Madtree, health department team up to offer free fentanyl test strips
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Madtree is partnering with the Hamilton County Health Department on an initiative to promote safer drug use.
Inside the bathrooms at Madtree Alcove or the brewery’s Oakley location, you will find boxes containing free fentanyl test strips.
“In general, I think it’s a great idea because people who use drugs are thinking they’re going to get one thing, and they want to know if something they are expecting or aren’t expecting is there, and they want to prepare,” says Soar Initiative’s Executive Director Jessica Warner.
The tests can be done in the bathroom stall, or they can be taken home, says Madtree Director of Hospitality and Operations Brock McMooran.
Hannah Schilling with the Hamilton County Health Department explains how someone using one of the free fentanyl test strips should use them.
“We do say to start slow and to go low,” says Schilling. “We say to wait 60 seconds after testing the substance to give an accurate result, and then you can’t let the test sit more than 10 minutes, otherwise, it can give you an inaccurate result.”
The partnership to provide the test strips to as many in need as possible stems from Schilling’s personal experience as a former user to help those who otherwise wouldn’t have access.
“I was somebody who was chronically using fentanyl,” Schilling recalls. “Fentanyl has been involved in over 80% of the cocaine-related deaths. Unintentional drug poisoning is the leading cause of death for individuals in Ohio, and it continues to climb.”
Schilling says the Hamilton County Health Department has provided more than 16,000 kits in 2022.
They’ve provided more than 15,000 so far this year, she says.
The mission is to provide safer use access more crucial than ever for these partners.
At the taproom, for example, we see [test strips] go out in masses,” explains McMooran. “It’s the right thing to do. We really don’t get anything out of it other than hopefully helping to save one person.”
Anyone who would like to order fentanyl test strips, click here.
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