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Grassroots fentanyl awareness organizations representing affected families are addressing the national emergency of deadly illicit fentanyl

Ask yourself: What is the magic number? How many have to die before we get real help on these issues? It could be your family next. We are not human interest stories. We are becoming the majority...”
— Facing Fentanyl
WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES, April 28, 2022 / -- Affected families throughout the United States are warning the public about the emergent dangers of illicit fentanyl. Advocates for victims of illicit fentanyl poisoning have been sounding the alarm and pleading for a whole government response to address this deadly epidemic. As the death toll rises and more families grieve, advocates and affected family members are taking initiative where our government is failing to act during this national emergency.

National Illicit Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day is established in remembrance of the loved ones who lost their lives due to illicit fentanyl poisoning and to acknowledge the devastation this drug brings to hundreds of thousands of affected family members and friends. Advocates and educators will use this day to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of fentanyl. This coordinated day of response from fentanyl awareness organizations from around the country will include participation by affected families who will share their lived experiences as part of the effort to warn and inform the general public, our youth, and the unsuspecting. Events are planned all over the nation.

This day will be observed every year on August 21, beginning in 2022.
The date is chosen not to overshadow the importance of Overdose Awareness Day which falls in the same month, but as a perfect time to bring attention to the differences between "overdose" and poisoning.

Please visit our website to access the toolkit and fentanyl facts. Memorial photos and letters of love can be submitted on the website at:
Assembly members of this National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day include VOID Victims of Illicit Drugs, Families Against Fentanyl, Alexander Neville Foundation, Voices for Awareness Foundation, and Lauren's Wish.

Illicit Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin. Drug cartels make and supply deadly illicit fentanyl either as a standalone substance, as an additive purposely put into other dangerous street drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, or as substitutes for these drugs. Illicit fentanyl is deceptively added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, making drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous. Illicit fentanyl is in counterfeit prescription pills. These fake pills are made to look identical to legitimate prescription pills — such as Oxycontin®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Adderall®, Xanax®, and other medicines—and have been found in every state in the country. Criminal drug networks are also harnessing the accessibility of social media to push deadly drugs into American communities. Teen deaths are up 94% in one year, and enough fentanyl has been seized in the U.S. in one year to kill 6.9 million people.

For the first time in our nation’s history, over 100,000 people have died of drug overdose and poisoning in a single year from 2020 to 2021. Fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death for adults aged 18-45 in the United States, surpassing suicide, gun violence, and car accidents. Fentanyl deaths in America across all age groups doubled from 32,745 fatalities to 62,178 fatalities in the two years between April 2019 and April 2021. Fentanyl-related death occurs approximately every nine minutes. Tracking of deaths and poisonings has been insufficient and we believe the current data falls short of the actuality of the current crisis. The time to act is now.

Andrea Thomas
Facing Fentanyl
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National Fentanyl Awareness And Prevention Video