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The Dangers of Fentanyl

What is Fentanyl?


  • Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid drug that is up to 50x’s stronger than heroin and 100x’s stronger than morphine.
  • It is often added to illicit street drugs such as fake pills and white powder.


    Beware of counterfeit pills that may look like prescription drugs- they likely contain Fentanyl.

    Do NOT consume any pill that you do not directly received from a pharmacy or your prescriber.

    Pills purchased online are not safe.


  • A new drug trend is emerging in the United States; brightly colored Fentanyl pills and powders.  These drugs are brightly colored like chalk or candy, potentially making them more attractive to children and young people.

    However, don’t be fooled- these pills are deadly.  In some states, drug dealers are disguising this deadly poison in candy boxes as Nerds, Skittles, Sweet Tarts, and Smarties.

    Just 2 milligrams of Fentanyl- the equivalent to 10 to 15 grains of table salt – can be lethal.


    What is rainbow fentanyl? Colorful pills drive new warnings about deadliest  drug in the United States | CNN



  • Some of the Common Street Names for Fentanyl

    • Apace
    • China Girl
    • China Town
    • China White
    • Crazy One
    • Dance Fever
    • Dragon’s Breath
    • Fire
    • Friend
    • Goodfellas
    • Great Bear
    • He-Man
    • Jackpot
    • Poison
    • Tango & Cash
    • TNT


    The Dangers of Fentanyl — Michael Leonardi Foundation

  • How Fentanyl Works

    Like heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs, Fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are found in the areas of the brain that control pain and emotions.  After taking opioids many times, the brain adapts to the drug, diminishing its sensitivity, making it hard to feel pleasure from anything besides the drug.  When people become addicted, drug seeking and drug use take over their lives.

    SOURCE: National Institute on Drug Abuse


    How Fentanyl Affects the Body

    Similar to other opioid analgesics, Fentanyl produces effects such as relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression.


    Signs of Overdose

    Recognizing the signs of opioid overdose can save a life.  Here are something to look for:

    • Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils”
    • Falling asleep or losing consciousness
    • Slow, weak, or no breathing
    • Choking or gurgling sounds
    • Limp body
    • Cold and/or clammy skin
    • Discolored skin (especially in lips and nails)


  • It may be hard to tell whether a person is high or experiencing an overdose.  If you aren’t sure, treat it like an overdose – you could save a life.

    1. Call 911 immediately
    2. Administer Naloxone, if available*
    3. Try to keep the person awake and breathing
    4. Lay the person on their side to prevent choking
    5. Stay with the person until emergency assistance arrives


    *What is Naloxone?

    Naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan) is a medication that quickly reverses an opioid overdose.  It works by attaching to opioid receptors and blocking the effects of the opioids in your system.  Naloxone works in your body fo 30-90 minutes.  Once it wears off, it is possible for someone to continue experiencing the effects of an overdose, that is why it is important to seek help immediately. 

    It is available in all 50 states and can be purchased from a local pharmacy.

    SOURCE:  CDC and Nationwide Children’s Hospital


  • Keep Medication Out of Sight and Away from Children

    Keep all medication out of the reach of children and in a locked cabinet.


    Have a Conversation

    Using age-appropriate language, talk to your child about the dangers of drug usage.  Talk to them about the new trend “Rainbox” Fentanyl so they can spot warning signs.  Advise them never to use medication without adult supervision and never to take unknown substances.


    Monitor Your Child’s Social Media Usage

    Ask your child what content platform they are engaging with and who they are talking to.  If someone offers to sell your child drugs, report them and block the user.  Make sure to contact your local police department.