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1. Don't Use Alone

Don’t use alone. If you do, have someone check on you. That way, if you do overdose, someone can intervene.

2. Try a Small Amount First

Try a small amount first. Since fentanyl is so strong, a little goes a long way and overdoses can occur quickly.

3. Don't Mix Drugs (Including Alcohol)

Don’t mix different drugs (including alcohol). Fentanyl is a dangerous drug but in combination with other drugs, the risk of overdose is much greater.

4. Fentanyl Test Strips

Learn how to use fentanyl test strips. Knowing what’s in your drugs can help you decide how much and how best to use them.

5. Carry Naloxone

Always carry naloxone. Be familiar with the signs of an overdose and be prepared to respond with naloxone, no matter what drug you’re using.

The safest way to prevent a fentanyl overdose is to not use any illicit drugs.
If you insist on engaging in risky behavior here are some ways that you can reduce your overdose risk.


Signs of an Overdose

  1. Severe sleepiness

  2. Cold, pale skin

  3. Trouble breathing, walking or talking

  4. Slow heartbeat

  5. Pinpoint pupils

  6. Blue lips and/or fingernails

  7. Choking, gurgling or snoring sounds with breathing

Call for HELP!

Most states have a Good Samaritan Law. 

The 911 Good Samaritan Law states that a person is immune from criminal prosecution for an offense when the person reports, in good faith, an emergency drug or alcohol overdose even to a law enforcement officer, to the 911 system or to a medical provider. 

The immunity described above also extends to the person who suffered the emergency drug or alcohol overdose event.

Testing Strips

Testing strips are not 100% accurate. If you are going to use any illicit drug, have narcan on hand and never use alone. Follow the rules below or for interactive online instructions go to  


  1. Fill a cup with approximately one teaspoon of water for testing opioids and cocaine or 4 teaspoons of water for methamphetamine, ecstasy, or MDMA. To test a pill, crush the entire pill and for powders like cocaine you can test the residue in the baggie.

  2. Dissolve the whole crushed pill in the water. If it is negative, you can ingest the pill by drinking the water. Do not test shards or pieces. Swirl gently. For drugs in a powder form, empty the bag and put your drugs to the side. A small amount of the residue should be left in the bag.

  3. Add a small amount of water to the empty baggie to test residue.

  4. Hold the testing strip by the dark blue end. Do not touch the white portion of the strip.

  5. Dip the strip into the water and hold for about 15 seconds. Do not insert beyond the thick blue MAX line.

  6. Place strip down on a flat, non-absorbent surface for five minutes.
    POSITIVE for fentanyl: one colored band.
    NEGATIVE for fentanyl: two colored bands.

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