Resolution Urging Development of Dane County Program to Make Fentanyl Testing Strips Available to Public to be Considered by County Board

September 08, 2022
County Board Supervisor Anthony Gray, (608) 354-7122
County Board

The Dane County Board of Supervisors will meet tonight, September 8, 2022. At the meeting, the Board will consider a resolution that supports the efforts of Public Health Madison Dane County for a program in which fentanyl testing strips can be made available to those who need them in order to prevent synthetic opioid-related overdoses and death. The resolution also supports the State of Wisconsin Legislature’s bill, AB 619 to decriminalize the use of fentanyl testing strips.


The resolution comes before the Board following an overdose spike alert issued from Public Health Madison Dane County only a month ago, wherein over the 24 hour period between August 1 and August 2, 2022, at least 7 people experiences a suspected drug overdose, with two overdoses resulting in deaths.


"We need to recognize that addiction is a brain disorder, and not someone who has simply made poor choices. By providing harm reduction tools such as fentanyl testing strips we can prevent overdoses and deaths," said County Board Supervisor Anthony Gray (District 14).


The resolution cites a study by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University that showed that 86% of drug users would use fentanyl test strips, 84% were worried about fentanyl being present in drugs, and 70% would change their behavior if they knew fentanyl was in the drugs they were using.


Public Health Madison Dane County recommends the following:

Know the signs of an overdose:

  • Pale, sweaty or clammy skin
  • Lips/fingertips turn blue
  • Slow or irregular breathing:  gasping, gurgling, or snoring
  • Difficult or unable to wake

Always call 911 if you think someone is overdosing

Don’t use street drugs alone; call Never Use Alone at 800-484-3731

Check in with your friends/family who use drugs

Test all drugs for fentanyl before using

Carry Narcan® (naloxone) and be prepared to use multiple doses when needed

Get safer use supplies, like fentanyl test strips and Narcan®, from the Syringe Services Program at Public Health Madison & Dane County: 2705 E. Washington Ave. or 2300 S. Park St. in Madison

Contact the Behavioral Health Resource Center of Dane County  for treatment and recovery resources: (608) 267-2244