A new effort is underway to help reduce the number of overdoses in Chicago by distributing fentanyl test strips.
Eighty-seven percent of fatal overdoses in Cook County this year are related to fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic opioid according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The city’s public health department has been distributing the test strips since October to try and reduce the number of deaths related to the drug. The city has distributed somewhere between 14-1500 kits, according to Dr. Wilnise Jasmin, medical director of behavioral health with the Chicago Department of Public Health.
“As a health department we decided to move ahead to purchase them because they are an effective, evidence-based harm reduction tool,” Jasmin said.
Jephthat McDaniel, HIV tester and narcan specialist with the Chicago Recovery Alliance, said there’s a great demand for them in the city. McDaniel said that while doing street outreach Wednesday, 38 of the 42 people that came to him asked for the test strips.
Contact [email protected] for more information and to request the tests.