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Get the Facts: Fentanyl

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

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

2 mg

Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine.

100 x

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

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


Dangers of Fentanyl

Exposure to Fentanyl can cause:

  • Death.
  • Overdose.
  • Extreme sleepiness.
  • Small pupils.
  • Cold and clammy skin.
  • Bluish skin.
  • A coma.
  • Trouble breathing.

If a person shows signs of a coma, pinpoint pupils, and slowed breathing, they might have been poisoned and need help immediately.

What it looks like

Illicit fentanyl looks like an unremarkable powder. It can shut down the brain and body.

This tasteless, odorless substance can be added to fake tablets or mixed with other drugs like heroin or cocaine, often without the user knowing it’s there. According to DEA lab testing, six out of 10 fentanyl-laced pills contain a potentially lethal dose of the drug.

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 depending on a person’s body size, tolerance, and past usage. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has discovered counterfeit pills ranging from .02-5.1 milligrams (more than twice the lethal dose) of fentanyl per tablet.
  • Fentanyl is often mixed with heroin or cocaine to increase its euphoric effects, but more 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.