Jefferson County Health Department hoping to distribute fentanyl testing strips after state approves new bill

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The Jefferson County Well being Division is working to curb opioid deaths within the county after a new bill allowing for fentanyl testing strips to be distributed was simply handed.

Jefferson County Coroner, Invoice Yates, mentioned there have been greater than 315 fentanyl deaths final 12 months within the county.

“Lots of people that aren’t intending to make use of an opioid are dying from fentanyl,” Jefferson County Well being Officer Dr. Mark Wilson mentioned. “On this previous 12 months, we’ve been seeing it in different medication like cocaine and meth. Even in a number of the capsules which are being traded on the road.”

However, The state’s legislature handed a brand new invoice to make it authorized to make use of and distribute check strips that detect the presence of fentanyl in different medication. Earlier than this, you couldn’t check any unlawful medication underneath paraphernalia legal guidelines. Wilson mentioned the following pointers will help save lives and forestall drug use.

“It’s been proven in different states that research this, drug customers who’ve these check strips and use them and so they detect fentanyl, they’re truly extra more likely to alter their habits. They may not use the drug, use much less of it, or at the least use it extra fastidiously.”

These against the brand new invoice mentioned providing testing strips encourages drug use, however Wilson mentioned it’s extra more likely to get addicts into therapy.

“We consider participating individuals with help like this, exhibiting them that we care in the event that they survive, improves the probabilities of them coming to get therapy,” Wilson mentioned.

He mentioned the well being division plans to manage them as quickly because the invoice turns into legislation, someday in early June. They’ll go into their drug rescue kits.

“You possibly can truly order these on-line, they aren’t very costly,” Wilson mentioned. “Embrace these with our naloxone rescue kits.”

Wilson mentioned you possibly can order one of many county’s drug rescue kits on-line. Click on here.

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