Florida House denies bill to decriminalize fentanyl strips

These fentanyl strips are utilized to test drugs that could possibly be laced with Fentanyl. Photo courtesy: CNN

On March 14, 2022, the Florida House of Representatives denied House Bill 6101, to remove testing equipment from drug paraphernalia. The bipartisan bill aimed to decriminalize fentanyl test strips in Florida to reduce the amount of overdose deaths.

According to the DEA, fentanyl is a form of a synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. The use of pharmaceutical fentanyl pertains to pain management treatment for cancer patients. Although fentanyl is produced for pharmaceutical purposes, the opioid is commonly used to enhance the potency of heroin.

Drug users commonly mistaken fentanyl as heroin or cocaine, resulting in numerous overdose deaths. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, approximately 5,268 overdose deaths occur per year in the state of Florida. The number of overdose deaths occurring in Florida every year showcases how significant the bipartisan bill could be for drug users.

“Drug addicts are going to do drugs regardless of being capable of testing it or not,” Nakoshiana Davis, a caretaker for Caring Connections said. “The state government should have passed the bill considering the Biden administration is providing sterile drug use supplies to promote safer drug usage.”

On the day the bipartisan bill was denied by the Florida House of Representatives, six college students overdosed on cocaine laced with fentanyl on their spring break. The overdoses these college students endured raised controversy over the legislation being denied as lawmakers provide their perspective on the outcome of the bills.

More citizens are becoming vocal about the harsh realities of fentanyl and how fentanyl has affected them by taking the lives of their loved ones.