San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) will hold two events at its Durango office to distribute free resources that can help reduce the risk of harm when using certain drugs. At the two events, anyone can pick up fentanyl test strips and naloxone, an overdose-reversing medication effective in counteracting life-threatening situations following opioid use.
Join us in the lobby of the SJBPH Durango office, 281 Sawyer Drive, Suite 300, to pick up these resources that can significantly reduce the danger associated with opioid use. Hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 12 -5 p.m. on Dec. 14. There is no cost associated with either the test strips or the overdose-reversal medication. No ID is required.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid about 50 times as potent as heroin. It has increasingly been found in drugs where it is not expected, and overdose deaths involving fentanyl have quadrupled in recent years. Fentanyl test strips can identify the presence of the substance in unregulated drugs and can be used to test powders, pills and injectable drugs.
Naloxone or Narcan is a medication used to counteract an opioid overdose by counteracting the slowing of central nervous and respiratory systems following use of an opioid. Naloxone only works if a person has opioids in their system and will have no effect on the individual if opioids are not present.
These resource events are part of a new SJBPH program designed to respond to a recent increase in drug use and overdose incidents in Southwest Colorado, which have had far-reaching impacts on the community. The Opioid Risk Reduction program will respond to the findings of a recent needs assessment of people who use or inject drugs by providing access to overdose prevention supplies, including opioid overdose reversal medication and fentanyl test strips. It will also be used to distribute clean syringes to people who inject drugs. The overarching goal of the program is to provide education and referral to primary care, mental health care, and recovery resources.