VIDEO – HARM REDUCTION ON TAP –
April 20, 2022 – FentCheck staples the strips from Canadian company BTNX to simple instructions for users to test their drugs. The results show up – like a pregnancy or COVID-19 test – with lines indicating positive or negative.
“They are cheap, they are super easy to use and read and they give you a yes or a no that you can then use,” said Dr. Kathleen Clanon, medical director of Alameda County Health Care Services, which supports the distribution of fentanyl test strips and funds. “They are very sensitive, meaning that the comparison tests have shown that they are likely to show fentanyl if it’s there and I’m comfortable with that as a community test.”
Melissa Myers, owner of the Good Hop, called it a “no brainer” to offer the strips to her customers and train her staff to use naloxone, a medicine that rapidly reverses the effect of opioid overdoses.
“We fought to stay alive through COVID and I want them to be able to keep coming here, not die on the street or die at home because they’ve decided to try some new drugs,” said Myers.
Some cities have gone even further in the fight against drug overdoses. One of the nation’s first supervised drug-injection sites opened last year in New York City, allowing users to inject drugs under the supervision of trained staff.