Florida lawmakers decriminalized fentanyl test strips during this year’s legislative session, which should help the state reduce opioid overdoses.     Sen. Tina Polsky’s (D-Boca Raton) Senate Bill 164 passed both chambers of the legislature unanimously, and was recently signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis. It legalizes fentanyl test strips, which were previously illegal … Read more

A Portland nonprofit organization has been rapidly using its supplies of Narcan to treat locals suffering from drug overdoses lately, and needs more access to the drug. Some relief could be on the way through state legislative proposals, as well as a recent ruling from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Blanchet House has … Read more

Bills that would legalize fentanyl test strips and make them available for use in Hawaii have garnered some support in the state’s legislature.     Members of the House Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs discussed House Bill 573 during a meeting on Friday. HB 573 would exclude fentanyl test strips from the definition of … Read more

A record number of homeless people died in Oregon’s Multnomah County, home to Portland, in 2021 according to the county’s annual Domicile Unknown report, which was released on Wednesday.     At least 193 homeless people died in 2021, which was a 53% increase from the county’s 126 homeless deaths in 2020. Drug or alcohol … Read more

Alaska’s drug overdose death rate rose by 15 deaths per 100,000 people in 2021 compared to 2020.     The Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records Section and the Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention released the 2021 Drug Overdose Mortality Update on July 25th. The report states that Alaska had 253 drug overdose … Read more

The Tacoma Needle Exchange is distributing pipes in an effort to curb the spread of disease and death among Washington drug users who would likely otherwise be injecting substances. Paul LaKosky—Executive Director of the Tacoma Needle Exchange and the Dave Purchase Project—gave an update on pipe distribution efforts during Thursday’s State Opioid & Overdose Response … Read more

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we will be in person at our 2022 Hawaii State of Reform Health Policy Conference this year. I think things are moving in the right direction and once kiddos can get vaccinated, I know a number of folks will be even more comfortable. Vaccinations will be required. On a … Read more