CDC: Federal money can be used for fentanyl test strips | News

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The CDC announced federal grant money can be used to purchase fentanyl test strips.

Now Metro officials are working to figure out how to get them to people as quickly as possible. 

Romello Marchman was just 22-years-old when he died. It happened on Memorial Day in Nashville.

The coroner found high levels of fentanyl in his system. “Those kids, they don’t think it will happen to them. They think they’re invincible and they think they can take just one pill, but one pill can kill,” said Marchman’s mom, Tanja Jacobs. 

Romello is far from alone. 80% of the overdose deaths in Nashville involve fentanyl.

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“It’s very depressing and it’s very concerning. I think everybody is doing everything we can at this point to try and keep people alive,” said Trevor Henderson, the director of the Metro Opioid and Overdose Response Program.

It’s why the CDC just announced federal funding can be used to purchase fentanyl test strips.

“Where somebody can take a small sample of whatever substance they’re using, and mix it with a little water, and dip the stick into that and get an indication of whether fentanyl is present or not,” said Henderson. 

They cost a dollar a strip and soon groups hope to be handing them out to whoever wants them. “So if you think about it in those terms $1 to potentially save a life, that’s pretty good,” said Henderson. 

Studies show the strips don’t stop people from doing the drugs. They do make people reduce the amount.

“It’s about trying to keep people alive and trying to get them the help they need,” said Henderson. 

People like Marchman. 

“That’s what makes me get up in the morning is to try to keep somebody else from having to go through this,” said Jacobs. 

Marchman’s mother started a foundation in her son’s memory.

To get fentanyl test strips or to donate to the foundation, click here.

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