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Prevent an Accidental Overdose

  • Take care of your body; remember to hydrate, eat and sleep when possible.

  • Tolerance is unique to each person and situation. Try a test hit to find out how your body will react.

  • Quality matters. Stick with a reliable source or talk to friends to help you find one. Additionally, a test hit can help you gauge quality.

  • Avoid using alone or try a “buddy system”. Consider having Naloxone available and create an overdose plan to have someone check-in on you.

  • Switching up the method used to take a drug can impact overdose prevention. Injection is the method most associated with overdose, followed by smoking and snorting. Consider mixing it up to prevent overdose, as well as to protect the veins.

  • Use fentanyl test strips to avoid substance that are laced with fentanyl.​

  • Overdose prevention means different things to different people and different substances.

What to know about Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Carfentanil, a fentanyl analog, is another synthetic opioid that is 10,000 times more potent. Since they are cheap to produce, these synthetics are being cut into substances, particularly opioids, but also meth, benzos and more.


Far more often, fentanyl is often found in counterfeit or pressed pills. A common example are the “blues” which resemble Oxycontin 30mg.


The drug supply is always changing, and new substances appear regularly. Pressed pills are no exception. While fentanyl test strips help to find more than 70 analogs of fentanyl, they will not detect them all. They also won’t detect other substances such as tranquilizers.

Testing for Fentanyl

Testing for fentanyl and its analogs is a helpful step because they increase potency of drugs and, therefore, increase the risk of accidental overdose. Fentanyl test strips are one tool used to detect whether fentanyl is present in a substance. However, the tests strips do not tell the user the amount of fentanyl present and results are not guaranteed. You can learn more about fentanyl test strips when you get them at Points West and other syringe services programs.

Photo comparing authentic pills and fake pills containing fentanyl.

How to test opioids, cocaine and benzos for fentanyl.

How to test MDMA and meth for fentanyl.

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