As fentanyl and other adulterants grow more ubiquitous in the national illicit drug supply, people who use drugs are at greater risk of overdose. In the 12-month period ending in June 2022, over 107,000 drug overdose deaths occurred, with 64% of deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Despite high rates of overdose among people who use drugs, evidence-based practices exist to prevent and respond to overdose, including drug checking using fentanyl test strips and advanced drug checking equipment. Local and state health departments are well equipped to implement and enhance drug checking services to better understand their local drug supply and support people who use drugs.
To inform local and state health departments’ harm reduction programming, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developed Enhancing Harm Reduction Services in Health Departments: Fentanyl Test Strips and Other Drug Checking Equipment, an educational brief grounded by real-world experience. Join us on Tuesday, May 16, 3-4 p.m. ET, for a National Council webinar, Enhancing Harm Reduction Services in Health Departments: Fentanyl Test Strips and Other Drug Checking Equipment. Attendees of this webinar will hear directly from health department staff and their community-based partners about implementing drug checking services that center the needs of people who use drugs in harm reduction efforts.