Kenny passed an executive order to legalize Philadelphia’s fentanyl test strips
Mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order on Monday prohibiting the arrest of people carrying or distributing fentanyl test strips, which helps reduce the risk of death from drug overdose.
Illegal drugs like cocaine are sometimes mixed with fentanyl or chopped up, causing drug users to accidentally ingest this highly addictive narcotic.Fentanyl is A synthetic opioid similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent.
These test strips can detect fentanyl in medicines to help inform users of their risks and may lead to fewer deaths from overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, these test strips are still illegal in Pennsylvania because they are considered drug paraphernalia.
“While fighting the opioid crisis, we must use all available methods to save lives,” Kenny Said in the release“By punishing the distribution and use of fentanyl test strips, we have achieved nothing. Facts have proved that fentanyl test strips can help people assess and reduce the risk of overdose. Fentanyl test strips are a life-saving tool. We encourage people to have, Use and share with others.”
According to statistics, in Philadelphia, fentanyl caused 94% of opioid-related overdose deaths and 81% of drug overdose deaths. Public health data. Over the past few years, the city’s fentanyl-related overdose deaths have soared from 9 in 2012 to 979 in 2020.
As many as 77% of people who use test strips and find that their drug is positive for fentanyl have taken preventive measures to reduce the risk of overdose. research shows.
In April last year, the CDC announced that it could use federal funds to purchase test strips to help curb the dramatic increase in drug overdose deaths across the country.
The order followed a similar directive, basically ignoring the state laws of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, both of whom said they would not prosecute possession Or distribute fentanyl test strips to reduce harm to people.
“These test strips have saved lives, and by distributing them, the city is providing a tool for those struggling with substance use disorders to avoid overdose,” Shapiro said. “Fentanyl is a poison that ravages our communities and is the main reason for the sharp increase in the number of deaths due to drug overdose in the past year.”
State Representative Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) Promoting a bill for many years This will change state laws to legalize fentanyl test strips, but there is not much progress. WHYY report. He introduced it again this year.
Philadelphia launched a public awareness campaign to promote information about how and why fentanyl drugs are tested.More information can be found at City website.
Addiction services It is also available through the 24-hour hotline (888) 545-2600 or the 24-hour crisis hotline (215) 685-6440 of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services and the Community Behavioral Health Service.