Fentanyl Test Strips: The Controversial New Tool to Fight Overdoses


Written by: Caroline Capriccio, Wellspring Intern A new test strip that determines whether a street drug has been laced with fentanyl is being met with praise and skepticism. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used as a pain reliever, is now the deadliest drug in America. It is a drug that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and was linked to nearly 29% of all overdose deaths in 2016. Fentanyl produces a powerful high and a small amount can cause a fatal overdose. It is cheap and sometimes mixed into street drugs without a buyer’s knowledge. An even bigger issue is the fact that heroin and fentanyl look nearly identical. A user never fully knows what they are taking and given the potency, it’s deadly. Fentanyl test strips were originally developed by Canadian biotechnology company BTNX. Its purpose is to reduce harm associated with drug use by offering clients the...

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Addiction News & Policy Update for Week Ending November 9, 2018


Fentanyl-Laced Crack Cocaine a Deadly New Threat Fentanyl, a powerful and dangerous synthetic opioid, is now showing up in crack cocaine and causing life-threatening overdosesLearn More   A Rural Community Decided To Treat Its Opioid Problem Like A Natural Disaster When he was police chief of Stanwood, Wash., population 7,000, Ty Trenary thought rural communities like his were immune from the opioid crisis.Learn More   Opioid Antidote Can Save Lives, But Deciding When To Use It Can Be Challenging On a 90-degree afternoon in July, under the shade of a tree in Philadelphia's McPherson Square Park, I watched a couple sit down, prepare syringes and inject drugs.Learn More   Social Stigma Is One Reason The Opioid Crisis Is Hard To Confront There are many reasons why the opioid crisis is so hard to confront. One of them is social stigma. It often extends beyond users themselves, to their families.. Learn More...

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Addiction News & Policy Update for Week Ending July 27, 2018


Sessions targets 10 areas in U.S. for crackdown on the sale of fentanyl Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday ordered federal prosecutors in 10 areas that have been especially hard-hit by overdose deaths from fentanyl to bring drug charges against anyone suspected of dealing the synthetic opioid, regardless of quantity.Learn More   Integrating Treatment at the Intersection of Opioid Use Disorder and Infectious Disease Epidemics in Medical Settings As a result of the opioid use disorder (OUD) epidemic, new epidemics of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV infection have arisen and hospitalizations for bacteremia, endocarditis, skin and soft tissue infections, and osteomyelitis have increased.Learn More   The shameful way race affects treatment of pain and drug addiction “I have had little or no sleep, owing to the tooth ache or rather stump ache,” Elizabeth Drinker wrote in her diary one night in 1796. “One of my Eye teeth very sore, my...

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Addiction News & Policy Update for Week Ending May 25, 2018


Young people are choosing marijuana before cigarettes and alcohol New research shows that the percentage of 12- to 21-year-olds who start using marijuana before other substances has increased significantly over the past decade.Learn More   Methadone Appears Safe and Effective in Treating Fentanyl Addiction Methadone appears safe and effective in treating people who use fentanyl, suggests a study presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.Learn More   The Drug-Intoxication Epidemic and Solid-Organ Transplantation The drug-abuse epidemic in the United States has led to an increased number of organ donors dying from drug intoxication. Learn More   What Explains The Rising Overdose Rate Among Latinos? The tall, gangly man twists a cone of paper in his hands as stories from nearly 30 years of addiction pour out: the robbery that landed him in prison at 17; never getting his GED; going through the horrors of detox,...

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Addiction News & Policy Update for Week Ending August 4


Opioid Abuse Down in Younger Americans, But Up Among Older Adults Rates have doubled in people over 50, report saysLearn More   New Tactic in War on Opioids: Charging Dealers in Overdose Deaths The accused drug dealer known as EZ pulled up to his supplier’s spot on Staten Island, turned to the customer beside him and, according to prosecutors, boasted that they were about to score the most potent heroin on the market. So strong that a bag recently used by his friend’s father had killed the man.Learn More Experts say detoxing while pregnant can be safe Due to the ongoing opioid crisis plaguing the nation, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said Wednesday that an approach to treating babies born with addiction that was once thought to be harmful should now be considered. Learn More   Economy Needs Workers, but Drug Tests Take a Toll Just a few miles...

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