New Test Strips for Fentanyl
New test strips that can be dipped into any drug to test if it contains the drug Fentanyl are now being passed out in Whitehall, Ohio. The test strips are not approved by the FDA, but people in Whitehall are desperate for anything which may cut down the number of deaths. The town has one of the highest overdose death rates in the country.
The test strips are easy to use. Simply dip them in whatever drug you are testing and they read either negative or positive for Fentanyl.
Assistant fire chief Christopher Menapace is heading up an effort to give out strips locally. He hopes the idea of using a strip to make sure the drugs are not lethal may scare addicts into seeking help. Menapace admits he is willing to do anything that might even save one life with 520 deaths occurring from drug overdose last year in Franklin County.
Many agree that harm reduction is an important part of reducing the death toll from the heroin and fentanyl being mixed into several types of street drugs. Some question where is the line between preventing tragedy and enabling. The fire chief does not see it that way and has stated he believes he is not helping people do something illegal but helping people stay alive.