As the number of U.S. overdose deaths continues to soar, states are trying to take steps to combat a flood of the drug that has proved the most lethal -- illicitly produced fentanyl.

State legislatures are passing bills to enhance the penalties for making or selling drugs that include synthetic opioids and are decriminalizing the use fentanyl test strips that can determine if the substance is mixed with other drugs.

Republican state attorneys general are calling for more federal action while some GOP governors are deploying National Guard units with a mission that includes stopping the flow of the drugs.