overdose prevention

What are fentanyl testing strips?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is cheap to manufacture and has infiltrated the U.S. drug supply, increasing fatal overdoses. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. When a drug is laced with fentanyl, a person can accidentally overdose, not knowing of its presence in the substance they are using.

Fentanyl test strips detect fentanyl in drugs

These test strips effectively detect fentanyl in drug samples before use. This is an easy, common-sense method to reduce the risk of an accidental opioid overdose.

Fentanyl test strips can be put into overdose reversal bags for harm reduction and safe use education.

Fentanyl test strips help prevent overdoses

In 2021, drug overdoses increased 13% compared to 2020. Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids contribute to this, especially when mixed with other drugs like heroin and cocaine. This opioid cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled and can even be deadly in small doses.

Signs of an overdose include:

  • Body stiffening/seizure-like activity
  • Choking that may or may not be accompanied by gurgling sounds
  • Confusion
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Blue or grey lips or fingernails
  • Pinpoint or saucer pupils

Carrying naloxone (Narcan) and fentanyl test strips can help prevent overdoses. Narcan doesn’t require any formal training to use, but PreventEd does offer overdose education training courses. The Opioid Project also works to distribute Naloxboxes in high-risk areas of St. Louis.

Fentanyl test strips are inexpensive and easy to use

The Drug Enforcement Administration in St. Louis, the CDC, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that federal grantees may use funds to purchase fentanyl test strips. Fentanyl test strips and Narcan are available over the counter at the pharmacy without a prescription in Missouri and most states. You can also get them at PreventEd by contacting Stacy Zellin.

Test strips are also easy to use by dissolving a small amount of the drug in water and dipping it in the test strip. Follow directions carefully for the most accurate result.

PreventEd is here to help educate to prevent opioid overdoses

PreventEd provides individuals and their families with the necessary resources to begin their recovery journey. PreventEd’s counselors can provide you with an objective, professional assessment, and referrals to resources that match your circumstances, needs, and situation.

We also provide overdose education and training to help our community members recognize the signs of an overdose and prevent them. Contact us today to learn more about Overdose Education and Narcan Distribution Trainings or get in touch with our office to request Narcan.

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