Man who lost son to overdose says fentanyl test strips could help with opioid epidemic

(Photo/Video: CNN VAN Video)

As the opioid epidemic continues to hit hard in Ohio and across the nation, a family in Cleveland is working to save lives.

Greg McNeil lost his son to a heroin overdose in 2015, the heroin McNeil's son used was laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic drug that's more potent than heroin. Following his son's death, McNeil and his family started Cover-2 Resources. A new tool they're working on with Circle Health in Cleveland is a test strip for drug users. The strip works like a pregnancy test, but will let users know in just seconds if the drugs they're getting ready to take contain fentanyl. A pilot program in New York showed drug users were ten times more likely to change their usage after using the strips, "that's gonna save lives right there, 10 times more likely to go a little slower, use a little bit less," said McNeil.

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WEWS talked with McNeil and asked if him if the strips could be an enabler, he didn't give a 'yes' or 'no' answer, "guilt them, you can plead with them, you can bribe them, and all of those things ultimately in my experience they don't work."

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