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Fentanyl Poisoning

Fentanyl is the number one killer of people

ages 18-45.

We are working with colleges and universities across Colorado to educate students about the risks of fentanyl, alert them when there have been poisonings or overdoses nearby, and teach them how to intervene to save a life.

What you need to know about Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic (made in a lab) opiate that was originally developed to medically manage pain. The same things that make fentanyl effective for treating pain, make it dangerous. A lower dose can make you feel sleepy, but a higher dose can make it difficult to breathe and stop your heart in a matter of minutes.


Now, fentanyl is being mixed with counterfeit pills and other street drugs to get people hooked and increase the profit margins. People mistakenly think they’re getting an authentic pill or power; what they don’t realize is that it could contain a lethal dose of Fentanyl.

Fentanyl has been found in these counterfeit pills and street drugs:

  • Adderall

  • Xanax

  • Oxycodone

  • Percocet

  • Cocaine

  • Heroin

  • Methamphetamine

  • MDMA

We Use

Language Matters

At Blue Rising, along with impacted families across the country, we believe deaths from fentanyl, especially if the user was not intending to take fentanyl, is a poisoning.

Just like if someone put arsenic in your soda, if you were to die from arsenic, you would have been poisoned.

Many people, especially youth and young adults, think they are taking a different drug, whether it be a fake Xanax for anxiety, an Adderall to study, or even cocaine. If you think you are taking a prescription pill or a street drug, but it's actually laced with fentanyl, then it is a poisoning.

We need to be Honest about Fentanyl

Educating our youth about the risks of fentanyl poisoning in a way that makes sense and that shows them how the opioid epidemic applies to them is essential.

Exclusively using the terminology of "overdose" does not accurately articulate the real risk that young people are in. For example, if a student is studying for a midterm and wants to better focus and asks a friend for an Adderall, why would that student be worried about an overdose? We need messaging that clearly articulates that fentanyl could be hiding in a drug that they think is something else.

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You Can't Outsmart Fentanyl
Higher Ed Education Campaign

The Fentanyl crisis is limiting opportunities and cutting lives short for many young Coloradans.

While college has historically been a time for experimentation, the risk landscape for this generation has changed considerably with the presence of fentanyl-laced pills and powders. Blue Rising Community, together with families who have lost college-aged children to fentanyl poisoning developed a College and University Checklist focused on the actions schools can take to inform students about the dangers of fentanyl, alert them when there are clusters of fentanyl poisonings or overdoses, and provide them with the knowledge, skills and supplies to intervene with naloxone to save lives in an emergency.

Saving Lives on College Campuses Across Colorado

"The changing risk landscape requires a new level of urgency and prioritization of the fentanyl poisoning crisis within higher education institutions. The fact that experimentation is at its peak for young people during their late teens and early twenties combined with the presence of illegal fentanyl in recreational and “fake” prescription drugs leads to an increased likelihood of poisonings on college campuses. We need colleges and universities to do everything they can to get ahead of this crisis. The work that impacted families like mine have done with Blue Rising created a road map to do just that,”

Chelsea Brundige, mother of Miles Brundige who died of fentanyl poisoning as a college student in Colorado.

Blue Rising is partnering with schools that want to be proactive in educating their students about fentanyl and its risks.This is a national problem greatly affecting Colorado, that urgently needs to be addressed. The more out front schools are regarding fentanyl, the more lives that can be saved. Schools currently participating in some or all parts of the checklist include:

  • Aims Community College

  • Colorado College

  • Colorado Mesa University

  • Colorado School of Mines

  • Front Range Community College

  • Metropolitan State University of Denver

  • Otero College

  • University of Colorado Boulder

  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs

  • University of Northern Colorado

  • Western Colorado University

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Check out our website

to see our website for our college education campaign.

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