Fighting Fentanyl | Texas Health and Human Services – Texas Health and Human Services |

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Together, Texans can fight the fentanyl crisis.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Prescription fentanyl is safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor to treat severe pain. However, illicitly manufactured fentanyl is also distributed through illegal drug markets. Recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. and Texas are linked to illegally made fentanyl.
Illegally manufactured fentanyl is often added to other substances like counterfeit pills, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. As a result, many people may not know they’re ingesting fentanyl, leading to accidental poisoning.
Even in small doses, fentanyl exposure can cause a life-threatening overdose. According to 2020 provisional data from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), 883 people in Texas died from fentanyl-related overdoses. In 2021, that number climbed to 1,672 deaths — an 89% increase. Read more from DSHS about fentanyl-related deaths (PDF).
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids — including fentanyl. Keeping it on hand could mean the difference between life and death. Naloxone is available at many pharmacies in Texas without a prescription.
HHSC is committed to addressing the opioid crisis and protecting the health and safety of all Texans. The Texas Targeted Opioid Response (TTOR) is a public health initiative operated by HHSC through federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. TTOR’s mission is to save lives and provide lifelong support to Texans with opioid and stimulant use disorders by expanding access to prevention services, integrated services, treatment services and recovery support services.
This community flyer provides general information about fentanyl and resources to fight the fentanyl crisis. Download and share with friends and family (PDF).
This Social Media Toolkit (ZIP) provides social media posts and graphics you can share to increase awareness about the fentanyl crisis.
Share these #OnePillKills graphics (ZIP) to increase awareness about the fentanyl crisis.
Whether you want to inform your child of the risks or are concerned about a loved one who uses drugs, it’s time to talk about fentanyl. Have a calm, direct conversation, and listen without judgment. Work together to make a plan to stay safe.
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids, including fentanyl. Keeping it on hand could mean the difference between life and death — for you or someone else. Naloxone is available at many pharmacies in Texas without a prescription.
Many fake pills are made to look just like prescription Xanax (bars), Percocet (perk), opioids (pain killers) like Vicodin and Oxycodone (oxy), and stimulants like Adderall (addy).
These fake pills are increasingly common, and fentanyl, an opioid up to 50 times stronger than heroin, may be mixed into counterfeit pills. Even in small doses, fentanyl can cause a life-threatening overdose.
Be prepared to save a life, learn the signs of an overdose and speak with your doctor or pharmacist about obtaining naloxone to carry and keep at home.
Schools and programs serving youth can increase awareness and create safe environments for children. They can educate youth, each other, and their community about the dangers of fentanyl and about how to help prevent opioid misuse and addiction.
Schools and programs serving youth can be prepared if an opioid overdose occurs by having naloxone available and providing training on how to administer it. Also, schools can update their memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with local first responders to ensure a plan is in place to immediately respond to an overdose.
Due to high levels of stress, first responders and health care workers are at risk for substance use disorders. The Heroes Helpline is a free, confidential, telephone support line available to EMS and health care workers. Callers can access free peer support, treatment navigation and referral services as well as information on employment and licensing concerns.
Go to Heroes Helpline or call 833-367-4689.
The Texas Targeted Opioid Response supports treatment and recovery providers across the state. Get Help at txopioidresponse.org.
Additionally, Outreach, Screening, Assessment and Referral (OSAR) providers offer comprehensive fentanyl and other substance use services to all Texans. Callers speak with a trained counselor who can assess needs and refer to a variety of services, including in-person and telehealth access to treatment. To find your local OSAR, go to Outreach, Screening, Assessment & Referral.
Naloxone is a lifesaving medication that can help reverse an overdose from opioids, including fentanyl. If you or someone you know is at risk for opioid overdose, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about obtaining naloxone to carry and keep it at home. Naloxone is available at many Texas pharmacies without a prescription, and many health insurance plans cover the cost of the medication.
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