CARROLL COUNTY, MD. (WJZ) — Health officials in Carroll County are putting a new harm prevention tool into the community starting in late August.

Strips that test for fentanyl will be distributed and recipients will be trained in how to use them.

“If there’s one line, there is fentanyl, two lines, no fentanyl detected,” Luanna Beck-Day, a recovery services coordinator, said. “Those who use opioids or drugs, they’re going to use drugs. What we are trying to do is keep them alive.”

Nine fatal overdose deaths in the county in the first half of 2019 were blamed on fentanyl. Four deaths were blamed on heroin and one on illicit drugs.

“I remember not wanting to die, but what I didn’t know was how to live without the use of drugs,” Stacia Smith said.

But the other 19 deaths in that period of time are still awaiting review by the medical examiner and pending results as to cause of death.

Officials with the health department acknowledge that drug users are going to use one way or another and at least the strips give them an idea as to the danger of the drug they’re putting in their body.

The strips are much like naloxone spray, another tool that drug addicts can use to protect themselves from an overdose that could take their life.

In order to use the strips, a drug user would simply have to mix water with the drug.

It can even be residue left on a spoon.

The strip is then placed into that liquid and one line will determine that the drug had fentanyl two determines that the drug contains no fentanyl

Officials encourage addicts and their loved ones to come into the health department to get help or tools you can use to save your life or someone else’s.

Rachael Cardin

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