Media Awareness

When One Pill Kills

Eight parents mourn children poisoned by deadly pills bought on Snapchat.

When One Pille Kills - an NBC News Special
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Originally Published: October 1, 2021

Matt Capelouto’s daughter, Alex, was home for winter break from Arizona State University in 2019 when she died after buying and taking the pill. She didn’t get a chance to open her Christmas presents.

One month into the pandemic in 2020, Bridgette Norring’s teenage son was found unconscious in his bed by his brother.

Luca Manuel was just 13 when he took the drug the afternoon before he was supposed to start back at school for the first day of in-person classes since lockdown. His mother, Amanda Faith Eubanks, held her son for the last time as he was being put into the coroner’s van inside of a body bag.

These are just a few cases over the last few years in a wave of deaths among teens and young adults who bought what they believed to be a prescription pill — like a Percocet, an OxyContin or a Xanax — that turned out to be a counterfeit pill containing a deadly dose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid a hundred times more potent than morphine.

Many of those pills are being traded openly via social media, particularly on Snapchat …

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