Knowledge is power, know the facts

As a collective of neighbors, loved ones and friends, we know that we are living in times we have never seen before. Grocery and gas prices are higher than ever, and if you're like us, some days you just wish things felt simpler and safer. It's important that you know about one of the gravest risks facing LatinX youth today – Fentanyl – and to educate your friends and family.

What is Fentanyl?

Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid. It’s only available with a prescription, and its manufacture and distribution are tightly controlled. It has been safely used in medical settings for over 50 years for pain management and as a surgical anesthetic.

Illicit fentanyl is made in unregulated facilities and sold through drug trafficking networks. Because fentanyl is an odorless white powder, it can easily be mixed with any drug that is consumed in the form of a pill, powder, or crystals.

How does fentanyl reach young people?

Illicit fentanyl is easy and inexpensive to produce. Disguising fentanyl as common prescription medications like Percocet, Xanax, or Oxycontin provides a simple way for drug traffickers to increase their profits.

These pressed pills are stamped and colored to look exactly like brand-name prescription medications, and they frequently make it into the hands of young people, who don’t realize the pills they are taking are counterfeit.

In addition, fentanyl has been found in many illicit stimulant drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly).

Why is it lethal?

Teens and young adults sometimes try to get medications like Xanax or Percocet through social media or from their friends. Unfortunately, these pills frequently contain fentanyl. Fentanyl is so strong that many people have died from taking just one pill, including numerous teenage victims.

Fentanyl can be lethal in microgram quantities. It’s so powerful that a dose that’s a tenth of the size of a grain of sand can have an effect. It’s impossible to detect fentanyl with the naked eye.

Here’s a simple and clear message to share with youth: “Please do not take pills unless they are prescribed to you and you get them directly from a pharmacy. It’s just too risky.”

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