National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day was established to raise awareness about fentanyl dangers and the harm it causes around the globe. Compared to morphine, fentanyl has a potency 50-100 times as strong. Like the majority of opioids used in the United States, Fentanyl was first used for medical purposes and prescribed for treating severe pain. Sadly, its recreational use has skyrocketed. “In 2023 the overdose death rate topped 112,000 in a 12 month period for the first time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Fentanyl was detected in as many as 76% of those overdose cases. Now with drug users combining fentanyl with drugs like cocaine and heroin to create “super speed balls” or the animal tranquilizer xylazine to create “tranq,” communities around the world are suffering.

Fentanyl: What makes it so dangerous?

A number of factors contribute to the danger of fentanyl. First, an overdose can occur even if only a small amount is consumed due to its potency. The second problem is that fentanyl often comes in mixed batches with other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, making it difficult to determine how much is in a given batch. This equates to the third problem, which is that fentanyl is often sold on the black market. This means the purity, potency, and authenticity of it not being mixed with other drugs can vary considerably. The sum of all these issues is an increasingly alarming amount of lives lost to fentanyl overdose. Afterall, the risks associated with Fentanyl are overdose, respiratory depression, and death.

What Are the Best Ways to Protect Yourself from Fentanyl?

To protect yourself from fentanyl, you can take several steps. It is important that you follow the directions on your prescription for fentanyl precisely. Keep your medication away from others and do not take more than prescribed. The risks associated with fentanyl should be understood if you use drugs. To prevent overdoses, never use drugs alone, and always have naloxone on hand in case of overdose. It is possible to reverse opioid overdose quickly with naloxone. You should also know all the drugs you take to prevent deadly combinations. You run the risk of ingesting fentanyl if you use illegally obtained drugs. Never use drugs if you are unsure of their contents.

In recognition of National Fentanyl Awareness Day, it is important to remind the public of the dangers of fentanyl. Opioids cause a lot of harm, and we need to understand the risks associated with them. We need to protect ourselves and our communities as the opioid crisis continues.

If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, seek professional help. Scottsdale Recovery and Detox Center has been Arizona’s premier addiction center for over a decade. We are committed to helping our community and those nationwide creating a community of sober champions! We want our clients, community, and those who are struggling to have access to support in all forms. Learn more by visiting or call 1-888-NODRUGS.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.