Jefferson County ACT Facts | Fall 2022

This article is part of a public communication initiative from the Jefferson County Alcohol Consumption Task Force.

Officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Illinois Department of Public Health are warning of fentanyl appearing in bright colors, sometimes resembling sidewalk chalk or candy. 

The fentanyl has been found by law enforcement officials in 18 different states, with the vibrantly colored synthetic opioid appearing in the form of pills, powder, and blocks. Law enforcement officials speculate that this is a tactic to market the substance to children and teens. 

Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids contributed to two-thirds of America's 107,622 drug overdose deaths in 2021. The potency of fentanyl poses a significant risk, with the drug being 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine on average. 

For individuals without a tolerance to opioids, a dose of just two milligrams, equivalent to 10-15 grains of table salt, can be deadly. Officials warn that without laboratory testing, there is no way to determine how much fentanyl is present in a sample. 

For help with substance abuse issues, the following organizations are available to help: