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The Facts: Fentanyl

The presence of fentanyl in many fake prescription pills has contributed to rapidly increasing rates of overdose deaths nationwide.

It only takes two salt-sized grains of fentanyl to kill someone.

2 mg
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine.

100 x
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

In Florida alone, Fentanyl-related overdose deaths among youth increased by 67% from 2020 to 2021.

67 %

Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin.

50 x
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Seven out of 10 fentanyl-laced pills contain a potentially lethal dose of the drug.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Dangers of Fentanyl

Exposure can cause:

  • Falling asleep or losing consciousness
  • Small pupils
  • Discolored or cold skin
  • Slow or troubled breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds

If a person shows any of these signs, seek help immediately as they could result in overdose, coma, or death.

What it looks like

Illicit fentanyl looks like an unremarkable powder that can shut down the brain and bodily functions such as breathing.

The tasteless, odorless substance has been added to fake tablets or mixed with other drugs like heroin or cocaine, often without the user knowing. According to Drug Enforcement Administration lab testing, six out of 10 fentanyl-laced pills contained a potentially lethal dose of the substance.

What You Need to Know

  • Producing illicit fentanyl is not an exact science – it is often manufactured in dirty labs and smuggled into the U.S. through Mexico.
  • Two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal. The Drug Enforcement Administration has discovered counterfeit pills ranging from more than twice the lethal dose of fentanyl per pill.
  • Fentanyl has often been mixed with heroin or cocaine but recently other drugs like pills and marijuana have also been laced. Fentanyl is made with other drugs to increase the potency or make them appear as if it’s a real prescription you can get from your doctor.
  • Sometimes fentanyl is sold as a powder or nasal spray. Because there is no official oversight or control over this drug, pills often contain lethal doses of fentanyl. They have been found to not have even a single gram of the promised drug you thought you were buying.

Common Names:

Apache, Dance Fever, and Friend.