and Fentanyl Test Strips (FTS)

Frequently Asked Questions about Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
While fentanyl is used to treat severe pain in clinical settings, it is also
manufactured and distributed illegally.

Fentanyl is found in pills, powders and liquids. Counterfeit pills sold as Xanax, Percocet, Oxy, Adderall and others can contain deadly doses of fentanyl. Similarly, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin may be laced with fentanyl that increases the risk of overdose. https://www.dea.gov/fentanylawareness

Per DEA labs, seven out of ten counterfeit pills contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. https://www.dea.gov/onepill

Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is an opioid overdose reversal medication that is effective even against fentanyl poisoning. Having Narcan in your home or car can help you save the life of a friend, family member, or community member who is overdosing.

If you are a person who uses drugs, you can practice harm reduction tactics to decrease your chance of fatal overdose. However, the only certain way to avoid an overdose is to not use drugs. If you or someone you know wants to quit illicit opioids, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is available in Marin County.

Fentanyl is not resistant to naloxone (Narcan), but fentanyl overdoses can occasionally require multiple doses of Narcan. If you are a regular user, consider keeping several doses of Narcan nearby.

Fentanyl is increasingly making its way into the street drug supply in Marin County.
Because of its potency and low cost, fentanyl is often mixed with other illicit drugs, increasing the likelihood of a fatal interaction. In California, overdose deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl were over five times higher in 2021 than in 2018.

No, you cannot overdose via skin contact. Fentanyl must be introduced to the bloodstream or mucus membrane for an individual to feel the effects.

Testing for fentanyl in your drugs is a good first step, but testing alone will not ensure
safety. Always assume risk of fentanyl poisoning when taking illicit substances.

You can reduce your chance of overdose by:

• Using slow and using less
• Snorting or smoking instead of injecting
• Using in a group and staggering use
• Always carrying naloxone (Narcan)

For more information on fentanyl harm reduction, go to https://harmreduction.org/issues/fentanyl/

Updated 3/20/24

Fentanyl Test Strips (FTS)

Where can I get them?

Ritter Center
16 Ritter St., San Rafael
Daily 8:30am – 4:30pm
Available in outdoor OD Emergency Kit & vending machine

Multicultural Center of Marin
709 Fifth Ave., San Rafael
Tues / Wed 9:00am – 5:30pm
Available at front desk

OD Free Marin
Weekdays / 9:00am – 5:00pm
Email info@odfreemarin.org for easy pick-up with two business days’ notice

What are they?

Fentanyl test strips (FTS) are a low-cost method of helping prevent drug overdoses and reducing harm. FTS are small strips of paper that can detect the presence of fentanyl in all different kinds of drugs (cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, etc.) and drug forms (pills, powder, and injectables).

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