November 21, 2018
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Study: Fentanyl testing kits could save lives, slow drug use

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency | BDN
Maine Drug Enforcement Agency | BDN
File photo from January 2017 of fentanyl-laced heroin seized during the largest heroin drug bust in Maine, which took place in Sanford.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Researchers at Brown and Johns Hopkins universities have recommended health agencies offer drug testing kits that can detect fentanyl in order to prevent fatal overdoses.

The Providence Journal reports authors of the Fentanyl Overdose Reduction Checking Analysis Study found that testing kits could save lives or potentially curb drug use. The study was completed over a six-month period and had components in Providence, Baltimore and Boston.

Researchers determined heroin that has been adulterated with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids contributed to the rise in overdose deaths in recent years. The study found that drug users who used the testing kits were concerned about fentanyl and wanted to protect themselves.

Researchers have compared the kits to other public health tools like needle exchanges.

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