Federal funding may now be used to purchase rapid fentanyl test strips (FTS) in an effort to help curb the dramatic spike in fentanyl overdose deaths.
FTS can be used to determine if drugs have been mixed or cut with fentanyl, so people can take steps to reduce their risk of overdose.
Approximately 88,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in August 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded.
This change applies to all federal grant programs as long as the purchase of FTS is consistent with the purpose of the program. Following are two examples of overdose response programs that can now use program funds to purchase FTS.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used for treating severe pain and is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose and death in the United States are linked to illicitly made fentanyl.
“The increase in drug overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids such as illicitly made fentanyl is a public health crisis that requires immediate action and novel strategies.”