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M 30 Pills: What You Need to Know

Written by Shannon Weir, RN | Updated on Jul 6, 2023

shannon weir

Medically reviewed by Dr. Patrick J. Gallus, DO

30 M is the hallmark printed on Oxycodone tablets, a synthetic opioid that is used as a prescription painkiller. However, in recent years, there were several reports of counterfeit 30 Ms containing more deadly opioids such as heroin and fentanyl, coined as “Mexican oxy,” causing the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration to intervene.

What are M 30 Pills?

Oxycodone is a prescription medication used to treat severe pain. It is available in various forms and strengths and each tablet has the hallmark 30 M printed on the back.

The medication works by changing the way the body feels and responds to pain. Like many other opioids, Oxycodone can create a sense of euphoria which makes it susceptible to misuse and addiction, as such it has been classified as a schedule II controlled substance.  If taken over a prolonged period, users of the drug may also develop a tolerance which means they need an increased dose to achieve the same pain-relieving effects. It also may lead to withdrawal symptoms when the drug is suddenly stopped. Dependence varies among each person and a medical professional should be consulted if withdrawal symptoms (see below) occur.

Unfortunately, during recent years, the media and DEA have reported that M 30 pills have been laced with the potentially fatal drug, fentanyl.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid used to treat severe pain. It is 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin and 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Fentanyl is potentially lethal, even in very small doses. Ingestion of as little as 0.25mg can be fatal.

Given its strength in such small quantities, it makes it susceptible to misuse. In particular, illicit drug dealers often cut it with other narcotics, such as Oxycodone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that since 2013, law enforcement encounters have been increasingly testing positive for fentanyl across the U.S. In 2015, the CDC Health Alert reported that states were reporting increasing amounts of fentanyl-related deaths.

According to the CDC, fentanyl is responsible for the most fatal drug overdoses in the U.S., killing thousands of Americans each year. In fact, deaths from fentanyl were reported to have jumped 45 percent between 2016 and 2017, accounting for 28,000 deaths. In 2017, 59 percent of deaths involved fentanyl.

M 30 Pills & DEA Involvement

The DEA issued a special report concerning the increase of fentanyl circulation disguised as M 30 pills. They seized 20,000 30 M Pills with a street value of more than $600,000 in February 2019.

The dangers of fentanyl & M 30 Pills

Given the high potency of fentanyl, especially in such small quantities, it is very easy to overdose on the drug. An overdose is caused when a drug produces serious adverse effects and life-threatening symptoms. Symptoms of overdose on fentanyl include slowed or cessation of breathing. Reduced oxygen to the brain can lead to coma, permanent brain damage, or even death.

However, overdoses can be reversed if you administer opioid-reversal drug Naloxone immediately.

Naloxone is a medicine that works by binding to receptors in the brain and blocking the effects of opioid drugs. However, as fentanyl is stronger than other opioid drugs like morphine, it may require multiple doses of naloxone.

Due to the potentially fatal risks of fentanyl, if you suspect someone has overdosed, it is best to call 911 so that they can receive immediate medical intervention.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioids, please contact us to see how we can help.

At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we bring compassion to the commotion. Peace to the pain. Empowerment to the powerless. If you or someone you know needs support with addiction problems, bring us your battle. Call us today and take the best first step towards recovery: (888) 306-3122

Shannon Weir, RN

Shannon Weir, RN is the Chief Nursing Officer at Gallus Medical Detox Centers. She has been a Registered Nurse for 30 years, Shannon’s experience ranges from critical care to flight nursing, medical detox, sexual assault exams, and SWAT nursing. Shannon has been with Gallus Medical Detox Centers since 2010 and is a vital part of our organization.

Last medically reviewed on February 09, 2021

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Dr. Patrick J. Gallus, DO
Apr 11, 2024
Dr. Patrick J. Gallus, DO
Apr 9, 2024
Dr. Patrick J. Gallus, DO
Apr 8, 2024

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, call Gallus at
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