topheader - FINAL (2).pngApril 13, 2023

Media Contact:

Chase Cook, Acting Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-8649

Maryland Department of Health warns Marylanders of the risks of deadly fentanyl in unprescribed pills


Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has been made aware that Dr. Ndubuisi Joseph Okafor who practices in the District of Columbia is no longer able to prescribe controlled substances; this may affect healthcare access for Marylanders.

When patients suddenly lose access to their healthcare provider, they may feel they have no other options but to turn to other sources of pills or drugs to avoid withdrawal, which may contain lethal substances, such as fentanyl.

Getting medications from anywhere other than your pharmacist can be dangerous. People make and sell pills that look the same as the ones you get from the pharmacy and even experts have a hard time telling the difference. These pills often contain deadly substances like fentanyl, an opioid more than 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl can cause an accidental overdose. Always have naloxone (Narcan) nearby.

In the event of an overdose, call 911 immediately. Maryland’s “Good Samaritan” law protects you if you seek help for someone who is overdosing.

Below is a list of resources, including how to find treatment for mental and substance use disorders, where to access naloxone and other harm reduction services, and information about crisis helplines.


  • 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org, a Maryland suicide and behavioral health crisis hotline. 

  • Search for substance use treatment facilities through Findtreatment.gov

  • Naloxone: Public Overdose Response Programs in Maryland supply naloxone and may be found using this list. You can also visit https://health.maryland.gov/pha/NALOXONE/Pages/Home.aspx to see a locator map.  Naloxone may also be found in your local pharmacy and billed to insurance and Medicaid.​​

For more information and resources, please see the patient information sheet.


The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.

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