Officials in Broome County say they’re just trying to keep drug addicts alive until they are able to seek help.

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A recent surge in overdoses and overdose deaths in Broome County is resulting in an expert being brought in to teach people who work with people who use drugs and users how to test substances for deadly Fentanyl. Officials say teaching how to detect the substance that is often mixed into heroin and other narcotics, often with fatal results, may save someone with addiction issues long enough for that person to ultimately seek help.

Fentanyl testing expert Tino Fuentes has been brought to Broome County through efforts by Truth Pharm, Broome County, Opioid Awareness Council and Southern Tier AIDS Program to conduct the workshops teaching the testing and how to implement the program in the public.

Fuentes will be at Truth Pharm’s Office 10 a.m.-12 p.m. March 5 for staff training and free take-home testing supplies are available for people using substances at a training from 1-5 p.m. at Prevention Point at 275-277 Main Street, Johnson City.

March 6, workshops will be provided for people who work with people who use drugs, agencies and health departments from 10 a.m-12 p.m. at the Broome County Health Department and from 2:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. at the Broome County Public Library Exhibition Room.  Registration for the sessions can be made on Truth Pharm’s facebook page under events or by email: info@truthpharm.org.

(Fuentes is not only an expert on testing, but is a former drug distributor and consumer.)