A few years ago, our coalition was doing outreach and educating folks to keep their prescription medications up and away to reduce the risk of medications, particularly opioids, from being diverted into the community. However, nowadays, raising awareness to prevent opioid misuse has shifted. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) warns of the increased availability of fake pills in communities all over the nation.
Law enforcement has been working to seize these fake pills and take them off the markets. Oftentimes, these are produced to look like legitimate pills like OxyContin® or Xanax®. However, they actually contain fentanyl. DEA Laboratory testing recently revealed that every 6 out of 10 of these fake pills contain lethal amounts of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid largely driving the uptick in overdose fatalities.
We can work together to raise awareness, reverse overdoses, and reduce overdose fatalities in our communities! Let’s not have 2023 be another record-breaking year.
What We Can Do
Have conversations with youth about not taking any pills unless given to them by a medical professional or trusted adult
Learn the warning signs of an opioid overdose
Learn how to respond to an overdose and carry naloxone
Do your part as an individual to raise awareness about fake pills – talk to people in your social circle about this issue
Familiarize yourself with Maine’s Good Samaritan Law that protects people who seeks medical assistance for a person experiencing a drug-related overdose