We’ve seen more fentanyl on the streets than ever before. People are dying from overdoses – even after just a single dose. These aren’t people with long-term drug habits, either. These are people who are simply buying sleeping pills, pain pills, and more off of the streets. And because they’re being laced with fentanyl, they’re ending up in the hospital.
The reason for all of this is because of what’s being smuggled in at the southern border. Since Kamala Harris hasn’t lived up to her end of the bargain by closing the border down, states are having to take matters into their own hands.
It’s nearly impossible to find fentanyl. So, it’s about arming people with what they need to find the fentanyl in the street drugs that they’re buying.
Alabama is preparing to introduce legislation that would legalize the use of fentanyl test strips. It would be a way to prevent overdoses.
The bill would allow test strips to be used and distributed so that it’s possible to detect the presence of fentanyl in other drugs. This can help people to make more effective decisions about the drugs that they consume and prevent overdoses.
Considering that fentanyl is found in so many street drugs – either illegal opioids or ones that mimic prescription drugs, it’s critical that the substance is detected. It is also considered more addictive and more potent than heroin.
Jefferson County, Alabama has had a particularly big problem with fentanyl. The coroner’s office reported that there were 400 people who died of overdoses in the county last year – and that was higher than their previous record of 302, which was set in 2020. Of the 400 deaths, fentanyl was associated with 316 of the deaths.
It’s a considerable problem – and with Alabama passing the bill to legalize the use and distribution of fentanyl test strips, the hope is that many other states will follow suit.
Currently, in Alabama, it’s illegal to possess, use, or sell any kind of drug paraphernalia that tests or analyzes illegal drugs. The passing of this bill makes an exception for the test strips since fentanyl has become so problematic over the past few years.
Dr. Mark Wilson, the Jefferson County Health Officer, was vocal about the importance of getting the bill approved – and wants to see similar efforts made across the country.
Wilson explained that many people are against the idea of test strips because it is viewed as helping people to use illegal drugs. He counters by saying that this Is a way for people to get the help that they need. “A dead person can’t get into recovery. We do believe that if we assist people to try to help keep them safe and they know that we care about them and we’re trying to help them, they’re more likely to warm up to the idea of getting into treatment.”
The test strips are cheap – depending on the quantity purchased at a time, they range from $1 to $3.50 a piece. The state will be depending on health departments and agencies to get the test strips out to people with addiction problems.
Federal agencies have also approved federal dollars to be used so that the fentanyl test strips can be purchased in massive quantities and distributed.
With the federal agencies giving the approval, they already know that fentanyl is a top concern. They see the statistics – not only in Alabama but all over the country. And there’s no mystery as to where the fentanyl is coming from. Yet, our southern border remains open so that people can smuggle drugs in by the ton only so that Americans can overdose.
There are a few other states that have already either decriminalized or legalized the use of test strips – including Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. If we can at least help people to find out if the fentanyl is in the drugs, it may help to reduce the number of overdoses that occur every year.