Opioids include drugs like codeine, morphine, fentanyl, heroin, and methadone. Opioids can also be used as a painkiller and are prescribed by a doctor.

Just because it's a prescription drug does not make it safe. Anyone who uses prescription or non-prescription drugs is at risk of overdose.

This section will help you if you:

  • want to learn about fentanyl
  • want to know how to identify of an overdose
  • are looking for community resources


Fentanyl is an opioid that is much more toxic than most other opioids. This makes the risk of overdose much higher.

Fentanyl is being made and sold illegally. You can't see it, taste it or smell it. It is often made:

  • as a powder and mixed with other drugs (like heroin, cocaine or crack).
  • as pills and sold as things like Oxys, percs or eighties... and they look like the real thing!
  • as other pills like speed and ecstasy/MDMA.

Anything can be cut with fentanyl

Visit StopOverdoseOttawa.ca for more information on Fentanyl and Carfentanil. 

 Counterfeit Drugs

Counterfeit pills can look identical to prescription opioids. Getting drugs from a friend, ordering online, or from a drug dealer is very risky and can be life-threatening. There is no way to know what is actually in the drug or how toxic it may be. Drugs should only be purchased from a pharmacy or medical professional.

 Know the Signs of an opioid overdose

An overdose happens when a person uses too much of a drug, or a combination of drugs, than what the body can handle. In an opioid overdose the brain is not able to control basic life functions, which can be fatal.

Opioid Overdose Signs and Symptoms

Visit StopOverdoseOttawa.ca for more information on opioid overdoses and signs and symptoms.

Responding to an overdose

Visit StopOverdoseOttawa.ca for more information on how to respond to an overdose, Naloxone, and Take Home Naloxone Kits.

 Where to get help

 Visit StopOverdoseOttawa.ca for a list of local resources.

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