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Pharmaceutical-grade fentanyl is a legitimate opioid medication that is regulated and meets strict quality standards. It is carefully blended to ensure precise dosing and is administered by doctors. This fentanyl is often used as anesthesia for surgery and for chronic pain associated with terminal illnesses, like cancer. However, like other opioids, it can lead to addiction when it’s misused.

Illicitly-manufactured fentanyl (IMF) is the version that is illegally made and mixed into powders and pills by drug dealers. Since this is made in unsterile conditions, often in garages and basements, there is no quality control or dosing consistency, making it extremely dangerous. Sometimes, illicit fentanyl isn’t even real fentanyl. Instead, ingredients may be altered, which can produce fentanyl analogs. That means it’s similar to fentanyl, but not the same. Some of these analogs that have been developed are even stronger than true fentanyl, making it even more deadly.

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Fight the Fentanyl Crisis with Knowledge!


Fentanyl is involved in more American youth deaths than heroin, meth, cocaine, benzos and RX drugs COMBINED.

Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. It kills more people than heart disease, cancer, homicide, suicide and accidents.

Fake pills are the main reason fentanyl-involved deaths are fastest growing amongst youth.

Practically all of the pills seized by law enforcement are fake, and a majority (70%) contain a potentially lethal amount of fentnayl.

Only 36% of teens are aware that fentanyl is being used to create counterfeit pills.

Fentanyl is cheap, potent and profitable, which is why it is used to make fake pills or to mix it into other drugs.

It is estimated

250 - 500 million pills made with fentanyl are in circulation in the US at any time.

Among teens, overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl TRIPLED in the past two years.

Fact source:

73% of teens of teens aren't aware that fake pills being made with fentanyl. 

Download our fact sheets below and have important conversations with your loved ones TODAY. Spanish and English versions available. 

  • What are fentanyl analogs?
    An analog refers to a compound that shares a similar structure with another compound, but with some differences in specific components. While some pharmaceutical companies have developed fentanyl analogs for legal medical purposes, illicit drug traffickers have also created their own versions to evade drug regulations. Currently, there are 84 known fentanyl analogs listed on Wikipedia, and new ones continue to be developed. However, not all fentanyl analogs have the same level of potency. For example, carfentanyl is significantly stronger than fentanyl, being 100 times more potent (and 10,000 times more potent than morphine).
  • Why would drug dealers sell drugs that could kill their customers?
    It all comes down to money. Illicit fentanyl is cheap and extremely potent. Since it is so strong, only a small amount is needed to make large batches of drugs, making it highly profitable for the dealer.
  • Can you tell a drug has fentanyl in it?
    Without a test, you can't tell fentanyl is in a drug because you can't see, smell or taste it. Fentanyl test strips can be used, but they can only tell you if fentanyl is present, not how much it contains.
  • How do kids get drugs on social media?
    Social media is an easy way for kids to purchase drugs and have them delivered to their home. They can be found on social media platforms that are popular among young people, including Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. Learn more and find out the emojis that are used to communicate on social media.
  • Are online pharmacies safe?
    There are some legitimate online pharmacies, but before you make a purchase, it's critical to verify it's real. Nearly 95% of websites offering prescription drugs are operating illegally, which puts you at a much higher risk for encountering fake pills. The National Associate of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has developed a Safe Search tool that can help you verify the website. You can also see if a website is verified by looking for .pharmacy at the end of the web address. If it ends in .pharmacy, it has been verified by NABP. According to the NABP, safe, verified online pharmacies will meet the following requirements: Be licensed by regulators in the jurisdiction in which they are located, as well as regulators in the patient’s jurisdiction Accept only valid prescriptions Comply with applicable drug laws and professional practice laws Provide readily accessible contact information for patient care inquiries Comply with privacy laws and ensure patient confidentiality
Harm Reduction


Naloxone is a medication that is designed to reverse opioid overdose. It is now available over-the-counter. It works by binding to opioid receptors, which can reverse and block the effects of other opioids, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone.

Naloxone should be administered if a person is showing signs an overdose. After administering naloxone, the person should seek immediate medical attention because it is possible to overdose again when the naloxone wears off. 

Signs of Overdose:

  • Small, constricted "pinpoint pupils"

  • Falling asleep/loss of consciousness/limp body

  • Shallow or slow breathing

  • Pale, blue, or ashen-colored skin

  • Choking or gurgling sounds

Find Naloxone

You can also take part in a free naloxone training. In Connecticut, contact your regional behavioral health action organization.

Fentanyl Test Strips

Fentanyl test strips can be used to identify the presence of fentanyl injectable drugs, powders, and pills. Although the tests are highly sensitive, it is possible that fentanyl is present in another part of the substance that wasn't tested.​

How they work:

  • Dissolve a small amount of substance in water.

  • Dip the test strip into the liquid for 15 seconds.

  • Read result after 5 minutes.

Find Fentanyl Test Strips

How to Respond to an Overdose
Call 911 immediately
Administer naloxone
Support the person's breathing
Stay with the person until an ambulance
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