Boulder Valley School District

Fentanyl and Narcan

What is Fentanyl?Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin or morphine.

Drug traffickers often mix fentanyl into other drugs because it is cheap to manufacture and a small amount goes a long way.

How do you know if it's fentanyl?Fentanyl and fentanyl-laced pills are more common than you imagine.

Colorado authorities have seen a large influx of fentanyl over the past year and are expecting to see an increase in overdoses in the coming months. In fact, the CDC announced that fentanyl is now the leading cause of death among adults 18 to 45 in the United States. 

Additionally, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), nearly half of all counterfeit pills tested contained a lethal dose of fentanyl. This figure is particularly alarming because it can be difficult to distinguish genuine pills from fake or counterfeit versions. Check out the examples below to see how counterfeit pills can be designed to look just like genuine pharmaceuticals.


How Much can be Fatal?

Experts consider 2 mg of fentanyl to be lethal, but many counterfeit pills contain up to 5 mg (more than twice the lethal dose). This amount is incredibly small. Check out the image to the side for scale to see what 2 mg of fentanyl looks like. 


Carry Naloxone (Narcan) and use itCarry Naloxone (Narcan) and make sure you know how to use it. Naloxone can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose.  Always get help if you suspect an overdose, Naloxone can wear off quickly and may require additional doses. 

Tips for Staying Safe

While fentanyl can be lethal, there are things you can do to help protect yourself and your friends. 

Please note: Due to the unpredictability of fentanyl, there is no foolproof way to eliminate the risk of overdose. 

Know what you’re getting into

Assume that any pill or drug not purchased directly from a pharmacy may contain fentanyl. This includes prescription medications (Xanax, Adderall, Oxycodone, etc.).


Fentanyl Facts - CDC

Stop the Clock Colorado - resources for Narcan throughout Colorado pharmacies

Song for Charlie - Real Talk about Fake Pills

BVSD Young and the Wellness Podcast