Substance Use

Overdose deaths are preventable. We have the tools we need to stop people from dying from drugs.

You can reverse an overdose if you know what to do and you act in time. Whether you use drugs, love someone who does, or just care about the people in your community, it’s important to be prepared if you encounter someone who is overdosing.

  1. Fentanyl and Overdoses
  2. Test Your Drugs
  3. Naloxone (Narcan)
  4. Additional Resources

What is fentanyl and why does it matter?

Fentanyl is responsible for more overdoses than any other opioid. It’s important to know what fentanyl is and how you can reduce risks of an overdose.

Quick Facts:

  • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin.
  • Fentanyl can be laced in most powders, pills, and liquids. Drug users can unknowingly consume fentanyl-laced substances
  • Knock-off drugs that resemble pharmaceuticals are on the rise. It is possible these pills, such as oxycodone, Adderall, Xanax, etc. may contain fentanyl
  • Overdose deaths involving fentanyl have quadrupled in recent years. 
  • Fentanyl is present in San Miguel County
  • Fentanyl cannot be detected by sight, taste, smell or touch 
  • You cannot overdose by simply touching fentanyl

Signs of an Overdose

Overdoses happen when someone consumes a toxic amount of one or multiple drugs. An overdose is a medical emergency, so if you think that you or another person is currently overdosing it is critical to call 911 immediately. Common signs of an opioid overdose include:

  • Blue or purple fingernails or lips
  • Unresponsive to voice or touch
  • Pinpoint-sized pupils
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Pale, clammy skin

Lower your risk of overdose

In addition to using fentanyl test strips to know if fentanyl is in your drugs, there are other ways to lower your risk of overdose. You can take steps to keep yourself and others safe:

  1. Keep naloxone readily available on you and at home. Pick up free Narcan at the public health department if you or someone you know is at risk for an overdose. 
  2. Avoid mixing drugs. Mixing multiple stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine, depressants like opioids and alcohol, or a combination of both can cause harm and potentially death.
  3. Don’t rely on a previous source or experience. Knowing where your drugs come from doesn’t mean they’re safe. And even if you have used drugs before, your body could react differently every time.
  4. Never use drugs alone. Make sure the people around you are aware when you have taken drugs in case they need to give you naloxone or call for emergency assistance. You can also call Never Use Alone (800-484-3731) for a judgement free call line to connect to a person while using drugs.
  5. Ask for help if you’re ready to get treatment for your addiction. Recovery from substance use disorders is possible—it’s okay to ask for help. You can find evidence-based treatment and service options near you by visiting or by calling the 24/7, National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).