Working with Seattle & King County’s Department of Public Health, Peer Washington has been distributing strips for over a year. Many agencies may begin to do so.
SEATTLE — The Washington Department of Health plans to purchase 75,000 fentanyl test strips this fiscal year. The spokesperson said the department plans to distribute these strips to syringe service program partners so they can distribute them to participants.
A recent law clarifying what constitutes drug paraphernalia could leave many agencies free to do the same.
According to Centers for Disease Control, fentanyl test strips provide a low-cost way to prevent drug overdose and minimize harm. People can put this strip on different drugs and forms of drugs to find out if they are laced with fentanyl, which can be stronger, more dangerous, and have a much different effect than the one. medication the person thinks they are taking.
Fentanyl has become a leading cause of death from overdose in King County.
Washington parity has been distributing strips through free vending machines at the Peer Kent and Peer Seattle locations. Christopher Archiopoli, director of Peer Seattle, says it’s a frequently used tool that serves as a piece of the puzzle.
“A lot of times, the challenge is people don’t know they’re using fentanyl,” says Archipoli. “Those who are actively looking for it understand that’s what they’re using. The biggest challenge is when people are using stimulants and [fentanyl is] is present in stimulants, like cocaine or methamphetamine, and so when fentanyl is in those, people are expecting an outcome and getting something completely different.”
Peer Washington provides peer recovery support services for substance use disorders as well as behavioral health conditions and chronic health conditions. Archiopoli said he believes social change is the key to really helping people affected by drugs in a negative way.
“Make sure everyone has access to resources and jobs, but on a broader level I think as a society we need to stop treating people without families,” Archipoli said. , people who are living with a substance use disorder are lower,” said Archipoli. . “I think in our community we tend to dehumanize people, and when you don’t feel welcome in a community, you don’t have a sense of self-worth, you don’t know that recoverable.”
Vending machines also have naloxone nasal and intramuscular drops and sometimes other items. To learn more about Peer Washington or find one near you, click This.