November 17, 2023

What is the Blues Drug?

A woman stares out of the window asking herself: What is the blues drug?

What drug is called blues? Counterfeit blue pills, often posing as legitimate oxycodone pills, are frequently tainted with fentanyl or entirely composed of the potent synthetic opioid. While typically light blue and round in shape, these pills may also appear in other shades, as seen in instances like the rainbow fentanyl prevalent in recent news.

Help for you or a loved one is only one call away.

Common street names for the blues drug include:

  • M-30s
  • Blue pills drug
  • Dirty 30s
  • Mexies

Drugs called blues often bear stamped numbers on the pills, much like genuine prescription drugs. They tend to have a grainy texture, leaving a powdery residue upon handling.

People are at high risk of overdosing when consuming these pills for the first time, owing to the extreme potency of fentanyl, which surpasses even pharmaceutical-grade opioids. Overdoses from blue fentanyl manifest in slowed respiration, often requiring multiple doses of Narcan (naloxone), an opioid-reversal medication.

A woman reflecting after learning about the blue pills drug

Origins of The Blues Drug

Blues drug, frequently referred to as M30, is a 30mg oxycodone pill, named after its characteristic blue hue. Recognizable by the “M” imprint on one side and “30” on the other, these pills are often sold on the black market. The troubling reality is that many counterfeit pills closely resemble these oxycodone 30mg tablets. Illicitly manufactured by drug traffickers, these fake pills contain fentanyl, drastically increasing their lethality.

Counterfeit pills, often manufactured in countries such as China and Mexico, are prevalent throughout the United States. With no quality control measures, these pills may contain lethal quantities of fentanyl or other dangerous substances, posing a potentially life-threatening risk. Online sales, facilitated through internet marketplaces and social media, serve as primary distribution channels for these counterfeit medications.

Another concerning trend involves the purchase of Adderall and Xanax by high school and college students from dark web drug markets or through social media referrals. These drugs, purportedly laced with fentanyl or methamphetamine, also pose significant dangers to the health and well-being of young people.

The U.S. opioid epidemic traces back to the 1990s when there was a sharp rise in opioid prescriptions. This crisis persisted as many individuals addicted to opioids turned to heroin due to its affordability and accessibility. The most recent phase of this crisis revolves around the surge in counterfeit pill availability. Illicitly produced in clandestine laboratories, these counterfeit pills primarily contain fentanyl and are designed to mimic legally prescribed opioids for pain relief or anxiety management, such as OxyContin, Xanax, or Percocet. Street-level drug dealers illicitly distribute these fake pills, falsely marketed as genuine pharmaceuticals. Beyond this, the online black market has also streamlined the sale and distribution of these counterfeit pills via mail. Importantly, there is no evidence suggesting the infiltration of counterfeit pills into the legitimate prescription supply chain.

Based on 2021 CDC data, the United States experienced a significant surge of more than 100,000 lethal drug overdoses in the 12 months leading up to April 2021, marking a nearly 30% increase over the previous year. The exacerbation of the overdose situation has been attributed to the profound impacts of the pandemic, alongside the ongoing proliferation of fentanyl analogs, NPF (non-pharmaceutical fentanyl), and other new synthetic opioids.

The recent upsurge in NPF prevalence has been correlated with the heightened manifestation of counterfeit pills, which are unlawfully manufactured pharmaceutical replicas produced in clandestine labs using pill pressing machines obtained online. These pills are designed to resemble genuine prescription medications but often contain fentanyl and other drugs. Early reports of pressed pills that contained fentanyl emerged in 2014 to 2015, although their prevalence remained relatively contained. Instead, powdered NPF, often marketed as heroin or blended with heroin, gained significant traction, gradually saturating illegal drug markets and, in certain regions, nearly superseding heroin. Since 2020, several states across the US have witnessed notable shifts in market dynamics, with NPF available more in counterfeit pill form rather than only in powdered form.

Dangers of Blues Drug

The rise of counterfeit opioids, mainly in the form of blue fentanyl pills, poses myriad risks, significantly contributing to the ongoing opioid crisis. Key dangers associated with these fraudulent opioids are as follows:

  • Lethal dosing precision: Counterfeit opioids frequently contain erratic and unpredictable quantities of potent substances like fentanyl, with even as little as three grains posing the risk of fatal overdose.
  • Elevated overdose susceptibility: The uncontrolled manufacturing of counterfeit opioids, including blue fentanyl pills, often results in the inclusion of dangerously high levels of synthetic opioids, intensifying the likelihood of severe respiratory depression and lethal overdoses among consumers.
  • Deceptive impersonation of legitimate medications: The misleading appearance of these counterfeit pills, resembling authorized prescription opioids, fosters a false sense of security, leading some people to underestimate the perilous risks associated with these unlawful substances and inadvertently heightening the possibility of unintended overdose or death.
  • Adverse health outcomes: Prolonged consumption of counterfeit opioids, frequently contaminated with unknown substances, can give rise to severe health complications, such as organ impairment, respiratory ailments, and long-term addiction, amplifying the detrimental impact on overall well-being.

The prevalence of counterfeit opioids underscores the urgent necessity for enhanced public awareness, stringent regulatory protocols, and comprehensive interventions to combat the unlawful production and distribution of these hazardous compounds.


What is the blues drug made of?

The blues drug, also known as M30, is typically made of fentanyl. Blues are often disguised as oxycodone pills, contributing to the opioid crisis and numerous overdose deaths.

What is blues drug slang for?

Blues drug is slang for counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, disguised as commonly abused prescription opioids such as oxycodone or Xanax, contributing to the rising rates of overdoses in the United States.

Are blues drugs blue pills?

Blues drugs are often blue in color, imitating the appearance of legitimate prescription opioids, making them more visually appealing and easily recognizable on the street.

An image of Gratitude Lodge, where opioid addiction treatment is available, including the blues drug

Get Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

Fentanyl claimed over 75,000 lives in the United States in 2021. If you have been using this substance, consider immediately engaging with treatment to avoid becoming one of those statistics.

At Gratitude Lodge in Southern California, we specialize in the inpatient treatment of fentanyl addiction. In a structured and supportive environment free of triggers, you can safely and comfortably withdraw from opioids.

All Gratitude Lodge addiction treatment programs draw from therapies that include: medication-assisted treatment, psychotherapies, group and individual counseling, family therapy, and holistic interventions. Call 888-861-1658 today and start addressing opioid addiction before it’s too late.

Want to learn more?

Recent Articles

December 1, 2023

Addiction VS Dependence: What’s The Difference?

December 1, 2023

Is Morphine Addictive?

December 1, 2023

What Should Your Substance Abuse Goals Be?

Begin your journey
to recovery.

Get evidence-based treatment in a peaceful location, with a
team of dedicated, expert staff. 
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share on Email
Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Russe MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.