Among more than 72,000 deaths in the U.S. last year, fentanyl—a highly potent prescription opioid often used to lace other heroin or cocaine, but hard for drug users to detect—factored into many of cases.
In the search for solutions, a team of researchers led by Brandon Marshall, an associate professor of epidemiology at Brown University’s School of Public Health, provided rapid-acting fentanyl test strips to young adults at risk of overdose in the state. New research by the team found that most of those young adults used the strips—and many who detected fentanyl reported changing their behavior to reduce overdose risk.
“We found that fentanyl test strips are an effective harm-reduction tool to prevent overdose,” Marshall said. “Harm reduction is important because everyone deserves to be able to take care of themselves and make informed decisions about their health, whether they use drugs or not. These tests strips could be a life-saving intervention for many young adults who use drugs.”
The findings were published on Thursday, Oct. 18, in the International Journal of Drug Policy.
Source: MedicalExpress.com – October 18, 2018
See related blog from SAMHSA: For Beating the Opioid Crisis, America has Better Weapons – 10/3/18 available at: https://blog.samhsa.gov/2018/10/03/for-beating-the-opioid-crisis-america-has-better-weapons-than-fentanyl-test-strips/#.W7WHb2veBUR