The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute and WV Hope in Action Alliance are working together with MANY organizations throughout the state to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl. Fentanyl can be found in illicit drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and yes, even marijuana. In addition, fentanyl can often be found in counterfeit pills.
In May 2022, three students at the Ohio State University were rushed to an area hospital due to fentanyl overdose. Sadly, two of the students died. The same week of the reported overdose, Columbus Public Health and campus safety officials issued warnings of possible Adderall pills laced with fentanyl on campus.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. And, according to the US Centers for Disease Control, It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S.
There are two types of fentanyl: pharmaceutical fentanyl and illicitly manufactured fentanyl. Both are considered synthetic opioids. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is prescribed by doctors to treat severe pain, especially after surgery and for advanced-stage cancer.
Most recent cases of fentanyl-related overdose are linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which is distributed through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous.
It is important for EVERYONE to be aware that the pills they are taking or illicit drugs they are using pose a potential risk for fentanyl exposure and/or overdose. At the WV DII our mission is to reduce overdose deaths. We certainly want people who are struggling with the disease of addiction, or taking illicit drugs recreationally, to not do drugs and access recovery resources, but we also need them to live long enough to do so. For this reason, the WV DII and the WV Hope in Action Alliance have joined forces to increase public awareness about the dangers of fentanyl and provide access to FREE fentanyl testing strips. Fentanyl testing strips are just one more tool in our kit for preventing overdose deaths.
Persons and organizations can request fentanyl test strips from the WV DII by filling out the form on this page. All information provided by individuals is CONFIDENTIAL and will not be shared outside the WV DII.