The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced today that federal funds can now be used to purchase quick fentanyl test strips (FTS) in an effort to prevent severe increase in mortality from drug overdose mostly driven by the use of strong synthetic opioids, including prohibited manufacture fentanyl.
FTS can be used to determine if medications are mixed or excreted with fentanyl, providing people who use the drug and communities with important information about fentanyl in the banned drug supply so they can take steps to reduce it. their risk of being overdosed.
“This is a major step forward in the ongoing and critical work to prevent overdose and connect people with diseases to component use of evidence -based treatment options,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Tom Coderre, the interim leader of SAMHSA. “It will save lives by providing tools to identify the growing presence of fentanyl in the country’s illicit drug supply and – partnering with treatment referrals – filling the day -to -day work of SAMHSA to administer aid to many Americans. “
estimated 88,000 drug overdoses Deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ended August 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths recorded in a 12 -month period, consistent with provisional data from the CDC, and the highest number of overdose deaths. dose continued to accelerate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to do everything we can to save lives from drug abuse,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. “The increase in drug overdose deaths associated with synthetic opioids such as illicitly made fentanyl is a public health crisis that requires rapid action and new strategies. State and local programs are in place. again a tool to increase their efforts on the ground to reduce and prevent overdose, especially fentanyl -related overdose deaths. “
The change will apply to all federal Grant programs as long as the purchase of FTS is consistent with the purpose of the program. The following are two examples of overdose response programs that can already use program funds to purchase FTS.
Multiyear at the CDC Overdose of movement data the cooperative agreement began in September 2019 and funded health departments in 47 states; Washington DC; two territories; and 16 cities and counties for overdose surveillance and drug prevention efforts. Funds allocated as part of this agreement support health departments in obtaining high -quality, more comprehensive, and timelier data on morbidity and mortality and using the data to implement the effort to avoid and respond.
SAMHSA aims to provide State Opioid Response (SOR) to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to drug-assisted treatment, reducing unnecessary treatment needed and reducing overdose-related deaths. of opioid by supporting prevention, treatment, and recovery activities for opioid use disorder. SOR augmented current opioid -related activities and supported a comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used for the treatment of severe pain and is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Most recent cases of fentanyl-related injury, overdose and death in the United States have been linked to poorly made fentanyl. It is often mixed with heroin and / or cocaine to increase its euphoric effects. There is a risk of overdose if any fentanyl is given given its power and lethality, but the risk is even higher in people who do not tolerate it and may be unaware of the presence of fentanyl in their use.
Learn more about what the CDC is doing to prevent opioid-related deaths CDC’s Efforts to Prevent Opioid Overdoses and Other Opioid -Related Webpages.
People with used medication can find evidence -based treatment and service options near them by visiting https://findtreatment.govexternal icon or by calling the 24/7, national Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).