Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board

CONTACT INFORMATION: Emergency - 703-573-5679 / Detox - 703-502-7000 (24/7)
703-383-8500 TTY 711
8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22031
Daryl Washington
Executive Director

What is addiction? What are opioids?

What is addiction?

  • A chronic disease; can lead to death if not treated. Brain chemistry is altered.
  • Individual is unable to abstain from the drug; loses ability to control behavior.
  • Emotional responses become dysfunctional; judgment becomes impaired.

What are opioids?

Opioids act on the brain and produce a euphoric effect.

  • Often prescribed to relieve pain. Morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, tramadol, methadone and fentanyl are all opioids.
  • The illegal drug, heroin, is also an opioid.
  • Highly addictive, even lethal, if used improperly.
  • Heroin and other illicit substances laced with carfentanil, xylazine, and/or fentanyl have appeared in illegal drug markets and are extremely dangerous for humans.

What is...?

  • Used for pain management for Stage 4 cancer patients.
  • Ten times more potent than heroin.
  • Lethal dose of pure fentanyl is about the size of a few grains of salt.
  • In 2020 in Fairfax County, police reporting indicates fentanyl has been found combined with cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine and synthetic cannabinoids.

  • Now present in illegal U.S. drug markets.
  • 10,000 times more potent than morphine; 100 times more potent than fentanyl.
  • Depresses the central nervous system and ability to breathe.
  • Tiny particles (through nose, mouth, injection) can create life-threatening effects within minutes of exposure.

  • Also called “tranq” or “tranq dope.”
  • Non-opioid animal sedative and not approved for human use.
  • More frequently showing up in the drug supply and has made the overdose crisis more severe.
  • May complicate overdose response because there is no drug to reverse its effects and it is undetectable without drug testing equipment.
Fairfax Virtual Assistant