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One Pill Will Kill

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Merced County Office of Education and the Merced County District Attorney's Office have teamed up to help educate students about the dangers of Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic, manmade opiate that can easily be produced in a lab or on the streets, it is less expensive than other opiates, highly addictive and is killing people in the community at an alarming rate.



One Pill Will Kill Commercial Competition – Winners Announced!

Congratulations to students from Los Banos Valley Community School and Hilmar High School, who were selected as the winners of the competition! 

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What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid. 

  • Potent: Up to 50x stronger than heroin and 100x stronger than morphine. Even small doses can be lethal.
  • Synthetic: Not plant-based — made in a lab. 
  • Opioid: Pain reliever like oxycodone, morphine and heroin.

There are two types of fentanyl: pharmaceutical fentanyl and illicitly manufactured fentanyl (illicit fentanyl). Both are synthetic opioids. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is prescribed by doctors to treat severe pain, for and after surgery or advanced-stage cancer. 

Illicit fentanyl is an ingredient added to other drugs to make them cheaper and more powerful. It is tasteless, odorless and nearly impossible to identify, which increases the likelihood of an accidental overdose.

Pharmaceutical Fentanyl​ Illicitly Manufactured Fentanyl
Made in a sterile factory Made in unsanitary conditions
Carefully blended Sloppy mixing
Dose is precise and consistent Dose is random and variable
Carefully administered by doctors Hidden in the drug supply
Legitimate medical uses Increases drug dealer profits
Death is uncommon when taken as prescribed by a doctor Involved in the majority of US drug deaths in recent years

Impact in Merced County

  • In 2023, 35 people have died from fentanyl overdoses in Merced County. 

Purchasing any type of drug online, through social media or even from friends can unknowingly contain dangerous amounts of fentanyl.

Statewide Fentanyl Seizures

  • 7,153,083 fentanyl pills seized

  • 1094 pounds of powder seized

  • More than 200 arrests

Source: DOJ, April 2023

107,375 people in the United States died of drug overdoses and drug poisonings in the 12-month period ending in January 2022.  A staggering 67 percent of those deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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