The Mountaineer Fentanyl Education Task Force, or MFETF, is a group of students in partnership with the United States Justice Department and West Virginia University whose mission is to inform the West Virginia University community about the dangers of fentanyl and resources available on campus and within the community. MFETF launched the “Mountaineers Against Fentanyl'' campaign in the Fall 2022 semester.
There has been a recent surge of fatal overdoses due to people using drugs they were unaware contained the powerful opioid fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50-100 times stronger than heroin. One pill contaminated with fentanyl can kill a person. To protect our community, we must LEARN, ACT, and SHARE to keep our fellow Mountaineers safe.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be 50-100 times more potent than morphine. It can be a powder, pill, or patch. Because of its strength, consuming fentanyl in any form puts anyone at high risk of fatal overdose. A very small amount of fentanyl (as little as 2mg) can cause an overdose in an average person. Oftentimes these overdoses occur because individuals are unaware of fentanyl's presence in a drug they are taking. Fentanyl is being cut into illicit drugs and counterfeit prescription drugs to make them more powerful and more profitable. This information was provided by the Mountaineer Fentanyl Education Task Force.
According to a memorandum from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), in the Spring of 2022, there were “at least seven confirmed mass overdose events across the U.S. resulting in 58 overdoses and 29 overdose deaths. Many of the victims of these mass overdose events thought they were ingesting cocaine and had no idea that they were in fact ingesting fentanyl.”
Along with cocaine, other drugs that have been found to contain Fentanyl are heroin, MDMA (molly/ecstasy), and counterfeit prescription drugs, like Percocet and Oxycodone, and even non-opioids such as Adderall and Xanax.
Consuming fentanyl is dangerous, but know that fentanyl will not be absorbed through your skin. If you believe you may be in the presence of fentanyl, proceed with caution to avoid accidental consumption.
To be clear, these prescription drugs containing fentanyl are fake. They are not provided by pharmacies or made by legitimate drug manufacturers. They are made in clandestine labs by dealers and sold to users under false pretenses.
The most effective way to avoid unknowingly consuming fentanyl is to not use any prescription drugs that aren’t prescribed to you, and to not use any illicit drugs.
WVU has an alcohol and drug amnesty policy in place, also known as medical amnesty. This means if you call emergency medical services because you think someone’s life is in danger due to alcohol or other drug overdoses, you can be protected from legal repercussions and conduct violations. This applies to the person experiencing an overdose and the person calling EMS on their behalf.
To be granted amnesty, you have to stay with the person, be cooperative with the professionals and emergency responders involved, and provide accurate information. There may be follow-up required through WVU’s Student Assistance Program at the Carruth Center. WVU’s medical amnesty policy also reflects West Virginia’s Good Samaritan law.
Fentanyl Test Strips
If you are (or someone you know is) a person who uses drugs, consider testing your drugs using fentanyl testing strips. WELLWVU is currently able to provide WVU students with fentanyl test strips - no questions asked, no identifying information required, and no interaction with anyone during pick-up. If you would like to pick up fentanyl test strips, you can read all the information about pick-up here.
Each kit includes 3 fentanyl test strips and a detailed instruction guide created by DanceSafe, and a 10mg scoop. Please read the instruction guide carefully.
The kits will be available for pick-up on Thursdays and Fridays 9:00 am - 4:30 pm each week while supplies last at the WELLWVU Office, by room 118 (located on the floor above Student Health in the Student Health Building [next to the Applied Human Sciences Building]).
The test strips and instruction guide will be in a brown WELLWVU paper bag or a white envelope. The pick-up days and times go along with WELLWVU’s Condom Caravan intentionally, for the sake of discretion.
If you'd like to request picking a kit up on a different day or time, contact Wes Thomas at email@example.com or (304) 293-3573. Contact information can be found on the detailed information sheet provided later in the request form.
Fentanyl test strips can also be purchased through the following organizations:
DanceSafe - $1.19 - $2.09 per strip, depending on the amount purchased
DoseTest - $1.25 per unit
BunkPolice - $1.99 per unit - $149.99 for 100 strips
Milan Puskar Health RIGHT clinic also provides free fentanyl testing kits (along with free Narcan) at their Morgantown clinic. They are located at 341 Spruce Street. These are available during the clinic's normal operating hours.
Fentanyl test strips were recently removed from the category of "criminalized drug paraphernalia" under West Virginia law.
At West Virginia University, we are a family. Families help each other. Join us in this life-saving initiative. We are Mountaineers Against Fentanyl!
Follow @WVFentanylEdu on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up to date with MFETF efforts.
*More information on fentanyl can be found at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.