The presence of fentanyl in the illicit drug supply has put law enforcement officials and the medical community on high alert in more than a dozen states, accelerating the battle against opioids on all fronts.
Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, reports that states, counties, and cities are responding to the crisis by stockpiling the overdose reversal drug naloxone, funding more drug treatment, and ramping up police surveillance of drag trafficking. In addition, a handful of states are stiffening penalties for selling the lethal drug.
Standardized approaches to detecting the presence of the deadly drug and communicating its dangers--to drug users, people in treatment or those recently released from prison or jail, and their friends, family, and advocates--also are starting to emerge.
As the number of overdose victims who visit hospital emergency departments grows and overdose deaths increase, addiction experts are suggesting unusual initiatives to protect the...