Shining A Light on the Dangers of Fentanyl

Yesterday was National Fentanyl Awareness Day, a day to raise awareness of the dangers of opioids and the deadly synthetic opioid, fentanyl, and its direct link to prescription opioids.

According to the CDC, ingesting just 0.002 grams of fentanyl results in certain death. 2,800 people in New Jersey died from a drug overdose in 2022 with the majority involving some form of an opioid such as fentanyl. Overdose deaths linked to fentanyl were the leading cause of drug-related deaths in New Jersey in 2018 and 2019. The state has not yet released the data on 2020 and 2021 but is expected to be the same, if not higher.

A newly released report found that the rate of overdose deaths involving fentanyl spiked by 279 percent between 2016 and 2021 from 5.7 per 100,000 to 21.6 per 100,000.

It is vital that we stay informed and raise awareness about the dangers of prescription opioids and their link to heroin and fentanyl-related overdoses.   An opioid dependency can begin in just five days.

In honor of Fentanyl Awareness Day, I encourage everyone across New Jersey to visit the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s Awareness Toolkit for easily downloadable messages you can use to raise awareness in your community.

Through awareness and learning opportunities we can address the opioid crisis to hopefully put an end to substance use disorder, overdoses, and the staggering number of overdose-related deaths.

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