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Fentanyl is responsible for more drug overdoses than any other substance and has contributed to nearly 30,000 deaths in 2017. New evidence reveals that fentanyl drug test strips can be useful at preventing fatal overdoses by detecting whether fentanyl is present in other drugs like heroin, cocaine, and MDMA. In a recently published study in the International Journal of Drug Policy, people who used the test strips and detected fentanyl in their drugs changed their drug-using behaviors to avoid a deadly overdose.
Using Fentanyl Test Strips for Harm Reduction
Fentanyl test strips are a form of harm reduction that work similarly to drug-store pregnancy tests and are used to detect whether drugs are laced with fentanyl. For the latest drug study conducted at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, sets of 10 rapid-acting fentanyl test strips were distributed to 93 young adults at risk for drug overdose.
Of the 77% of participants who used the test strips, 12% used all 10, and half gave the strips to other drug-using friends. Half of those who used the strips detected fentanyl in their drugs. Of that group, 45% reported using smaller doses, 42% reported using their drugs more slowly, and 39% reported using the drugs only when someone else was present to help in the event of an overdose.
Research assistant Max Krieger concluded that the study revealed that fentanyl test strips are effective at preventing drug overdoses, and that the strips are an inexpensive, though effective way to reduce overdose risk.
Why Would Drug Users Need Fentanyl Test Strips?
The majority of illicit fentanyl is manufactured overseas in China and available for purchase at very low costs on the Internet. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid between 50 and 100 times stronger than morphine. Drug dealers who want to save money and offer their customers a more powerful high are using fentanyl as a filler and adding this drug to a range of illicit substances including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, counterfeit painkillers, and more. Many times, drug users are unaware their drugs contain fentanyl and are suffering unintentional overdoses as a result.
Fentanyl test strips give drug users the ability to check whether their drug supplies contain this deadly powerful opioid so they can use drugs more safely with a reduced risk for overdose. Those who detect fentanyl in their drug supplies can choose to reduce the amounts they use, or use drugs with other people who can call 911 in the event of an overdose. In some instances, users choose not to use fentanyl-laced drugs at all to avoid any type of risk.
How to Comfortably Recover From Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl is a highly addictive substance that can cause severe opioid withdrawal syndrome when one stops using abruptly. Nausea, vomiting, and strong drug cravings are just some withdrawal symptoms that can make it difficult to stay abstinent from fentanyl long-term without relapsing. Fentanyl dependence and addiction can be safely, effectively, and comfortably treated using detox and inpatient residential treatment at Dana Point Rehab Campus.
Detox helps you safely withdraw from fentanyl using medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and Suboxone that reduce and relieve all withdrawal symptoms. This allows you to experience a more comfortable recovery with a lowered risk for complications like relapse and overdose. After detox, therapy can be used to treat the root causes of your addiction like stress and depression, and teach you how to live a more rewarding, fulfilling life without turning to drugs like fentanyl.
Dana Point Rehab Campus offers detox and a range of therapies in its inpatient residential rehab program to help you or a loved one safely recover from drug dependence and addiction. Use our free insurance verification form to learn more about your deductibles and get started with a comfortable recovery today.