Sinema Fighting Fentanyl Crisis with New Bills

Dec 20, 2023

Senator backed bills strengthens response to the fentanyl crisis to prevent overdoses and deaths

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored three bills fighting the fentanyl crisis by increasing access to evidence-based harm mitigation tools, like fentanyl test strips, to prevent overdoses and deaths.

“Fighting the fentanyl crisis requires an all-around approach that increases awareness, reduces harm, supports Arizonans suffering from addiction, and stops drug smugglers. I’m securing the border, protecting Arizonans, and stopping the flow of fentanyl across our state,” said Sinema, Chair of the Senate Border Management Subcommittee.

The Expanding Nationwide Access to Test Strips Act expands access to drug test strips through state programs tasked with preventing drug overdoses and deaths. The Fentanyl Safe Testing and Overdose Prevention Act prevents deaths from fentanyl poisoning by decriminalizing and increasing access to fentanyl test strips. The Preventing Overdoses with Test Strips Act clarifies federal guidance on grant funds being used for test strips – removing barriers for vulnerable communities to utilize test strips as a part of a comprehensive harm mitigation effort without fear of federal or state barriers.

Fentanyl test strips are an important public health tool helping people suffering from addiction avoid drugs that have been dosed with fentanyl or other drugs without their knowledge. Click HERE for more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As Chair of the Senate Border Management Subcommittee, Sinema is cracking down on the way fentanyl reaches vulnerable communities in Arizona through multiple approaches – including legislation like the FEND Off Fentanyl Actwhich requires the U.S. Treasury Department to prioritize the fentanyl epidemic and deploy its resources and anti-money laundering authorities to target the illicit funds of criminal cartels, how they hide their crimes, and more.

In Arizona, more than five people die every day from an opioid overdose, with fentanyl ranking as the most commonly reported drug in overdose cases.

Arizonans suffering from substance abuse can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 24/7 free hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).