Pine Belt advocate willing to break the law to fight fentanyl issue
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A local overdose advocate is willing to break the law to fight the worldwide fentanyl issue.
James Moore, the owner of Moore’s Bike Shop in Hattiesburg, lost his son to a fentanyl-laced heroin overdose in 2015. Now, to fight the issue, he is willing to pass out fentanyl test strips at his business to those who want them.
“People are dying weekly, if not more often, in our state, and I’m ready to pass these out rather than wait for the law to change,” said Moore.
The test strips can tell if a drug contains fentanyl by mixing the drug with a little bit of water and putting the test strip in the mixture for 15 minutes. One line on the test strip means the drug contains fentanyl; two lines indicate a negative result.
“Right now, fentanyl could be in your heroin,” said Moore. “It could be in other drugs. You could even have what looks like a pharmaceutical pain pill that actually is just cornstarch and fentanyl, and one pill can kill.”
Earlier this year, Mississippi Senate Bill 2284 offered to remove fentanyl testing materials from the illegal paraphernalia list, but the bill died in committee back in February.
“We send a mixed message to our kids when we ask them to say no to drugs, but we continue to say yes to the merchants up and down our main retail strip that are selling the bongs, the pipes and the kits,” said Moore.
Though Moore could be arrested for giving away the strips, this is his way of making a statement.
“I’m not waiting for that because we’re losing more and more people more frequently,” said Moore.
Test strips remain illegal in 19 states, with the majority being in southern states.
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