January 27, 2023

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Bill Bennett says Biden administration ‘turned a blind eye’ to fentanyl crisis

Fox News contributor Bill Bennett joined ‘Fox & Friends’ to discuss the Biden administration’s handling of the drug crisis as fentanyl continues to pour into the U.S. from the southern border. 

Harm reduction boxes in Polk County, Iowa, will not include fentanyl testing strips that can detect the dangerous opioid in other drugs before a user suffers an accidental overdose.

The Polk County Health Department added harm reduction boxes to its building and urgent care locations throughout Des Moines, but the kits will not include fentanyl testing strips as a result of a state law that classifies the tests as drug paraphernalia.

Instead, the boxes will contain items such as tourniquets, cotton filters and needle disposal containers, which the Health Department hopes will help people struggling with substance abuse if they suffer a medical emergency that could lead to death.

ARKANSAS WOMAN DISTRIBUTES FENTANYL TEST STRIPS TO HONOR HER BROTHER DESPITE IT BEING A FELONY

Fentanyl test strips in a container and Narcan.

Fentanyl test strips in a container and Narcan.
(Reuters/Nathan Frandino)

The boxes will be locked and can be accessed by getting a code from health workers at the sites either by appointment or a request to staff.

According to an Axios report, Polk County officials have supported an effort to change the Iowa law that makes fentanyl testing strips illegal amid a growing rate of overdose deaths in the state, which have risen 71% since 2018.

Iowa is not the only state that has outlawed the strips, according to a Kaiser Health News report earlier this year, but many states have joined the effort to change those laws.

Rainbow fentanyl

Rainbow fentanyl
(Northern District of West Virginia)

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State legislatures in Georgia, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Alabama have all passed recent legislation to allow fentanyl test strips as a “harm reduction” tactic supported by experts.

Fentanyl test strips are considered drug paraphernalia in many states.

Fentanyl test strips are considered drug paraphernalia in many states.
(FNC)

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“We hope all the states would come to realize the dangers of contamination are so high and that fentanyl test strips empower a person taking drugs to know whether they have fentanyl,” Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, told Kaiser Health News.