Incorporating Fentanyl Test Strips In Community Substance Use Programming


Utilizing fentanyl test strips is a crucial next step in providing substance use education and lifesaving training to individuals in the community, especially those at high risk for overdose.

Some research has estimated that approximately 65 percent of the U.S. prison population has an active substance use disorder (SUD).*  Individuals released from prison are 40 times more likely than the general population to die of opioid overdose within the first two weeks of their release, largely as a result of the high potency of illicit opioids adulterated with fentanyl.**  Due to the nature of drug use in the United States, two of the biggest obstacles in providing overdose education and prevention training to people who use drugs are 1) locating them and engaging in a non-threatening way, and 2) providing training and harm reduction materials like fentanyl test strips when they are available and people who use drugs are willing to take part. In addition, it is crucial for community service providers to understand the evidence supporting fentanyl test strips and how they can be utilized.

During this webinar, the presenter highlights the general background of fentanyl test strips and their efficacy, as well as how to gain community buy in for their utilization including with law enforcement.  Participants can learn more about the essential elements of developing, implementing, and evaluating effective fentanyl test strip distribution programs.

Our presenter, Sarah E. Duhart Clarke, Ph.D., has extensive knowledge in evaluating community-based harm reduction programs. Dr. Duhart Clarke is a public health analyst in RTI International’s Community Health and Implementation Research Program and is an applied psychologist who has worked in behavioral health research for nearly ten years. Her work focuses on the experiences of people involved in the criminal justice system, drug use behaviors, and harm reduction practices. Dr. Duhart Clarke conducts community-based research using both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine behavioral health outcomes associated with illicit drug use and the impact of legal system policies and reform efforts on community health. Dr. Duhart Clarke has published in academic and professional journals and regularly disseminates relevant and timely research findings to policymakers and community stakeholders.

          *https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-research/reports/behind-bars-ii-substance-abuse-and-america’s-prison-population

          **Ranapurwala, S.I., Shanahan, M.E., Alexandridis, A.A., Proescholdbell, S.K., Naumann, R.B., Edwards, D., Jr., & Marshall, S.W. (2018). Opioid overdose mortality                      among former North Carolina inmates: 2000-2015. AJPH Open-Themed Research, 108(9), 1207-1213. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2018.304514

To view a PDF version of the slide deck that was used during this presentation, click here.

The Fentanyl Test Strips Instruction Cards reference during the webinar are available here.

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