TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The Texas Harm Reduction Alliance is advocating for expanded access to drug testing strips and distribution of naloxone heading into the 88th Legislative Session.

Cate Graziani, co-executive director of THRA, addressed Travis County Commissioners Court Monday. She said local municipalities and community advocates are still seeing rising overdoses and barriers to implementing prevention strategies, despite naloxone distribution efforts.

On deck on THRA’s legislative requests are authorizations to syringe service programs, which also include comprehensive addiction care and access to housing, methadone treatments and recovery coaching. Graziani said Bexar County is currently the only county statewide to offer a comprehensive version of a syringe service program.

Graziani added State Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, is filing a bill related to the issue, and requested Travis County’s support behind the initiative.

Another piece of legislation THRA supports is fentanyl testing strip authorization statewide. Graziani said these testing strips are a necessary tool supplementary to naloxone and other opioid overdose reversal drugs. However, THRA is advocating for an expanded version of the proposal that includes testing for fentanyl and other adulterants, or substances added to a drug that makes it less safe.

Fentanyl is one form of an adulterant; another Graziani noted is xylazine, which isn’t detected through fentanyl testing strips.

Related to naloxone access, THRA is looking for the Legislature to revisit a 2015 bill signed into law that authorized the legal use of naloxone for an opioid overdose. The bill, authored by State Sen. Royce West, doesn’t allow governmental entities to give funds to nonprofit partners to purchase, store and distribute Narcan.

Graziani said West is willing to revisit and amend the legislation, and THRA is calling on local governments to back the measure come January.

“These are some of the strategies we can take if we want to really get our arms around the crisis,” she said. “We’re making great strides and I appreciate all y’all’s work and obviously this is just a big issue, and we’ve got a lot left to do.”