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Sunday, Apr 21, 2024

SwabTek Partners with Nat’l Firms to Fight Fentanyl

MANUFACTURING: Test Kits Going to Schools, K9 Officers

SwabTek, the San Diego-based manufacturer of test kits of illicit and dangerous materials, is partnering up with national orgs to play a more active role in drug prevention.

Earlier this year, SwabTek announced the launch of a new initiative to help educators, parents and community leaders protect the nation’s youth from the rising threat of fentanyl. The Guardian Coalition, made up of SwabTek, the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), the National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association (NDASA) and Law Enforcement Against Drugs and Violence (L.E.A.D.), was founded to fill gaps in current drug prevention approaches, said SwabTek CEO Bobby Betros.

Bobby Betros

“Most of the drug coalitions are focused on harm prevention, which is giving the people taking drugs tools to keep them safe – like Narcan, or fentanyl test strips so their cocaine to see if it has fentanyl in it,” he said. “What we’ve done is create a coalition that targets all of the adults in the community – not the people taking the drugs, but the people that are in charge of protecting all these people.”

Each member in the collation is a leader in drug detection and prevention and offers a unique contribution to the alliance’s programming. NASRO is the leading organization in school-based policing, providing specialized training and resources to school-based law enforcement, school administrators, and campus security professionals. NDASA’s members specialize in safe, thorough and reliable drug detection, and deliver valuable prevention and remediation education to communities across the country. L.E.A.D. provides evidence-based training programs to enable law enforcement to better partner with educators, community leaders, and families to deter youth and adults from drug use and drug related crimes.

“We’re all national organizations and every municipality and community in the country has a need for this,” Betros said. “The idea is to make these services available to everyone who is implementing these kinds of programs.”

Mo Canady
Executive Director
National Association of School Resource Officers

The coalition’s main service is its “Guardian Action Program” which acts as a complement to existing school-based harm reduction and drug prevention programs for all drugs but with a special focus on addressing the fentanyl crisis. The program consists of three main services: narcotics identification technology utilizing SwabTek’s Fentanyl+ Detection Test; fentanyl education for students, staff and parents to help them identify signs of fentanyl abuse; and policy work to help establish and implement comprehensive drug prevention policies that prioritizes opioid overdose safety and provides students with accessible resources for harm prevention, and remediation resources to address habitual drug use.

“Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death among 18- to 45-year-old Americans,” said NASRO Executive Director Mo Canady. “This is clearly an epidemic and we must do more to fight this battle. NASRO looks forward to joining with other organizations as a part of the Guardian Coalition to educate and equip those on the front lines of this battle.”

First Partner Organization

In March, the Guardian Coalition welcomed its first partner organization, Voices for Awareness Foundation (VFAF) – a national nonprofit organization based in Grand Junction, Colorado, with a mission to promote public awareness of counterfeit drugs, illicit fentanyl, and self-harm.

VFAF deploys a Primary Prevention Education & Opioid Reversal Kit to schools across the country through its Operation Facing Fentanyl program. The kit provides prevention education materials and overdose-reversal medication in a single, contained unit, and is donated to schools through contributions made by donors in the community. As part of the VFAF and Guardian Coalition partnership, SwabTek’s Fentanyl+ Detection Test will be added to VFAF’s kit.

“The SwabTek team is very proud to be partnering with Voices for Awareness,” Betros said. “Proactive efforts are key to the success of long-term drug prevention, which is why we are committed to contributing our Fentanyl+ Tests to the Opioid-Reversal Kit. Pairing proactive detection technology with evidence-based education has the power to significantly reduce incidents of drug abuse and the potential for overdose.”

SwabTek’s partnership with VFAF will also include initiatives such as conducting joint-education presentations, joint-participation in drug awareness campaigns, national programs, and other collaborative efforts the Guardian Coalition.

Andrea Thomas
Founder & Executive Director
Voices for Awareness Foundation

“Our Voices for Awareness Foundation was formed to sound the alarm on the dangers of Illicit fentanyl,” said VFAF founder and Executive Director Andrea Thomas. “Fentanyl is killing Americans every five minutes; most from first-time use. We believe by promoting fentanyl education and prevention, and bringing this information to the forefront, we can save lives.”

In addition to partnering with national organizations to save student lives, this year SwabTek also partnered with the U.S. Police Canine Association (USPCA) to protect K9 officers that are often put at risk of overdose while on duty to sniff out illicit drugs.

SwabTek and the USPCA are launching the partnership by equipping every canine enforcement team attending the USPCA’s National Detector Dog Trial event May 7-10 in Evansville, Indiana with donated SwabTek narcotics field test kits explosives test kits. The partner will also present joint webinars on the safe identification and testing of fentanyl and other dangerous narcotics.

Don Slavik
Executive Director
U.S. Police Canine Association

“We are happy to be partnering with SwabTek to help our members better protect their valuable canines and themselves from dangerous fentanyl and other deadly substance exposure,” said USPCA Executive Director Don Slavik. “We believe through increased and updated training and field testing, our canine law enforcement handlers will have the vital information needed to keep their dogs, themselves, and their fellow officers, safe.”


Founded: 2019
CEO: Bobby Betros
Employees: 10
Headquarters: San Diego, Miramar
Business: Manufacturer of test kits for hazardous substances.
Website: www.verifique.net and www.swabtek.com
Notable: SwabTek’s color chemistry uses safe powders and inks instead of harmful chemicals like sulfuric acid.


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