The epidemic of drug overdose deaths has surged in the last several years, due in large part to Fentanyl. Fentanyl is an extremely potent drug, up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and its effects can be both powerful and short-lived. This makes it particularly dangerous when used improperly or without medical supervision, as even a small amount can cause serious respiratory depression and potentially fatal overdose.
Recently, Fentanyl has been used by cartels and other distributers of illicit drugs to make their batches of product more potent. Illicitly produced fentanyl is often sold as a powder or mixed with other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, which can further increase the risk of overdose – particularly because most people do not even realize what they are taking has Fentanyl in it.
The use of fentanyl has become a significant public health concern in recent years, as overdose deaths involving the drug have increased dramatically. There are widely available home-test kits for Fentanyl that could be used by the masses to make sure they are not inadvertantly ingesting this powerful, deadly substance – but in Texas, they are illegal! Unbelievably, the cheap and easy to use test kits are considered drug paraphernalia in Texas under the Texas Health and Safety Code.
As previously stated, most overdose deaths from Fentanyl, unlike other controlled substances, are unintentional – as in, the person that took the Fentanyl did not intend, or even know what they comsumed had Fentanyl in it. Often illicitly pressed and manufactured pills that look identical to pharaceutical drugs, such as xanax, vicodin, or Oxycontin have appeared on the black market (with no indication of the deadly Fentanyl inside).
Finally, it appears as if the law might be changed, and the lifesaving test-kits made legally available to people in Texas. SB 86 has been proposed by Nathan Johnson of Dallas. If passed, it would
Act would allow individuals and organizations to possess and distribute fentanyl test kits without fear of legal repercussions. The bill specifies that the test kits must be FDA-approved and that the results of the test must not be admissible in any criminal or civil proceeding. Additionally, the bill includes provisions for immunity from prosecution for individuals seeking medical assistance during an overdose or seeking to help someone else who has overdosed.
The bill has received support from a range of stakeholders, including harm reduction advocates, law enforcement officials, and medical professionals, who believe that the legalization of fentanyl test kits could help to prevent overdose deaths and provide individuals with important information about the drugs they are using.
Unfortunately, many of us (myself included) have lost people we cared about because of accidental overdose on Fentanyl. Make sure to demand your congressman change the laws in Texas so we can save peoples lives! Regardless of how you feel about drugs, choosing to alter your consciousness, even illegally, should not be punishable by death!
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