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City Supports Fentanyl Awareness Efforts Led by APLA Health and the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Post Date:August 15, 2019 5:50 PM

Fentanyl 1The City of West Hollywood is working with local service providers APLA Health and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to support the distribution of fentanyl test strips and is getting the word out in the West Hollywood community about the importance of fentanyl test strips.

Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid that has been found in substances such as methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy, and other drugs. It is especially dangerous because people are often unaware that fentanyl is in drugs they are using. The high potency of fentanyl (as high as 50 to 100 times the potency of morphine) greatly increases risk of overdose.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the National Institutes of Health, unintentional drug overdose deaths have climbed to record-high levels, claiming approximately 70,000 lives in the United States in 2017. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that 28,400 of these deaths were attributed to fentanyl.

Fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. Because fentanyl is so strong, overdoses may occur quickly, sometimes while someone is actively using drugs. Having fentanyl test strips on-hand and learning how to use them can assist a drug user in deciding whether or not to use.

Fentanyl test strips have proven to be effective in detecting fentanyl in the presence of drugs and they reduce the likelihood of overdose. Increased awareness, distribution, and use of fentanyl test strips can save lives.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center provides free or low-cost, comprehensive, and judgment-free addiction recovery services and has a service to provide free fentanyl testing strips to those who request them. For additional information, please contact the Center’s Addiction Recovery Services at recovery@lalgbtcenter.org or at (323) 993-7448, or visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/health-services/addiction-recovery-services.

APLA Health offers treatment that can help reduce or eliminate unhelpful and unhealthy behaviors that sustain addiction and substance use. APLA Health operates multiple locations throughout Los Angeles County. The closest location for West Hollywood community members to get fentanyl test strips is APLA Health – Olympic, which is located at 5901 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 310, in Los Angeles. For additional information, please call (323) 215-1725.

APLA Health provides fentanyl information on its website including facts about fentanyl, tips for reducing overdose risk, signs of an overdose, available treatment options, and a fentanyl test strip guide: www.aplahealth.org/fentanyl.

For more information, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Social Services Division at (323) 848-6510. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496. For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity and sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email.
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