Promoting Health, Safety and Equity
The US drug supply contains many potent synthetic opioids including illicitly manufactured fentanyl and its analogues (chemically similar compounds), which are involved in a growing number of overdoses each year. Lack of supply regulation means people who use drugs are often unaware of exactly what is in their drug as cross substance contamination, inaccurate labeling, and impurities are common.
People who use drugs are highly interested in using drug checking programs in the US. Currently, many are already using fentanyl test strips (FTS) to identify fentanyl before consuming drugs. While these tests are often available and easy to use, they are not able to detect all analogues or other potentially dangerous chemicals, which can lead to a false sense of safety. In response, some harm reduction organizations, universities and health departments are beginning to offer additional drug checking methods including spectroscopy and spectrometry (see infographic below). While these efforts are shown to be promising, there is still currently no system to collect and share drug checking experiences, results, and best practices.
This study aims to address this gap by:
Data Collection: Complete
Data Analysis and Publications: In progress
This project is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH under grant number P20GM125507. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.