HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Following a deadly spike in overdoses over the weekend in Dauphin County, Narcan was made available at the Harrisburg City Government Center. Narcan reverses most opioid overdoses but there are tools to prevent an overdose in the first place.

Fentanyl test strips are small strips of paper that can detect fentanyl in different kinds of drugs. The strips have only been legal in Pennsylvania since January, but some argue the rollout has been too slow.

“We can pat ourselves on the back for that, but then thinking about ways of accessibility and how we’re getting the strips out there in an emergent way, I think that we fell really short,” said Carla Sofronski, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Network.

Sofronski wants to see fentanyl test strips become more accessible.

“It’s new and we’re doing our best to get the product out as quickly as we can but certainly, I think we anticipate the demand will continue,” said Samantha Koch, Executive Policy Manager of Pennsylvania Crime and Delinquency.

The PA Overdose Prevention Program launched last month, offering Narcan and drug-checking strips for free.

“We’ve already processed and received more than 300 requests through the Pennsylvania
Overdose Prevention Program form just about a week and a half into its launch, so we know the demand and the need are high, and our team is working as hard as we can to process those requests and get these much-needed supplies out into the community,” said Koch.

The program is primarily geared toward organizations.

“We do have a partnership where you can get individual supply through a mail-to-home program,” said Koch.

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