New bill aims to prevent fentanyl poisonings

Recordings of the CBS7 News at 6 broadcast.
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 7:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -Senator John Cornyn is part of the group that introduced the safe testing and overdose prevention act. Which would increase access to fentanyl test strips.

It may sound like a good idea, but many local organizations that are fighting to help prevent drug abuse, agree. However, they said it can also lead to more people using drugs.

Just like narcan, these test strips are simple to use.

Dip the kit into water mixed with a decent amount of the pill or drug, and one line will indicate a presence of fentanyl, while two lines detects none.

However, there are some flaws. Even if one pill tests negative, that doesn’t mean the other pills are safe.

“It’s like oh I’m going to go ahead and test this one and if it’s good, I’m good for this batch. But again, maybe not. So I can see the good and the bad.” said Sara Hinshaw, Program Director at the Permian Basin Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

This is called the chocolate chip cookie effect. Where one portion of the drug may contain fentanyl, while the other side doesn’t.

We also spoke to Michelle Watson who is the founder of The 1:11 Project.

She says that she really believes the best way is to educate people on what fentanyl can do and make them aware of the dangers and Hinshaw agrees.

“Will that ever come, we don’t know. But as long as we keep educating and we have that community support, that gets behind it, then I think that we’ll be ok.” said Hinshaw.

Senator Cornyn said in a statement “Fentanyl is ravaging Texas communities..This legislation would help prevent deaths due to fentanyl poisoning by giving people the tools to identify it,”

Hinshaw says that there could be a number of reasons as to why kids or young adults in the area use fentanyl.

One of the main reasons she sees is a lack of parental involvement in the area.

“I don’t know how many parents I’ve heard say oh I’m ok with with my child drinking as long as it’s at home. Or I’m ok with my kids smoking weed because it’s just weed. It’s natural right. Well still, you’re leading them down a path that could turn out bad.” said Hinshaw.

A similar bill was announced in may, but it failed to make it fully past legislature for consideration.

This time Senator Cornyn and his colleagues hope it passes without delay.