New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a new bill into law on Monday that allows New Mexico residents easier access to fentanyl test strips in an ongoing effort to curb the high number of opioid deaths in the Southwestern United States.
The new bill, which passed the New Mexico Senate in a 32-3 vote, lifts restrictions on public access to test strips that can detect the presence of fentanyl in other drugs. Opioid overdoses are increasingly caused by users ingesting drugs that are laced with fentanyl, which can cause fatal effects in even small doses.
“Starting in mid-2019, that red line for drug overdose deaths started to curve up from fentanyl … one of the main drug adulterants,” said state HHS Secretary David Scrase at a legislative hearing in January. “We were completely incapable of intervening to stop those deaths because of legal restrictions.”
Neighboring state Arizona recently enacted a similar law, giving its residents access to fentanyl testing as the state battles its own opioid crisis.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AP NEWS
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