Bars in California Offering Fentanyl Test Strips

"Fentanyl - Skat" by Nils Wommelsdorf

A new drug crisis might be in America’s hands.

Reports show that well over 100k Americans died from drug overdoses in the past year, with the main culprit being fentanyl. This is an opioid 50x stronger than heroin and 100x stronger than morphine.

Oddly enough, drug usage in teens and young adults remains at a record low, but fatalities are on the rise, more than doubling over a two-year period from 2019 to 2021.

Europe has, so far, managed to avoid a crisis of this magnitude. However, police and experts warn that this may change as fentanyl abuse is becoming a global pandemic.

“11a.WalkHome.SSMD.3July2021” by Elvert Barnes

Doctors who over-prescribe opioid analgesics, fueled by the pharmaceutical industry, have also contributed to the epidemic in the United States.

The problem lies in the fact that dealers often lace their powdered drugs, like cocaine and heroin, with this substance, due to the ease with which it’s manufactured.

Some even go as far as placing counterfeit pills labeled as Oxycodone and Percocet on the market, despite them containing fentanyl.

The neverending war on drugs

Due to this, both first-time and seasoned drug users are in danger of an accidental overdose.

An Oakland company called FentCheck jumped to the rescue, offering recreational drug users easier access to fentanyl test strips.

These strips determine whether and how much fentanyl is in a substance, which then allows the user or examiner insight into the contents of the substance.

Ever since 2019, FentCheck has been working with bars and restaurants in the Oakland area in order to assist drug users.

These establishments have been offering the strips free of charge to the customers in the restrooms of the object in question.

While drug usage, whether it be casual or repetitive, shouldn’t be condoned, these people shouldn’t be putting their lives at risk any more than doing the actual drug itself does.

The company’s co-founder, Dean Should, believes an even broader group of people should be provided with the strips.

How hard can it be to just…stop?

He claims no one deserves to die from a fentanyl overdose, just for some occasional recreational drugs.

It’s why FentCheck already offers its services to over 30 businesses in the Oakland area, with recent expansion to areas like Reno, Portland, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and even New Jersey, in the near future.

However, the legality of the strips themselves is in a dispute in numerous states, as they fall under drug paraphernalia by some states’ laws.

However, with proper education on the matter, they’re the best and only way to combat this recent wave of overdose-related deaths in the US.

The strips are legal in 22 states. Others have also joined in to legalize them in time before the fentanyl pandemic takes its toll on both the young and seasoned drug addicts.