Spotlight On: Fentanyl

ADDRESSING THE THIRD WAVE OF THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC

Experimenting with drugs today, even once, can be fatal. Fentanyl Kills.  

WHAT IS FENTANYL?

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid typically used to manage cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times stronger than the opioid morphine.

It is taken:

  • As prescribed by a doctor

  • Intentionally but obtained illegally 

  • Unintentionally and obtained illegally (consumed in other drugs such as cocaine or heroin)

Deaths involving fentanyl typically involve illegally-obtained fentanyl.

 

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Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT IT?

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Since 2013 there has been a dramatic rise in synthetic opioid overdoses. Synthetic opioids include Tramadol and Fentanyl either prescribed or illegally obtained.

28,500 people died of synthetic opioid overdose in 2017

 

From left to right: Fatal doses of Heroin, Fentanyl, and Carfentanil


WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT FENTANYL OVERDOSE?

  • Do not take any pill not prescribed to you by a doctor or pharmacy.
  • Do not partake in any illegal substances such as heroin or cocaine
  • Keep Naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug, on hand.

 

Learn more about naloxone here 

 

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