What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S.
Fentanyl & Overdose
Drugs may contain deadly levels of fentanyl, and you wouldn’t be able to see it, taste it, or smell it. It is nearly impossible to tell if drugs have been laced with fentanyl unless you test your drugs with fentanyl testing strips.
Testing strips are inexpensive, typically give results within 5 minutes, and can be the difference between life or death. Even if the test is negative, caution should be taken as test strips might not detect more potent fentanyl-like drugs, like carfentanil.
Signs of Overdose
Recognizing the signs of opioid overdose can save a life. Here are some things to look for:
Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils”
Falling asleep or losing consciousness
Slow, weak, or no breathing
Choking or gurgling sounds
Limp body - Cold, clammy, and/or discolored skin
Fentanyl Test Strips
Fentanyl test strips (FTS) are a low-cost method of helping prevent drug overdoses and reducing harm. FTS are small strips of paper that can detect the presence of fentanyl in all different kinds of drugs (cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, etc.) and drug forms (pills, powder, and injectables). FTS provide people who use drugs and communities with important information about fentanyl in the illicit drug supply so they can take steps to reduce risk of overdose.