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Fentanyl FAQ's

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for pain relief and anesthetic. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal, depending on a person’s body size, tolerance, and past usage. 6 out of 10 illegal fentanyl tablets sold on U.S. streets now contain a potentially lethal dose of the drug. Additionally, Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid approximately 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.

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Watch Fentanyl Awareness PSA on YouTube.

One Pill Can Kill

Avoid pills bought on the street because One Pill Can Kill. Fentanyl is a highly potent opioid that drug dealers dilute with cutting agents to make counterfeit prescription pills that appear to be Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, and other drugs. Small variations in the quantity or quality of fentanyl in a fake prescription pill can accidentally create a lethal dosage. Fentanyl has now become the leading cause of drug poisoning deaths in the United States.  

How can I help?

1. Consider carrying Naloxone, a medicine that rapidly reverses fentanyl overdoses.

2. You cannot smell or taste fentanyl, so consider carrying Fentanyl Test Strips to prevent ingestion.

3. Learn the signs of a fentanyl overdose: Overdose may result in stupor, changes in pupillary size, cold and clammy skin, cyanosis, coma, and respiratory failure leading to death. The presence of triad of symptoms such as coma, pinpoint pupils, and respiratory depression are strongly suggestive of opioid poisoning.

4. DO NOT buy pills or drugs off the street. Many street drugs are also being laced with fentanyl. Only take prescribed medicines purchased over-the-counter at a pharmacy.

5. If you or someone you know  is struggling with addiction, there is help available. Look for information at Indiana Addiction Treatment or ask your healthcare provider for treatment and referral services available in your area.

6. Share our official DOJ PSA and Fentanyl Awareness PSA

What does illicit Fentanyl look like?

Fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl are usually shaped and colored to look like pills sold at pharmacies, like Percocet and Xanax.  For example, fake prescription pills known as “M30s” imitate Oxycodone obtained from a pharmacy, but when sold on the street the pills routinely contain fentanyl. These particular pills are usually round tablets and often light blue in color, though they may be in different shapes and a rainbow of colors.  They often have “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill.  Do not take these or any other pills bought on the street – they are routinely fake and poisonous, and you won’t know until it’s too late. 


Fake M30 Pills
Fake M 30 pills 
Rainbow fentanyl pills
Rainbow Fentanyl pills

What are common street names? Common street names include Apache, China Girl, China Town, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfellas, Great Bear, He-Man, Jackpot, King Ivory, Murder 8, and Tango & Cash.

How is it abused? Fentanyl can be injected, snorted/sniffed, smoked, taken orally by pill or tablet, and spiked onto blotter paper.

What is the effect on the body? Fentanyl, similar to other commonly used opioid analgesics (e.g., morphine), produces effects such as relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, urinary retention, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression.

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Updated June 24, 2024