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Council Member to propose bill that will expand fentanyl test strip usage

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, enough fatal doses of fentanyl were seized to kill triple the New York population.

Adolfo Carrion and Faith Graham

Mar 15, 2023, 9:19 PM

Updated 465 days ago

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Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. says he will propose a new bill on Thursday that will aim to increase the availability and usage of fentanyl test strips.  
The Drug Enforcement Agency seized enough deadly doses of fentanyl in 2022 to kill more than three times the population of New York. Despite this, the Department of Health currently only has eight sites that give out fentanyl test strips, with one location in the Bronx and one in Brooklyn.
This new bill would require all city-run needle exchange or opioid overdose prevention sites to also give out the testing strips. These locations would also be required to provide the strips for free to anyone who takes in-person or online training on how to use them.  
Salamanca says people can enroll in the training run by the city, but that they do not receive any strips following the training. He says after losing a loved one to the lethal drug, he’s making it his mission to make sure no other New Yorker suffers the same fate. 
“We don’t want New Yorkers, we don’t want families to experience this,” said Salamanca. “When I speak to families who have experienced a loss, all they think is “what could I have done more to save this life?” And you know… this is what I can do as an elected official to save lives.” 


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