Alabama leaders searching for solutions to state’s opioid crisis

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 9:10 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2022 at 10:34 PM CST
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PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama leaders are searching for solutions to the state’s opioid crisis. It comes days after a student died at Selma High School.

“That seemingly is attributable to an opioid overdose, and so it is absolutely imperative that we take this opportunity and not waste it,” said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

The attorney general is one of the leaders on the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council, which met Wednesday in Prattville. The council is comprised of health professionals, law enforcement representatives, legal experts and others. Some are working to prevent overdoses; others are working to treat them.

“This council is such a shining example of what it looks like when state government really works the way that it’s supposed to,” said Kim Boswell, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health.

The Alabama Department of Mental Health said it is trying to provide more schools with naloxone, a drug used in emergencies to treat overdoses.

To help reduce the number of fentanyl deaths, the council is urging Alabamians to order fentanyl test strips, a way of checking suspicious products.

“Those test strips can be sent out to individuals who need to be able to test any kind of medication that they’re taking,” Boswell said.

Test strips can be ordered from the Jefferson County Department of Health’s website. So far, 3,180 have been distributed.

Officials are also hoping to spread the word about the new Connect Alabama mobile app, which helps those struggling with opioid addiction find recovery services.

“For example, our crisis centers that we’ve opened over the last three years that provide immediate access to care are available through that app,” Boswell said.

Connect Alabama is free to download from app stores, and even works in areas without a Wi-Fi connection.

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