Officials warn of drug dangers on Fentanyl Awareness Day

Federal officials are warning of the dangers of fentanyl today, which is recognized as Fentanyl Awareness Day.

According to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, the Drug Enforcement Agency is promoting One Pill Can Kill, to warn residents that as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal. That amount can fit on the tip of a sharpened pencil.

Fentanyl is frequently diluted by drug dealers with cutting agents and made into counterfeit prescription pills. Those could appear the same as prescriptions for Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, or other drugs.

But small variations in the quantity or quality of fentanyl in a dose can lead to fatalities and fentanyl has now become the leading cause of drug poisoning deaths in the United States. 6 out of 10 illegal fentanyl tablets sold contain a potentially lethal dose of the drug.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin according to the DEA.

Officials urge you to be alert to the signs of a fentanyl overdose including pinpoint pupils, cold and clammy skin and respiratory distress even leading to a coma.

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