What is our plan?
Fact: In 2022, El Paso County recorded 115 fentanyl-related deaths – far more than the 78 homicides last year. Three children died from fentanyl in the county.
We have the facts. So what is our plan?
We all have a role to play to stop fentanyl’s toll.
Demand specific solutions from candidates who want to represent you. Do they have concrete plans that address the reality of fentanyl today?
What Is Our Plan for Opioid Settlement Funds?
Colorado is receiving more than $700 million in opioid settlement funds over 18 years to combat the epidemic caused by opioids, including fentanyl.
Find Colorado communities’ plans on this interactive map.
Here’s what you need to know right now:
Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid, 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and up to 50 times more potent than heroin.
Fentanyl is added to other drugs to make them stronger. It can be found in cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, molly/MDMA, and other drugs. Illegal drug makers also use fentanyl to create counterfeit pills that look like real medication.
A fatal dose of fentanyl is small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil.
Prescription pills purchased online or on the street are often fakes made with fentanyl.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency found that, of the fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills analyzed in 2022, 6 out of 10 contained a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.
You cannot overdose on fentanyl by just touching it. Airborne or skin exposure is not a realistic threat, but injecting or ingesting it is.
Fentanyl overdoses happen fast. Naloxone is medication that can reverse an opioid overdose.
It’s safe, legal, and available as an easy-to-use nasal spray. Also known by the brand names Narcan and Kloxxado, naloxone works by temporarily blocking the effects of opioids. Ensuring it’s nearby and administering it the right way can save a life.
Download the OpiRescue App to have all the information with you when you need it. The app enables you to recognize an overdose, administer naloxone to reverse an overdose, find pharmacies that carry naloxone, and more.
You can make a difference! Through the OpiRescue app, 927 lives have been saved since 2018.
If you suspect an overdose, click here for instructions.
A 2022 survey found that 45% of Colorado teens had talked to a parent or guardian about the risks of fentanyl and contaminated pills. Read about the findings here.
Have you had the talk?
Learn how to talk to teens about fentanyl here.
When they have trusted adults in their lives who can help with challenges, youth are less likely to experience poor mental health and engage in unhealthy behaviors like substance misuse, according to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. Connection for young people can come in many different forms: It includes relationships with parents, friends, extended family members, and trusted adults like coaches and teachers.
Still wondering about how to have the talk at your home?
Here’s a video to give you confidence.
Teachers and other adults who work with young people can inform youth about fentanyl, the increased risks of prescription drug and other substance misuse, and tips on how to stay safe. Take action by:
- Connecting youth to important information about fentanyl here.
- Educating youth about the dangers of prescription drug misuse, including fentanyl and contaminated drugs, and empowering them to make healthy decisions and support their peers. More than 15,000 Colorado youth built their knowledge and skills through this lesson last year.
- Ensuring all school staff are ready to respond to a fentanyl-related emergency.
- What school personnel have access to naloxone on campus?
- Are teachers and students allowed to carry naloxone?
- Has your school hosted a training on how to use naloxone for staff, students, and parents?
Experts from around the state created a new resource to help school districts obtain and deploy Narcan, the nasal spray form of naloxone.
Rise Above Colorado is a statewide prevention organization that measurably impacts teen perceptions and attitudes about the risks of substance misuse to empower youth to make healthy connections, decisions, and change.
In response to the fentanyl epidemic that is driving overdose deaths among Coloradans of all ages, Rise Above Colorado is partnering with experts and organizations who share our goal of raising awareness of the issue to drive dialogue and preparedness among individuals and communities.