RILEY COUNTY (KSNT) – A Kansas law enforcement agency is warning residents to be on the lookout for fake-pressed prescription pills that may contain fentanyl.

The Riley County Police Department announced Friday it’s investigating two additional overdoses it believes are linked to these pills. This brings the number of fentanyl-related overdoses to six since August, with most involving middle or high school age victims.

Real and fake pills can look very similar. (Photo Courtesy/Riley County Police Department)

Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18-45 and isn’t showing any signs of slowing, according to the RCPD.

Police say counterfeit pills are indistinguishable from real ones. Criminal drug networks mass-produce fake pills and market them as legitimate. The only safe medications are those prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.

Overdose victims are not suspects in RCPD investigations. The department say its goal is to identify, apprehend and prosecute those who are distributing the pills.

The statute used by the RCPD to investigate overdoses is K.S.A. 21-5430. Distribution of a controlled substance causing great bodily harm is a level five person felony. Distribution of a controlled substance causing death is a level one person felony.

If you have information about the distribution of these pills, you can send a tip anonymously online through Crime Stoppers or by calling 785-539-7777. You can also call the RCPD at 785-537-2112 and ask to speak with the Special Investigations Unit.