MEDFORD, Ore. -- Fentanyl is normally a prescription pain reliever. Nowadays it's being mixed with street drugs like heroin.
Someone buying street drugs may have no way of knowing the already dangerous heroin is laced with a deadly synthetic opioid. In 2018 Jackson County had at least 25 overdose deaths and Max's Mission is doing something to change that.
"We are doing this to help save lives in Southern Oregon," said Julia Pinsky, Director of Max's Mission.
Tomorrow the organization is handing out fentanyl test strips at the Medford Public library from 3:30 - 6:30 pm. The strips can be used on prescription drugs and street drugs. The strip will tell you if fentanyl is mixed in.
"Another tool in harm reduction. To help save lives and with the scale of the epidemic being so broad we feel like we have to embrace everything we can," Pinsky said.
Max's Mission is handing this out along with naloxone. A drug used to reverse an opioid overdose. The strips and the naloxone are free. Pinsky is very passionate about naloxone and getting it in the hands of people who could use it.
"My son Max died from an overdose. We lived in an rural area lots of people in Jackson County live in rural areas and emergency response time is longer then it is if you live in Medford," said Pinsky.
Pinsky believes if she had naloxone at the time her son was overdosing she might have been able to save him.
"The quicker you can respond to an overdose the more likely you are to save a life," said Pinsky.
Jackson County has a law called the "Good Samaritan Overdose Law." It protects you if you call for medical help because of an overdose — you can't be arrested or prosecuted if you have drugs on you or have a warrant.