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Opioids, Fentanyl, Xylazine

Words Matter

Terms to use, terms to avoid, and why

Opioids

Opioids are medications that are used treat moderate to severe pain but can also have serious risks and side effects.  Common types of opioids oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine, and methadone.

Heroin

Heroin is an illegal opioid.  36 people die every day from an overdose death involving heroin in the United States (CDC).

Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever. It is many times more powerful than other opioids and is approved for treating severe pain. Illegally made and distributed fentanyl has been on the rise in several states.

Illegally made fentanyl is a lot more potent than opioid medications or heroin.  Just 3 milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal, compared to 30 milligrams of heroin.  Fentanyl increasingly can be found across the United States. It is commonly added to other substances or replaces other substances entirely. Often this is done without the street dealers’ or end users’ knowledge.

Carfentanil 

Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid approximately 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times
more potent than fentanyl. The presence of carfentanil in illicit U.S. drug markets is cause for concern, as
the relative strength of this drug could lead to an increase in overdoses and overdose-related deaths, even
among opioid-tolerant users. T

Carfentanil: A Dangerous New Factor in the U.S. Opioid Crisis

Xylazine

Xylazine is a non-opioid sedative commonly used in veterinary medicine. Xylazine was never approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in humans because in clinical trials it caused severe central nervous system (CNS) depression or sedation in humans.  Xylazine is seen primarily as an additive in the illegal drug supply and is not typically a substance that is used on its own.

Learn more about Xylazine

To get FREE Xylazine Test Strips: send a text to 716-225-5473, call 716-858-7695, or Order Online Here

Naloxone/Narcan

Naloxone temporarily blocks the effects of opioids and can reverse overdose. Naloxone only works if opioids are in the body and has no effects on alcohol or other drugs. It takes 2-5 minutes to start working and may require more than one dose. The effects of naloxone last for between 30-90 minutes. Naloxone may cause an opioid dependent person to go into withdrawal (e.g. nausea, vomiting, agitation, muscle aches). These symptoms will go away as the naloxone wears off.

See our Naloxone/Narcan web page

To get FREE Narcan: Send a text to 716-225-5473, call 716-858-7695, go to a Harm Reduction OPEN Site or a Narcan Community Access Site, or Order Online Here.

Related Programs/Information/Resources 

Harm Reduction Home Page

 

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