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Youth may use drugs for different reasons.
Fake pills are easy to get at school or via social media.
When youth use illegal pills, they may not know:
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Fentanyl is a very strong opioid. Although fentanyl is made and used pharmaceutically, it is also produced illegally in Mexico and trafficked into the United States, usually as powder and pills. A very small amount can cause someone to overdose and die.
In Oregon, fentanyl is most commonly seen in blue pills made to look like pharmaceutical oxycodone. People who sell or purchase drugs may call these pills "M-30s," "blues," "dirty 30's" or "Mexies." These fake pills are usually blue in color and stamped to look like real oxycodone pills you would get from a pharmacist. Because it takes a very small amount of fentanyl to cause an overdose, one pill can be deadly.
In 2021, Oregon saw 11 fentanyl-related fatal overdoses in ages 0-17 and 53 in ages 18-24.
Youth need to be educated on the dangers of fentanyl, even if they only try one pill one time. Schools and parents should share the following messages with youth: