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What you see online or hear at school might make you think pill misuse is widespread. It’s not. And that’s a fact. 

The reality is that most teens aren’t using pills that aren’t prescribed to them.1 And most say they would act to stop a friend from taking a pill that could contain fentanyl.

You could save a life by learning about the risks of pills, the signs of an opioid overdose, and how naloxone (often known by brand name Narcan) reverses opioid overdoses.

How to act to help a Friend

87% of Colorado teens say they’d try to stop a friend from using a pill that a doctor didn’t prescribe to them. That’s because it could be laced with fentanyl. 

Do you know how to support your friends? Here are four facts you can share to encourage them to make healthy choices. 

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Protect a friend with these downloads:
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We Know the Risks

Find the Care You Need

What Is Fentanyl?

You might have heard about fentanyl. Fentanyl is a drug that’s up to 100 times stronger than morphine. It’s often made in illegal labs and mixed with other drugs. Just a tiny amount — like a few grains of salt — can cause a fatal overdose.

The Power of Connection

Strong friendships are important for both the body and mind. Friends can give different perspectives and advice to make healthier choices. 

That’s the Connect Effect.

Together, you and your friends form a network of care, kindness, and motivation, making all your mental health stronger.

But some of us struggle with making and keeping friends – and that’s totally normal.

Our partner Forward Together has videos, articles, and other resources created by youth for youth to help you create connection. Check out Forward Together’s website, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube channels. 

You Have the Power to Save a Life

Naloxone is a life-saving medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose. Many schools keep naloxone handy for emergencies. Ask a parent or other trusted adult if they keep naloxone around so you know where to find it in an emergency. 

Naloxone won’t hurt someone if you give it to them and it turns out they didn’t need it. So if you suspect someone is overdosing, it’s safe and simple to use naloxone.

More resources

It takes everyone working together to create the Connect Effect and to save lives.
You can get more information or additional support through these resources: 
  • Safe2Tell: Anonymously report anything that concerns or threatens you, your friends, your family, or your community. But call 911 if there is an emergency in progress.
  • I Matter Colorado: This program can connect you with a therapist for up to six free virtual counseling sessions (some in-person appointments available, too) that are completely confidential.
  • Forward Together: Learn to build stronger connections with expert tips.
Header statistic| 2023 survey of 266 Colorado youth
1 | 2021 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey
2 | Preventing, Recognizing, and Treating Opioid Overdose | SAMHSA