UPDATE: Delaware–First in Nation to Pilot a Dual Fentanyl and Xylazine Test Strip; Program Underway This Week

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Update 7/5: The Fentanyl and Xylazine dual test strips are available now. You can stop in to one of the facilities during the hours they are open. To verify hours, go to the website– www.brandywinecounseling.com. Delaware has received several hundred of the test strips. Lynn Morrison, who is the CEO of Brandywine Counseling and Community Services, tells the Talk of Delmarva that they are looking to obtain funding for additional strips.

Test Strip Locations and Outreach with Brandywine Counseling and Community Services

Lancaster Avenue Treatment Center, 2713 Lancaster Ave., Wilmington, DE 19805

Milford Treatment Center, 769 E. Masten Circle, Suite 113/115, Milford, DE 19963

Georgetown Treatment Center, 10 N. Railroad Ave., Georgetown, DE 19947

The phone number for more information is 302-358-6962.

Earlier Posts:

As Delaware battles the ongoing opioid crisis and officials fear spikes in overdoses around the July Fourth holiday, Delaware-based SIVAD Diagnostic Medical Group, LLC, Dr. Sandra Gibney of Gibney Mobile Healthcare, and Brandywine Counseling and Community Services are partnering with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on launching a pilot program. The program, which is getting underway this week, will distribute the nation’s first dual fentanyl and xylazine test strip in the First State. Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long tells the Talk of Delmarva the test strips will be at the Brandywine Counseling and Community Services locations…

Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long tells the Talk of Delmarva about this new tool in the ongoing opioid epidemic…

A groundbreaking pilot program has been introduced to reduce opioid deaths. The program will distribute the nation’s first dual fentanyl and xylazine test strip in the First State. Currently, fentanyl and xylazine test strips are only offered as two separate tests. The pilot comes as Delaware battles the ongoing opioid crisis and officials fear spikes in overdoses around the July Fourth holiday. Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, who is also Chair of the Delaware Behavioral Health Consortium, says this new test strip – conceptualized by Delaware’s own SIVAD Diagnostic Medical Group, LLC – is just another way residents can be protected from potential overdoses. The new test strips will be distributed at three Brandywine Counseling clinic locations statewide, through the organization’s mobile syringe services vans, and in the community in partnership with Gibney Mobile Healthcare.

Additional Information from the State of Delaware:

On June 28, Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Ph.D., R,N., announced a pilot program to distribute the nation’s first combination fentanyl and xylazine test strip in the First State. Currently, fentanyl and xylazine test strips are only offered as two separate tests. The pilot comes as Delaware battles the ongoing opioid crisis and officials fear spikes in overdoses around the July Fourth holiday.

Delaware-based SIVAD Diagnostic Medical Group, LLC, Sandra Gibney M.D., of Gibney Mobile Healthcare, and Brandywine Counseling and Community Services will partner with the Lt. Governor’s Office on launching the pilot. The News Journal recently reported the uptick in overdose deaths involving xylazine (popularly known as tranq), which cannot be reversed with naloxone, making it even more crucial to detect its presence in substances to prevent fatal overdoses. The new test strips will be distributed at three Brandywine Counseling clinic locations statewide, through the organization’s mobile syringe services vans, and in the community in partnership with Gibney Mobile Healthcare.

“Delaware is committed to responding to the opioid crisis with the urgency it demands. We know harm reduction strategies work, and this new test strip – conceptualized by Delaware’s own SIVAD Diagnostic Medical Group, LLC – is just another way we can protect residents from potential overdoses,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Ph.D., R.N., Chair of the Delaware Behavioral Health Consortium. “This pilot program is the epitome of what Delaware does best – boots-on-the-ground outreach, homegrown innovation, and collaborative partnerships. I’m thrilled our state will be the first in the nation to distribute these groundbreaking test strips, and I’m thankful to SIVAD, Dr. Gibney, and Brandywine Counseling for their collaboration on this life-saving initiative.”

“Typically, around a holiday we often see in an uptick in drug use and that can tragically lead to overdoses. This pilot comes at the right time and with the right interventions. With this new harm reduction product, people struggling with substance use disorder can now use one test at one time and know immediately how to protect themselves. We’re eager to get these tests on the ground and into the community,” said Dr. Sandra Gibney, a renowned local healthcare provider working in partnership with Brandywine Counseling and Community Services.

The new test strip, known as HarmGuard FX, was developed by SIVAD Diagnostic Medical Group, LLC, headquartered in Bear, Delaware. Validated by a U.S.-based, FDA-registered testing lab, it’s the first harm reduction test strip to detect both fentanyl and xylazine in various substances including powders, pills, or residue from baggies or cookers. The primary purpose of the test is to reduce harm from these substances. Like existing fentanyl test strips, if a line appears, it signals safety. There are separate safety lines for fentanyl and xylazine. If no safety line appears, it indicates the presence of fentanyl or xylazine (or both), and users should avoid the substance.

The product also utilizes a QR code and AI-driven portal with geolocation to help people find local resources like counseling, emergency services and free naloxone distribution locations.

SIVAD is a minority-owned company that has provided PPE essentials and the Flowflex COVID-19 antigen at-home tests, among other products.

“When Lt. Governor Hall-Long sounded the alarm on the need for a dual fentanyl-xylazine test, we knew we needed to act. We commend the Lt. Governor for her leadership and look forward to collaborating with Delaware health officials to implement this innovative pilot program. This effort could serve as a blueprint for states across the nation seeking to prevent overdose deaths,” said Jermonica Boardley, CEO and President at SIVAD Diagnostic Medical Group, LLC.

In 2022, at least 537 Delaware residents died from drug overdoses, according to the state’s Division of Forensic Science – the most overdose deaths on record. About 80% of these deaths involved fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin.

Xylazine, a non-opioid tranquilizer primarily used as a sedative, analgesic, and muscle relaxant in large animals, has emerged as an adulterant in recreational drugs. Fentanyl and xylazine alone or combined can cause severe respiratory depression, leading to a lack of oxygen, brain damage, or even death.

Between 2018 and 2021, deaths involving xylazine increased by 1,238%, according to the CDC, leading the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to designate fentanyl combined with xylazine as an emerging threat to the U.S. While fentanyl overdose can be reversed with Narcan, there is no reversal agent for xylazine. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently reported that it had found the deadly combination of fentanyl and xylazine in nearly a quarter of drugs sampled from 48 out of 50 states.

“The Brandywine Counseling team has seen the devastating impact of fentanyl and xylazine on the frontlines, every single day. I’m so excited to be part of this pilot program and get resources directly to people who need it most. We are empowering people – without stigma – to take their health in their own hands. These interactions are an entry point for future conversations around education and treatment. We want to keep people safe as they move on the journey to recovery,” said Lynn Morrison, Ph.D., CEO of Brandywine Counseling and Community Services.

Test Strip Locations and Outreach with Brandywine Counseling and Community Services

Lancaster Avenue Treatment Center, 2713 Lancaster Ave., Wilmington, DE 19805

Milford Treatment Center, 769 E. Masten Circle, Suite 113/115, Milford, DE 19963

Georgetown Treatment Center, 10 N. Railroad Ave., Georgetown, DE 19947

Phone number for more information: 302-358-6962

Additional test strips for on-the-ground outreach through the Syringe Services Program and Dr. Sandra Gibney

Resources

  • To connect with the Delaware Behavioral Health Consortium and the Lt. Governor’s Office, email alexia.wolf@delaware.gov or visit the Lt. Governor’s website.
  • If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction in Delaware, call the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) 24/7 Crisis Hotline to be connected to treatment and recovery options.
  • In New Castle County, call 1-800-652-2929. Or, in Kent and Sussex counties, call 1-800-345-6785.
  • For free 24/7 counseling, coaching, and support, as well as links to mental health, addiction, and crisis services, call the Delaware Hope Line at 1-833-9-HOPEDE.
  • To search online for treatment and recovery services in Delaware or nearby states, visit HelpIsHereDE.com.

About SIVAD Diagnostic Medical Group LLC (SIVAD)                                                                                     

SIVAD Diagnostic Medical Group LLC (SIVAD), headquartered in Bear, Delaware, is a minority owned company dedicated to addressing the unique needs of underserved and unserved communities in the United States and globally. With a focus on providing essential personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 testing during the pandemic, SIVAD has expanded its mission to tackle various domestic and global public health challenges, such as substance abuse and infectious diseases. Lenzie Davis is Chairman of the Board of SIVAD Diagnostic Medical Group LLC, a subsidiary of SIVAD Group.


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