STAP Executive Director, John Barry, sent out an email yesterday announcing a vital new program that will have the potential to save many lives. John spoke about the danger of unregulated illicit drug supplies in the area.
Broome County has witnessed way too many overdose deaths, and it is due to users not knowing what is in their gear or not understanding the deadly strength of just a tiny amount of Fentanyl.
Fentanyl has become one of the top drug killers across America. Why anyone began mixing it with other drugs is beyond sensibility.
In his email letter, John states, "The black box that is the illicit drug market confounds and frustrates everyone working on substance use policy." I, personally knowing someone who works with addicts every day, am witness to the sadness, frustration, and hectic situations that arise from drugs laced with Fentanyl that cause emergent situations where Narcan must be used and doesn't always bring someone back.
STAP announced that they would have a drug testing/checking service at their syringe exchange locations once they have their new spectrometers. They will continue to use testing strips for Fentanyl.
If you read this, or know someone suffering from addiction, STAP would be grateful if you inform them about this safety program.
"Spectrophotometry is a standard and inexpensive technique to measure light absorption or the amount of chemicals in a solution. It uses a light beam which passes through the sample, and each compound in the solution absorbs or transmits light over a certain wavelength that identifies it. This will allow us to offer people information in real time about what substances are in the samples that they bring us. Our hope is that this information will allow people to make decisions about their substance use that can reduce both the number of overdoses and deaths." - John Barry, Executive Director of STAP
Advertisements are out for positions that will work in the testing areas. The spectrometers are expected to arrive in 10 to 12 weeks, and training on the testers will take another 12 weeks. STAP did not give a reason for the length of training.
STAP will work with the University of North Carolina Street Drug Project at Chapel Hill. Quality control verification of samples sent from STAP will be tested. Through this program, STAP will be able to build a report on what substances are circulating in the local drug supply This will give them, people, and groups in Broome County data they can act on to save more lives.
Mr. Barry explained that the purpose of the spectrometers and testing is to decrease illnesses and death in our area. He appreciates those who continue to help advance innovation and new approaches to face this growing national issue in the local communities.
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