What Are Blues? Learn More About the New, Deadly Street Opioid

Blues. Percs 30’s. Roxi’s. The street names for this drug go on and on. What was once a legitimate prescription opioid painkiller produced by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals has been co-opted by cartels and street gangs. Deadly, extremely addictive, and wildly popular, Blues have become a staple in the street market. But what are they and why have they taken over? This blog seeks to shed light on this perilous substance, offering insights into its composition, risks, and the urgent need for education and prevention.


Devil in Disguise


Blues are aptly named due to their light blue color. They bear all the hallmarks of a legit prescription medication. There is the “M” logo of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals stamped on one side with a number “30” stamped on the other side. In a perfect world, this pill would be a 30 mg oxycodone hydrochloride tablet only available when prescribed by a doctor and dispensed from a pharmacy. Unfortunately in the world we currently live in, more often than not, if you encounter one of these pills it is a counterfeit pill pressed with fentanyl. Fifty times more potent than heroin, fentanyl has been ravaging this country killing drug users and innocent bystanders alike. 


How Did This Happen?


If you’ve been following the news you’ll know that this country has been in the grips of an opioid epidemic for years. As part of the battle to stop the rising tide of prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths, the FDA banned the sale of the original Oxycontin formula. At the time of this ban, Oxycontin was one of the most abused prescription opioids in the country. A lot of people were physically dependent on that medication. When it went away, users turned to the 30mg generic oxycodone pills now known as “Blues.” The popularity of these pills skyrocketed as they filled the void left by the disappearance of Oxycontin. 


As the FDA continued to crack down on the overprescription of opioids, the adoption of fentanyl and heroin grew to replace the new vacuum left by the absence of the pills. Eventually fentanyl became the primary drug of choice. Enterprising cartels and street gangs, capitalizing on brand recognition, began pressing pills filled with fentanyl into the shape and color of the original Blues, even copying the trademarked “M” and “30” logos. It was a sneaky and successful way to introduce users to fentanyl without the stigma. They put it in something they recognized. 


The Blue Wave


These counterfeit pills have flooded the drug market making it nearly impossible to detect which pills are real oxycodone and which pills are filled with fentanyl. This is a deadly mistake to make as the potency of fentanyl will kill most people without a tolerance. We have seen an alarming rise in accidental overdoses and overdose deaths due to not knowing they contain fentanyl. The DEA has reported that 6 out of every 10 pills are pressed with fentanyl. They are cheap to make and their popularity makes them easy to sell. Their unregulated manufacturing means the dose of fentanyl per pill varies leading even seasoned drug users to underestimate their strength. A drug where the difference between life and death is a few grains, blues are turning drug addiction into a game of Russian Roulette.


Prevention, Education, & Treatment


You can’t fight against what you don’t know exists. Education and awareness are the most powerful weapons in the fight against this deadly drug. Arming individuals with the knowledge of what Blues are, where they come from, and their potential for death is how we help people make informed decisions and hopefully keep these dangerous pills out of the hands of children and the unsuspecting.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to fentanyl or Blues, help is just a phone call away. Healthcare providers are here to support and help, never judge or blame. A lot of us are in recovery and know the daily fight to keep your head above water. Treatment is about compassion, healing, and finding a way forward. 

Our goal at Sunflower Recovery is to collectively work together towards recovery, resilience, and a healthier future for you, your family, and your community. Call today.

Find Out About Fake Prescription Pills & How to Protect Yourself