1. What is Fentanyl?
  2. What is Naloxone?
  3. Prevent Overdose
  4. Signs of Overdose
  5. Respond
  6. Additional Resources

Adapted from Ottawa Public Health

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an opioid that is much more toxic than other opioids, such as heroin, morphine, methadone or codeine. This makes the risk of accidental overdose with fentanyl much higher. Fentanyl is being cut into other drugs like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and counterfeit pills that are made to look like other prescription pills (like ‘oxycontin’ or ‘Percocet’).

There is no easy way to know if fentanyl is in drugs. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it.  Any drug can be cut (mixed) with fentanyl and even a very small amount can cause an overdose.

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone is a medication that temporarily reverses an opioid overdose. Naloxone only lasts for about 30-60 minutes but a lot of drugs can last longer−this means the overdose symptoms can come back!

Naloxone can save a life while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

University Safety Officers and Health and Counselling Services staff carry and are trained to administer naloxone.

Prevent Overdose

If you are going to use, here are some ways to use more safely:

  • Stay with friends you trust and keep an eye on each other
  • Avoid using more than one drug at a time or using drugs with alcohol
  • Know where naloxone is available (University Safety Officers, Health and Counselling Services)

Signs of Overdose

  • Slow or no breathing
  • Lips or fingers turn blue
  • Person will not wake up/is not responding
  • Deep snoring, gurgling or choking sounds
  • Pinpoint (tiny) pupils


What to do in case of overdose?

On Campus: 613-520-4444 (University Safety Officers are trained to administer naloxone)

Off Campus: 911

Make sure you stay with the person until help arrives. Getting someone help is the most important thing you can do – do not be afraid to call.

Additional Resources