Dear Willamette community,
We write with an important warning from local public health officials about the sharp increase in counterfeit pills that are laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. These pills are meant to mimic oxycodone and are commonly referred to as M30s or “Blues.” These and other counterfeit pills have been attributed to multiple overdoses and deaths, and have been widely circulated in the Portland and Salem area, as well as throughout Oregon.
We urge everyone to avoid the use of any pills or medication that are not prescribed specifically to them by a medical care provider. Although fentanyl testing strips can detect low concentrations of fentanyl and most fentanyl analogues in drugs, they are not 100% effective in identifying all fentanyl and can produce false negative results. As Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines has advised, “Any pill that does not come directly from a pharmacy prescribed for you should be viewed as potentially laced with fentanyl and potentially laced with enough fentanyl to kill you.”
If you suspect someone is experiencing a drug overdose, call 911 or Campus Safety (if on campus) for help. You will not get in trouble for helping a peer, and it is always better to call for help than to risk losing a life. Campus Safety has access to the nasal spray naloxone (Narcan), which can be an effective emergency treatment for opiate overdose.
People may use pills that are not prescribed to them for a variety of reasons. If you are having difficulty with a medical or mental health condition, struggling with addiction, or need assistance in getting support or care, please reach out to Bishop Wellness Center at (503)370-6062.
Additional resources include:
Willamette University Resources
Campus Safety, Salem Campus – (503)370-6911
Campus Safety, PNCA Portland Campus – (503)621-2061
WUTalk, Serviced by ProtoCall – (503)375-5353
Oregon Poison Center (800)222-1222
Multnomah County Mental Health Crisis Line (503)988-4888
Marion County Mental Health Crisis Line – (503)585-4949
Please take good care of yourself and one another,
Olivia “Oli” Muñoz, MFA, EdD, Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion
Don Thomson, MS, LPC, Director of Bishop Wellness Center