It seems every day the news is filled with stories about the devastation fentanyl is causing in our communities. We lost more than 107,000 Americans to overdoses in 2021, largely driven by fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that’s up to 100 times stronger than morphine. Though it can be an effective pain medication after surgery and for cancer patients, in recent years, illegally manufactured fentanyl has flooded the underground drug market. It has been found mixed into everything from heroin and cocaine to Xanax and Adderall. A shocking 40% of counterfeit pills tested by the DEA contained a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.
This is especially scary because fentanyl can’t be seen, tasted, or smelled, and only a couple of specks can be deadly. People need to be wary of taking pills offered by friends or buying fake prescriptions online.
Get the facts
Learn why fentanyl is so dangerous.
Who's at risk?
Access to counterfeit pills is easier than you think. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Start a conversation
It’s never too early to talk to kids about drugs and alcohol. Here are some tips to get the conversation started.
Protecting your loved ones
Learn how to protect those in your life from deadly fentanyl exposure.
Also known as Narcan, naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose, restarting someone’s breathing within three minutes after being administered. Keeping a dose on hand – carrying it just like you carry your cell phone – can save a life and help you protect the people you love.
In some states, a standing order allows pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription. It may be available to anyone, or you may be required to complete a community-based training program. To find out if your state has a naloxone standing order and to find a participating pharmacy, use the resources below.
Fentanyl test strips
Fentanyl test strips are an inexpensive, quick, and easy to way to detect the presence of fentanyl in any drug before it’s ingested. You simply mix a drop of water with the drug, apply it to the test strip, and wait for results (which typically appear in 2-5 minutes).
Each test strip costs about a dollar, but they’re often available for free at local health departments, needle exchange programs, or other community-based organizations. They also can be purchased online at dancesafe.org, bunkpolice.com, and even amazon.com.
Please note: In some states, fentanyl test strips are considered drug paraphernalia – or items used to do drugs – and are illegal. Contact your state health department for details on the laws in your state.
Real-life stories of overdose
Here's how overdose is affecting real people.
Find information about fentanyl, overdose, infection, and health harms related to drug use.
Our fentanyl plan
We are exploring new lines of research to reduce overdose deaths, learn more about our initiatives.