Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., advised her followers on Instagram to test drugs for fentanyl before using them, particularly MDMA, also called ecstasy.
“Surprise! Supply chain is affecting drugs too,” the Instagram story on the AOC account says.
“Studies are showing nearly HALF of ecstasy pills contain no MDMA at all. The biggest risk to look for is fentanyl,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.
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The Instagram story links to a guide from the New York City health department titled “HOW TO TEST YOUR DRUGS USING FENTANYL TEST STRIPS,” which describes how to test narcotics for the deadly drug. Fentanyl is frequently present in heroin, cocaine, crack, and ketamine.
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“Knowing if the drugs you plan to use contain fentanyl can lower your risk of overdose,” the guide says.
The guide gives instructions for several methods of testing drugs, including dissolving them in water and using a test strip, which are available at many nonprofit needle exchange programs. “After testing your drugs this way, you can drink them, snort them using a clean nasal spray device or wait until the water evaporates to use them,” the guide states.
MDMA is a Schedule I drug according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, meaning there is “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Marijuana, however, is also listed as a Schedule I drug though many states have legalized it for recreational or medical use. All the other narcotics listed in the NYC guide are illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.
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“Despite the US federal gov having a strict abstinence-only legal approach, the reality is that there are people do choose to do drugs or struggle with addiction. Harm reduction allows us to keep people safe and tell those who engage: TEST YOUR DRUGS!” AOC stated in her Instagram post.
Ocasio-Cortez has long advocated for relaxing U.S. drug laws for medical research as potential treatments for conditions like PTSD or depression.
“For a very long period of time, the United States has and continues to uphold obsolete and old provisions from the war on drugs,” Ocasio-Cortez said on the House floor in 2021. “MDMA helps some vets with PTSD,” she later tweeted.
Fentanyl is a deadly drug responsible for a spike in overdose deaths in the United States in recent years, and is most commonly trafficked over America’s southern border.