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National Fentanyl Awareness Day May 9, 2023

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The synthetic opioid fentanyl is produced illicitly and has a high addiction rate.  As such, it is a major contributing factor to the escalating overdose epidemic in America today. The number of deaths caused by fentanyl among people under 50 years of age is higher than any other cause including cancer, heart disease, accidents, homicides, and suicides.  Fentanyl awareness campaigns are helping to spread the word.

This year’s National Fentanyl Awareness Day on May 9th aims to reduce fentanyl-related deaths by spreading awareness about this dangerous drug.  

Why Should We Promote Fentanyl Awareness?

Fentanyl AwarenessWe should be concerned about fentanyl because too many people are dying needlessly after using the drug.  The CDC reports that 107,375 people in the U.S. died of drug overdoses in 2022.  Of those deaths, 67 percent involved fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.  

Many fatal and non-fatal overdoses are caused by mixing fentanyl with other drugs like meth, cocaine, and heroin.  In some instances, the individual is unaware they consumed fentanyl.

Individuals who don’t have a tolerance for opioids are in danger because fentanyl only has a potentially lethal dose of only two milligrams. Tragically, some people died of fentanyl overdoses after taking only one-half of a fentanyl pill (fentapill).

Because illicit fentanyl is produced without quality controls, the potency can vary from one batch to another and be mixed with other dangerous chemicals.  

Can a Substance Be Tested for the Presence of Fentanyl?

Although test strips are available to detect fentanyl in urine, they are not designed to detect the presence of fentanyl in pills.  However, Fentanyl Test Strips (FTS) can detect fentanyl analogs, but they can’t measure the potency or how much is present.  Furthermore, it is impossible to test a portion of a pill and know for sure that the rest of the pill or batch is free of fentanyl.  

FTS can detect fentanyl in liquid samples, but improper dilution of the pills can cause a false negative.  Because of this, it’s safe to assume that a dealer is lying if he claims the pills have been tested.  Basically, FTS are used to help reduce the number of fentanyl overdoses.  They are intended for use in testing urine, not to guarantee the safety of pills.  

National Fentanyl Awareness Day Participation Guide

Fentanyl prevention involves educating the public about the risks of fentanyl use.  With this goal in mind, the DEA makes it easy for everyone to take part in the initiative.  If you would like to support the project, here are some things you can do:

Follow National Fentanyl Awareness Day on social media to help spread the word about fentanyl’s dangers:

You can also visit and download the 2023 Toolkit.  The toolkit provides graphics and other visuals that you can post on social media using the hashtag: #NationalFentanylAwarenessDay.

Have you lost a loved one to fentanyl?  If so, you can submit a photo to be included in the DEA’s Faces of Fentanyl exhibit.  The exhibit will be located at DEA Headquarters, 700 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA.  Also, you can post a photo and the person’s name on social media using #JustKNOW.

Note:  By submitting a photo and sharing your story, the DEA has permission to use the materials without restriction.

Find Out More About Fentanyl’s Risks

Last year, Congress and the DEA joined forces to officially recognize Fentanyl Awareness Day.  Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California) sponsored a Senate Resolution to raise national awareness about the fentanyl epidemic.  

Senator Grassley had this to say about the resolution:

“Fentanyl has poisoned the streets of our communities, including through counterfeit pills that are made to look like prescription drugs. These fake pills are often sold on social media or other online platforms to teenagers and young adults, which has worsened the substance abuse crisis. By joining our effort to raise awareness, law enforcement officers, parents, and educators across the country can take proactive steps to get illicit counterfeit pills off the streets and help save lives.” 

Awareness and education are crucial to fentanyl prevention.  The more you know about fentanyl and its dangers, the better your chances of helping someone avoid the drug.  If you want to know the facts about fentanyl, the Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Fact Sheet is a good resource.

Fentanyl Recovery Is Possible With Help From Design for Change

Providing effective treatment for those affected by the use of fentanyl is one way that Design for Change Recovery takes part in fentanyl prevention.  We offer integrated methodologies customized to each client’s unique needs to ensure the best recovery outcomes.  

If you are seeking help for fentanyl abuse or addiction, we can help.  Contact us at Design for Change Recovery in Lancaster, CA to get the highest quality addiction treatment available today.

For more information on National Fentanyl Awareness Day:

Spread the Word: National Fentanyl Awareness Day May 9, 2023