Minnesota, US observe Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day on Aug. 21

Gov. Tim Walz joins the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in observing Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day on Sunday at a time when fentanyl is a daily factor in deaths across the country.

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram calls fentanyl “the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered.”

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says a record 1,286 overdose deaths were reported in the state last year, which is an average of more than three deaths per day. MDH officials believe fentanyl is part of the reason for the increase in overdose deaths.

The danger of ingesting fentanyl is that it is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health officials say small amounts of fentanyl can be lethal.

The CDC says most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm and death are linked to illegally-made fentanyl that is mixed into other drugs without the user’s knowledge to increase euphoric effects.

DEA says to “never trust your own eyes” when examining types of pills – like Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, Xanax and Adderall – that are commonly laced with fentanyl.

Click HERE for a few side-by side comparisons of legitimate and fentanyl-laced prescription pills provided by the DEA.

Click here for opioid overdose prevention resources from the CDC. Click here for MDH information on fentanyl test strips, which can help prevent overdoses. This naloxone finder website helps people find medicine that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.