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This paper describes the reactions and experiences of participants who were informed they had consumed fentanyl unintentionally, as well as how the research team handled the unanticipated occurrence of discordant results.
Consistent with other recent studies, we found that people learning of unintentional fentanyl use expressed strong concerns about accidental overdose. It was common for participants to reflect on recent substance use experiences that were atypical and might have involved fentanyl, as well as to examine sources of recent drug purchases. While not all participants were surprised that they had unintentionally consumed fentanyl, all felt that learning their positive results was important due to risk of overdose. Research and medical staff have an opportunity to promote awareness of possible contamination by sharing and discussing UA test results with people who use drugs in non-judgmental manner.
Data from an ongoing community-based study regarding polysubstance use among people who use opioids