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Dangerous counterfeit drugs in our community

Any prescription drug not prescribed by a physician and dispensed from a licensed pharmacy should be disposed of immediately.

The following message has been emailed to all students.

Dear students,

I am sharing with you a critical message from my colleagues. Please read every word of this. We are coming at this from a place of deep concern for student health and well-being, and we need you to join us in safeguarding our community.


Susie Brubaker-Cole
Vice Provost for Student Affairs


Dear Stanford students,

We are writing today about dangerous counterfeit prescription drugs in our community. Any prescription drug not prescribed by a physician and dispensed from a licensed pharmacy should be disposed of immediately. Here’s where the pills can be dropped off, no questions asked (Stanford’s ZIP Code is 94305).

We are concerned in particular about counterfeit prescription painkillers that look like Percocet and OxyContin, but contain fentanyl. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Local law enforce­ment agencies have seized a large number of counterfeit 30-milligram Percocet pills containing fentanyl. These pills are circular, blue or light green, and stamped with the letter M and the number 30.

  • Two milligrams of fentanyl as shown here can cause respiratory arrest and death.

  • Federal authorities say fentanyl and other dangerous impurities are also in street drugs sold in the Bay Area.

  • Some students believe they can use urine test strips to check for fentanyl in drugs they’re consuming. Don’t do this. These tests won’t tell you how much nor how strong the fentanyl is. Even worse: the testing process can result in enough fentanyl absorption to hurt or kill someone.

  • In an emergency, call 911 or (9-911 from a campus phone). First responders serving Stanford carry Narcan (naloxone) to treat opioid overdoses. Every second counts. Tell emergency personnel immediately if opioids are involved.

  • Need help with drug addiction? Contact Narcotics Anonymousyour residence deanGraduate Life Office dean or healthcare provider for help and referrals. 

  • You can learn more by reading these alerts from the Stanford University Department of Public Safety and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

As many of you know, young people are dying in record numbers after consuming drugs containing fentanyl. We need your help determining how we can keep Stanford students safe. If you would like to get involved immediately, please contact Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students Mona Hicks at

Our community continues to be at-risk for acute alcohol and drug related harms.  Alcohol, marijuana, hallucinogens and vaping products are examples of drugs that create student emergencies every week at Stanford.  At this moment, we must confront this dangerous concern head on.  Three initiatives we will launch immediately are:

  1. Incorporating an educational online prescription drug module into our outreach and education efforts.

  2. Holding discussion forums with students about drug use, community impact and prevention.

  3. Enhancing student drug screening and assessment practices in our existing care and support services offered by the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education, Residential Education, and Vaden Health Center.

We’re taking these steps because we are deeply concerned about your welfare. We want you to stay safe, and we’re here to help with any questions.


Ralph Castro
Associate Dean and Director of the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education

Mona Hicks
Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students

Dr. Jim Jacobs
Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of Vaden Health Center