AUGUSTA, Ga. - It’s the number one killer of 31 to 51-year old’s in Augusta-Richmond county.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health—fentanyl related deaths are on the rise.

For National Fentanyl Awareness Day, Serenity Behavioral Health Systems took time out to educate the public.

Fox 54 got the chance to hear firsthand just how dangerous and deadly this drug can be.

Timothy Stephens says he used to abuse almost every drug on the market.

“I already had my second failed marriage, I was pretty much homeless. In my head I was like hey you lost everybody, this doctor obviously cares about you so why mess that up, just go ahead and go to a recovery meeting,” said Stephens

Now Stephens, whose been drug free for over a decade, is the founder of the non-profit, Augusta Recovery Alliance.

The goal—to help people facing the challenges he once encountered.

 Stephens says, “I had a beer saved for me that evening and I was like its October 18th 2012, I just threw it in the trash and said I’m going to try my very best and I haven’t had a drink or a drug since.  The only way I know how to keep it is by pouring into others and showing them the way out.”

Fentanyl use is on the rise, being found in almost all counterfeit drugs.

 “Right now, the findings are suggesting it could potentially be in every illegal drug that is found in the county right now. We can only speculate that maybe because it is cheaper to produce and people are mass producing counterfeit pills,” said opioid public health analyst, Beverly Brown.

Chuck Williamson with Serenity Behavioral Health says the most important thing right now is to educate.

 “The street drugs the synthetic stuff, its killing people and we just need to make people aware,” said Williamson. “It’s a big-time issue, we’ve got to take it very seriously and address it. Education, education that’s the main thing.”

That’s why serenity hosted a Fentanyl Awareness Day teaching the community about the dangers surrounding this drug and how to help combat this issue.

One of the main things that can help is having Narcan on hand at all times and knowing how to use it.

You can find free Narcan at the Georgia Department of Public Health in Augusta while supplies are available.

Lifesaving information in the fight against an ever-growing problem.

 “At Augusta Recovery Alliance our catch phrase is the best is yet to come, and with the buzz going on for recovery, the best is yet to come,” said Stephens.