JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Health officials are raising awareness to the drastic deaths from fentanyl. A local doctor spoke about the prevalence of fentanyl, including how to prevent and reverse overdoses.

Sunday, August 21 marks Fentanyl Awareness and Prevention Day. The synthetic opioid is easily acquired, addictive and is the leading cause of death among ages 18 to 45.

“They’re basically putting fentanyl or adding to medications such as xanax, aderall to look like those medication and they’re not,” said Dr. Andrew Clark with Northtown Pharmacy in Jackson.

According to the CDC, fentanyl is 50x to 100x more potent than morphine, often mixed with other illicit drugs.

“If that medicine didn’t come from a pharmacy, then do not take anything that anyone gave you,” said Clark.

Understanding the deadly epidemic of fentanyl overdoses is one way to help tackle the public health crisis.

“There is medication that’s available to reverse the effects of opioids, such as naloxone. It’s available in the pharmacy,” said Clark.