills-kill.com/

For a video breakdown of fentanyl dangers: https://youtu.be/TlO4pjyWb84

For a video breakdown of CMPD’s drug take back campaign and plea to families: https://youtu.be/jJ584w4KGUo

For a full list of graphics from today’s press conference: https://cmpd.pica9.com/cd/boards/show/hash/9bb59d4d-e2a1-5138-c28b-e4f42f83f169

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call the national hotline at 1-800-662-4357.




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