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Tosh Ackerman couldn’t sleep because of his hives. His friend gave him a Xanax. He took ¼ of it. And he died.

The Xanax was counterfeit. Instead of taking a real, FDA-approved medication to help him, it had been made with deadly fentanyl, probably in a garage with a pill-press purchased from eBay and raw ingredients imported in the mail from overseas.

His grieving family suffers with countless others across the country who have lost loved ones to counterfeit pills containing fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. The pills, made to look like oxycodone, Xanax, and even aspirin, have been found in 35 states.

When you see news stories about the opioid crisis, what most do not tell you is that the shocking spike in overdose deaths is the result of fentanyl. Stories of fentanyl poisonings are being reported all over the country and many have and will continue to die as a result.

But what is fentanyl? How is it getting into the U.S.? What makes it so deadly? Who does fentanyl threaten most and how can Americans protect themselves? The Partnership for Safe Medicines has been reporting on this issue since 2015. Fentanyl 101: An Introduction to the Fentanyl Crisis in the U.S. is designed to answer many of the questions you may have about fentanyl and its dangers.