Gary Mendell released the following statement on yesterday’s CDC and SAMHSA announcement allowing federal grantees to use funds to purchase fentanyl test strips.

Gary Mendell, founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in America, released the following statement on yesterday’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announcement allowing federal grantees to use funds to purchase fentanyl test strips (FTS):

“This is an important step in the right direction to curtail overdoses which are at an all-time high in the last 12 months. Many fatal overdoses are due to synthetic opioids, notably fentanyl, so providing people with these life-saving strips will undoubtedly save lives as we watch overdose rates soar to the highest rate in history. We applaud the CDC and SAMHSA for helping to make these strips more widely available in tandem with referring people to treatment.  We urge every state to take the steps necessary to make these available to the those in need.  As we reported last year, in some states this may require revising a state’s drug paraphernalia statute to allow for them.  Fentanyl test strips are a critical prevention strategy to reduce deaths with the increase in fentanyl-related deaths.” 

Shatterproof released a report on the fentanyl epidemic and state initiatives to reduce overdose deaths in collaboration with Drug Strategies, a nonprofit research institute that promotes more effective drug use prevention, education, and treatment.  This report highlights some of the most promising efforts to address the crisis taken by these seriously affected states, concluding with several state-level policy and practice improvement recommendations to reduce fentanyl overdoses and deaths. These recommendations include improved data collection, using specially designed software; standardized testing and death certificate reporting; promoting prevention strategies such as fentanyl test strips, naloxone distribution programs, reducing stigma, and public education campaigns.

About Shatterproof:
Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States. Shatterproof harnesses the models of business, the rigor of science and the power of a national movement to create change and save lives through three pillars of work: revolutionizing the addiction treatment system, breaking down addiction-related stigmas and supporting and empowering our communities. To learn more visit www.Shatterproof.org.