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Foundation for a Drug-Free World helps combat the rise in opioid and fentanyl-related overdose deaths with education

The amount on the tip of this pencil – just 2 mg of fentanyl- can be enough to kill an average American. (Photo courtesy of the DEA website)

Free “Truth About Drugs” booklet available for download at

While President Biden and China’s President Xi resume counter narcotics cooperation, grassroots prevention is key to lowering demand and preventing overdoses.

Stopping the production and sale of fentanyl and its precursor chemicals is a good start. However, education is vital.”
— Thalia Ghiglia, Foundation for a Drug-Free World DC
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, November 30, 2023 / -- As world leaders take action to stem the supply of drugs, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World is stepping up its prevention efforts.

The synthetic opioid drug fentanyl, created from chemicals to imitate opioid effects with very strong possibilities of overdoses, is an increasing international problem, flooding into the United States, wreaking havoc and causing record numbers of overdose deaths.

While China’s President Xi Jinping stopped direct shipments of fentanyl to the US in 2019, the rise in US fentanyl-related deaths did not stop. Chinese chemical companies started exporting precursor chemicals used in the production of fentanyl to Mexico, where drug traffickers used them to create their own fentanyl which flooded into the US.

During the recent US/China talks in San Francisco, President Xi committed to President Biden to stem the export of these precursor chemicals to Mexico.

Concurrent to federal actions taken to help solve the fentanyl overdose problem, Drug-Free World’s local drug education program has been stepped up in the nation’s capital. Getting out its “Truth About Drugs” educational materials through its online campaign and also through grassroots actions in the community is effective in preventing overdose deaths.

The amount of fentanyl that can fit on the tip of a pencil is enough to cause an overdose death. It is vital that youth and adults become aware that fentanyl is being added to other drugs including prescription drugs such as Percocet, Xanax, and Adderall. The DEA has found in their most recent testing that seven out of 10 of these fake prescription pills have enough fentanyl to kill an average adult.

Foundation for a Drug-Free World chapters around the country use the Truth About Drugs educational materials in many community drug awareness activities.

In Washington, DC, the Drug-Free World chapter has been doing presentations and trainings on opioids, fentanyl and other drugs to people of all ages, and has distributed over 100,000 drug educational booklets and DVDs over the last few years.

“Abusing drugs today has now become a fatal gamble. Fentanyl has rapidly replaced prescription painkillers and heroin as the leading cause of the nation’s drug deaths," said Thalia Ghiglia, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World’s DC faith liaison. “Stopping the production and sale of fentanyl and its precursor chemicals is a good start. However, education is vital.”

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that focuses on educating youth and adults about the dangers of drugs. It offers free booklets, videos, and educational tools to educate the public.

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World's Truth About Drugs educational program provides facts about all types of drugs, including what the most common street drugs are, their street names, their effects on the body and mind, related statistics, and quotes from users.

Through a worldwide network of volunteers, 50 million drug prevention booklets have been distributed, tens of thousands of drug awareness events have been held in some 180 countries and Truth About Drugs public service announcements have been aired on more than 500 television stations.

Thalia Ghiglia
Foundation for a Drug-Free World DC
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