May 9th is National Fentanyl Awareness Day

Today is National Fentanyl Awareness Day, a day of action to raise public awareness about an urgent problem: people dying at alarming rates due to illegally made fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid. 

  • In California, over 6,140 people died from a fentanyl-related overdose in 2021. This accounted for 55 percent of all drug-related overdoses. 
  • Fentanyl is involved in more American youth drug deaths than heroin, meth, cocaine, benzos, and Rx drugs combined.
  • Fentanyl is involved in more deaths of Americans under 50 than any other cause of death, including heart disease, cancer, and all other accidents.
  • 35 percent of American teens aged 13-17 don’t know enough about fentanyl to rate its danger.

Help us spread the word about the risks of fentanyl, and share this information across your networks:

  • The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has a fentanyl webpage where you can learn more about fentanyl and fentanyl test strips.
  • Fentanyl is cheap, potent, and profitable, so dealers use it to make fake pills. It can also be found in party drugs like cocaine and MDMA. 
  • If you’re considering using drugs, test your product for fentanyl, carry naloxone, and know the signs of an overdose.
  • Fake pills have been found in all fifty states. Assume any prescription pill you see online is fake. 
  • Fake pills are the main reason fentanyl-involved deaths are fastest growing amongst youth. 

Helpful resources:

  • If you are struggling with drug use and want help to make positive change, call California’s statewide treatment referral line at 800-879-2772 or connect with a harm reduction organization through CDPH’s directory.
  • If you are part of an organization that is interested in distributing naloxone, read more about the DHCS Naloxone Distribution Project and learn how to apply.
  • Get naloxone from your local pharmacy or by using the National Harm Reduction Coalition’s naloxone access map.