What fake pills and fentanyl may look like.

"Never trust your own eyes to determine if a pill is legitimate."

This page contains a collection of photographs of fake pills and fentanyl from governmental agencies.


Its purpose is to show parents and others some of the ways in which modern drug dealers are creating lethal lookalikes to common medications.


See a doctor, not a dealer. You can not tell whether a pill is real or fake by sight, smell, taste, or field testing.

U.S. Penny v.s. a Potentially Lethal Dose of Fentanyl

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

"Comparison of a U.S. Penny to a Potentially Lethal Dose of Fentanyl"

"Photo illustration of 2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose in most people." - U.S. DEA

Authentic Fentanyl, Lethal Dose

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

A potentially lethal volume of actual fentanyl is shown here in relation to the lead (graphite) of a No. 2 pencil.

Faux (Fake) Fentanyl, Potentially Lethal Dose

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

This photograph shows a potentially lethal volume of fentanyl in relation to a U.S. Penny. (Unlike the penny photograph above which uses real fentanyl, this particular image shows faux, or fake, fentanyl.)

Rainbow Fentanyl

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

“The Drug Enforcement Administration is advising the public of an alarming emerging trend of colorful fentanyl available across the United States. Since August 2022, DEA and our law enforcement partners seized brightly-colored fentanyl and fentanyl pills in 26 states.

“Dubbed “rainbow fentanyl” in the media, this trend appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people.

Brightly-colored fentanyl is being seized in multiple forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that resembles sidewalk chalk. Despite claims that certain colors may be more potent than others, there is no indication through DEA’s laboratory testing that this is the case.

Every color, shape, and size of fentanyl should be considered extremely dangerous.” - U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, August 30, 2022


You can NOT tell by sight alone whether a pill is real or fake!

"The only safe medications are ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist." — U.S. DEA

For 6 out of 10 pills, "Fake" Means Fatal.

"6 out of 10 Fentanyl-Laced Fake Prescription Pills Now Contain a Potentially Lethal Dose of Fentanyl." — U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Authentic (Real) v.s. Illegitimate (Fake) Oxycodone

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Real v.s. Fake Oxycodone M30 Tablets

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

"Criminal drug networks are mass-producing fake pills and falsely marketing them as legitimate prescription pills to deceive the American public.

Fake pills are easy to purchase, widely available, often contain fentanyl or methamphetamine, and can be deadly.

Fake prescription pills are easily accessible and often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms, making them available to anyone with a smartphone, including minors.

Many fake pills are made to look like prescription opioids such as oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), and alprazolam (Xanax®); or stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall®)." — U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Real v.s. Fake Xanax

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Real v.s. Fake Adderall

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Texas Against Fentanyl

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