To help drug users know before they use whether the drugs contain fentanyl, a dangerous and very potent synthetic opioid that is driving overdose deaths across the country – A member of the Dane County Board of Directors is pushing to make free fentanyl test strips more widely available to residents.
“One use can literally kill you,” Sup. Anthony Gray, 14th arrondissement, spoke about fentanyl. “It’s about saving lives.”
Public Health Madison and Dane County is already distributing fentanyl test strips as part of its existing needle exchange program. But Gray said not many people know and he would like to see the service expand. Gray drafted a resolution to expand test strip distribution, supporting a state bill that would allow the state to participate to buy more test strips and publicize the program.
“It’s not common because nobody else knows it,” Gray said of the availability of the test strips. “If it’s an option for people, they need to know it. “
Drug dealers can add fentanyl to other drugs, such as cocaine, crack, heroin, ecstasy and methamphetamine, to make production cheaper, Gray said. But it also makes the substances much more dangerous.