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DEA found 7 out of 10 prescription pills bought on the street contained a lethal dose of fentanyl.

We estimate that over 200 people in Charlotte will die this year due to a fatal fentanyl overdose.

In Charlotte, overdose deaths are up 20% in 2023.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of counterfeit prescription pills that are being laced with fentanyl.

It’s time to start the conversation.


fentanyl 101

What is Fentanyl?

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A fatal dose of fentanyl is small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil.

source: DEA

Prescription pills purchased on the streets or online are often fakes made with fentanyl.

Laboratory testing indicates 7 out of every 10 pills seized by DEA contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.

source: CMPD

DEA has seized a record 62 million fentanyl pills to date in 2023, which already exceeds last year’s totals of 58 million pills.

source: CMPD

Fentanyl overdoses happen fast.

Because fentanyl is so strong, an overdose can happen within moments of ingestion.

source: Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

Naloxone (Narcan) is a medication that

can reverse an opioid overdose.

Administering it right away can save a life.

Learn how to use naloxone:

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source: CDC

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TALK to your


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A local mom shares her story of how she lost her son to fentanyl, after taking a pill.

  1. Fentanyl is everywhere online, at school, on the street. Kids with a smart phone can easily get access to drugs containing lethal doses of fentanyl.

  • Bring up the topic of fentanyl frequently, instead of waiting for the "right" moment.

  • Ask your kids what they know about fentanyl. Be open, honest, and empathetic. It's good to begin by asking our kids what they know, and what they believe, and make sure that we stop and that we listen to them, and that we're patient.

  • Know what fentanyl is. Let your kids know that because fentanyl is so potent and dangerous, the safest thing they can do is stay away from drugs.

  • Warn them about street pills. Prescription pills bought online or on the street are often fakes made with fentanyl. Even a pill from a friend may not be safe.

  • Be clear about the risk. An amount of fentanyl the size of two grains of salt is enough to cause a fatal overdose. It’s tasteless, odorless, and impossible to see: There’s no way to know by looking at a pill or powder whether it contains a potentially lethal amount of fentanyl.

  • Do mental health checks. Encourage your child to let you know if they are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, or pain.


fentanyl overdose...

  • Constricted (very small) pupils.
  • Severe respiratory depression, such as slow or shallow breathing.
  • Cold, clammy skin.
  • Gray, blue, or pale skin.
  • Blue or purple lips and nails.
  • Respiratory arrest, or altogether stopped breathing.
  • Extreme decreases in the level of consciousness.
  • Limp or flimsy arms and legs.
  • Slurred speech or inability to speak.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Unresponsiveness.
  • Vomiting.
  • Making choking or gurgling sounds.

source: DEA

This photo depicts a lethal amount of fentanyl.

if you witness A fentanyl


  • Call 911.
  • Administer naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that can be used to quickly reverse an opioid overdose.
  • Stay with the person to monitor breathing. If the person is awake, try to keep them awake, breathing, and alert.
  • To prevent choking, turn the person on their side.
  • Stay with the person until medical assistance arrives.
  • Do not put the person in a cold shower or bath.
  • Do not forcefully slap the person to try and wake them.
  • Do not inject the person with any substance other than naloxone.
  • Do not attempt to make the person vomit, as it may increase their risk of aspiration or choking.

drop box locations

The best way to dispose of unused medication – prescription or pills purchased on the street – is to drop off the medicine at a drug take back site, location, or program immediately.

Find an authorized drug collection site near you or call the DEA Diversion Control Division Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 for more information about these collection sites.

You can also go to Google Maps and type in "drug disposal near me" or "medication disposal near me" to find your nearest drug disposal site.

Click on the map below to find the closest drop box closest to you.

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Spread the word

The “No Cap…Those Pills Are Sus” Campaign offers an opportunity for the media, parents, educators, and community organizations to raise awareness about counterfeit prescription drugs.

CMPD has created materials to help you participate in raising awareness.