Affected families throughout the United States are warning the public about the emergent dangers of illicit fentanyl. Advocates for victims of illicit fentanyl poisoning have been sounding the alarm and pleading for government response to address this deadly epidemic. As the death toll rises and more families grieve, advocates and affected family members are taking initiative where our government has not yet acted. Illicit Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin. Drug cartels make and supply deadly illicit fentanyl either as a standalone substance, as an additive laced in other dangerous street drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, or as substitutes for these drugs. Illicit fentanyl is purposely and deceptively added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, making drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous.



    For the first time in our nation's history, over 100,000 people have died of drug overdose in a single year. Fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death for adults aged 18-45 in the United States, surpassing suicide, gun violence and car accidents. Fentanyl deaths in America across all age groups doubled from 32,745 fatalities to 62,178 fatalities in the two-year period between April 2019 and April 2021. Who knows what the numbers will look like this year? At Facing Fentanyl, we don't need data to tell us that too many have been poisoned by fentanyl. We see faces every day that tell us what is happening in America. What is the "magic number" that will spur action? Remember that these faces are not just a number, they are our children, mothers, fathers and friends. We must act now.



    Hundreds of people die daily in the United States from illicit fentanyl poisoning. Fentanyl-related deaths occur approximately every nine minutes. Tracking of deaths and poisonings has been insufficient and we believe the available data falls short of the actuality of the current crisis. States like Colorado have experienced a 1008% increase in a six-year time span since 2015.We need to approach this fentanyl emergency different that drugs of the past. As the drug landscape changes, we must change with it. We need to be stronger in our efforts to attack the devastation that is impacting Americans.



    Criminal drug networks are harnessing the accessibility of social media to push deadly drugs into American communities. Illicit fentanyl is being sold on social media apps like Snapchat. Drugs and counterfeit pills manufactured with fentanyl can easily be purchased on Ecommerce sites. These drugs are easily found on the internet and can be delivered to your home as easily as ordering a pizza. Parents all over the nation are kissing their sons and daughter's goodnight and finding them dead in the beds in the morning. Teenagers confront challenges and temptations while growing into adulthood. Experimenting can be part of growing up for many. Fentanyl can be their first and last experiment. Talk to your kids about the real dangers of fentanyl.



    If you think fentanyl can't affect your family, think again. No one is immune. Unsuspecting people die every day from fentanyl poisoning. There are no socioeconomic boundaries from the attack of illicit fentanyl. The news is filled with stories of youth dying in schools after taking a counterfeit manufactured with fentanyl. Parents are leaving behind children. The death rate of senior fentanyl poisoning is even rising. Many affected families didn't even know what fentanyl was when it devastated their family. We urge you to learn the facts on illicit fentanyl before



    Illicit drugs can be in powder, pill, or liquid forms. Emergency responders can come into contact with illicit drugs by:

    Breathing (Inhalation)

    Eating (Ingestion)

    Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with contaminated hands or gloves or when illicit drugs come into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth directly (Mucosal)

    Liquid illicit drugs may be absorbed by the skin (Dermal)

    Being stuck by a needle (Percutaneous)

    Do not eat, drink, smoke, or use the bathroom while working in an area with known or suspected illicit drugs.

    Do not touch the eyes, mouth, or nose after touching any potentially contaminated surface

    Avoid performing tasks or operations that may cause illicit drugs to enter the air. Only trained emergency responders wearing proper PPE should conduct activities that could cause illicit drugs to enter the air.

    Avoid direct skin contact with illicit drugs. If this occurs, immediately wash the area with soap and water. Call 911 if you have been exposed.

    Wash hands (or other unprotected skin) with soap and water immediately after coming into contact with illicit drugs or after leaving an area where illicit drugs may have been present. Avoid breaking the skin while cleaning and cover all open wounds.

    Do not use hand sanitizer (or any alcohol based cleaner) or bleach

    Be aware that the use of illicit drugs in bathrooms is reportedly a common practice. Individuals might hide or try to get rid of illicit substances by dumping them into the toilet and flushing repeatedly. This process can increase the chances of responders inhaling harmful substances. This process may also cause bathroom surfaces and materials to be unsafe.



    "Where do the children go?"

    As the fentanyl death toll rises, so does the rate of grandparents raising grandchildren. Did you ever stop to think about where the children go when mom or dad has died from fentanyl poisoning? Grandparents have long been raising grandchildren when tragedy strikes a family. Now the oldest generations are raising the children that the middle generations have left behind.


    It is important to clarify how illicit fentanyl is devastating Americans.

    Illicit Fentanyl is sold through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. Fentanyl is mixed with heroin and/or cocaine as a combination product-with or without the user's knowledge-to increase its euphoric effects.

    Illicit Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

    2 mg of fentanyl can cause sudden death and can be a lethal dose.

    The onset of poisoning caused by fentanyl can occur at a much quicker rate (sometimes within seconds) than heroin. In the majority of cases, fentanyl poisoning appears very similar to other opioid overdoses. However, atypical symptoms due to fentanyl have been reported, including:

    • Immediate blue or grey lips
    • Body stiffening/seizure like activity
    • Foaming at the mouth
    • Confusion before becoming unresponsive

    Death by fentanyl is a form of suffocation. It shuts down your neuro and respiratory system and you can die in minutes or even seconds. Fentanyl causes respiratory depression called "wooden chest syndrome".
    Fentanyl precursors are produced in China and distributed by Mexican Cartels to the United States. Together Chinese and Mexican cartels launder the trillions of drug dollars made from the sale of fentanyl.

    Cartels/Distributors mix fentanyl into other drugs as a combination product and manufacture counterfeit pills containing fentanyl that look like a prescription drug. These drugs are made in clandestine Mexican labs.

    Fentanyl has been found in virtually all street drugs today including Cocaine, Heroin, Xanax, Oxy, Percocet, Adderall and Marijuana.

    There are many fentanyl analogues (precursor chemicals).  Fentanyl analogues are used to strengthen drug potency. Carfentanil is a fentanyl analogue that can kill 10 times faster than base fentanyl.

    Illicit Fentanyl is more addictive than any other drug. Deceptively manufactured to disguise the dangers. This poison has changed the drug landscape and fentanyl deaths continue to climb at an exponential rate.

    DEA reports that 4 in 10 counterfeit pills manufactured with fentanyl are deadly.

    Every dose taken of fentanyl is like playing Russian Roulette.

    There is a misconception that fentanyl poisonings occur only with addicted users.

    Unsuspecting people die from fentanyl poisoning daily. There are no age restriction or socioeconomic boundaries for who fentanyl kills. In America fentanyl is killing all ages. Toddlers, youth, middle aged and seniors. The primary death rate occurring in victims 18 to 45.

    Fentanyl has been Emergency and temporary scheduled as a class one substance. A permanent scheduling has not occurred.

    Fentanyl seizures in the US are estimated to be 10% to 15% of what is entering the country. Seizures at this rate do not affect cartels. The bulk of manufactured fentanyl flooding into the country is to be sold. Seizures at the current rate do not affect Cartels.

    Illicit Fentanyl is prevalent and easy to obtain.

    Illicit Fentanyl is sold on e-commerce and social media sites. Fentanyl is purchased on these sites and delivered as easily as a pizza can be delivered to your home. Cartel's creatively lure and sell to our youth through social media distributing in exchange for quick money.

    The DEA is the primary government agency that is publicly addressing the dangers of fentanyl. The United States government has not put out a public warning to American's or addressed the U.S.-China-Mexico relationship as Americans continue to die.

    Fentanyl is more dangerous than other drugs we have seen before. Fentanyl has changed the drug landscape. The prescription opioid epidemic caused high rates of addiction. Although, people that experienced substance use disorder still had time to search out recovery options and potentially survive. Fentanyl is more addictive and is killing faster. Recovery from fentanyl is often not an option. The rate of death from fentanyl is skyrocketing. There is no socio-economic boundary for fentanyl death. All ages and classes are attacked.  Hundreds of thousands of pounds of illicitly manufactured fentanyl is imported into the U.S. every year, enough to kill billions of people. Fentanyl has the capabilities of a true weapon of mass destruction, and discussion of this classification in Congress is limited despite the efforts of chemical analysts. Fentanyl, whether pure or deceptively made into other drugs, is killing our family members. Fentanyl is now the #1 cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45. Over 100,000 people died from in the U.S. between April 2020 and 2021. Fentanyl fatalities increased by almost 50% in 12 months. Teen death is up by 94%. Cartels are taking advantage of our boarder situations and our lack of response to this crisis. Fentanyl is a crisis that should be prioritized to address immediately.

    Almost, all fentanyl awareness organizations actively fighting fentanyl are started by families affected by fentanyl. Awareness and prevention can save lives. Educating and informing the public is a priority. Time is of the essence. This is a national emergency.