DENVER (KDVR) — Drugs laced with deadly amounts of fentanyl are killing people.
No drug is safe from the deadly opioid, which is lethal in tiny amounts, investigators warn. It’s been found in heroin, meth, cocaine, counterfeit prescription pills and even marijuana.
Health experts say people can help protect themselves and others from overdose death by having two things on hand: fentanyl test strips and naloxone. Here’s how to get them.
How to get fentanyl test strips
It’s possible to consume a drug without knowing it’s been laced with fentanyl. The image below shows just how little fentanyl can kill a person.
Fentanyl test strips can help drug users know whether it’s in something they’re about to consume.
Denver residents can mail-order free fentanyl test strips and the opioid-reversal drug naloxone by filling out this form. People who do not have mail access can get them from the Wellness Winnie mobile unit, which travels the city.
People can also get fentanyl test strips and naloxone from one of the many syringe access programs around the state. Find the program closest to you at this link.
People anywhere can buy fentanyl test kits through Bunk Police or DanceSafe. DanceSafe also sells other test kits to help confirm what’s in a substance.
How to get naloxone
Anyone can save a life by having the drug naloxone on hand at all times. And it’s important to know that in Colorado, people generally cannot get in trouble for overdosing or for helping someone who’s overdosing (read more on the 911 Good Samaritan law here).
Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, can reverse opioid overdoses, including from fentanyl.
Naloxone is available without a prescription in Colorado, and it’s available to people under the age of 18. Many insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, cover it.
Pharmacy chains including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Safeway/Albertsons, King Soopers and City Market all sell the product. Find a pharmacy that sells naloxone on this map.
NEXT Distro shows ways to access naloxone by state.
Watch this video to learn how to administer naloxone after a suspected overdose.
Here are some things to know about naloxone, according to Denver:
- No potential for misuse or dependence
- Can be used as a nasal spray or in an injectable form
- Not a substitute for medical care
- Works only on opioid overdoses
- A person not experiencing an opioid overdose will not be harmed by naloxone