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Dewine Announces Distribution of One Million Fentanyl Test Strips to Combat Opioid Crisis


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Governor Mike DeWine announced a significant milestone in the state’s efforts to address the opioid crisis, revealing that Ohio has distributed one million fentanyl test strips. These strips play a crucial role in harm reduction strategies by allowing individuals to test substances for the presence of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid responsible for a large portion of overdose fatalities.

“Providing access to fentanyl test strips empowers individuals to make informed decisions and potentially prevent tragic consequences associated with opioid use,” stated Governor DeWine.

The distribution of fentanyl test strips comes amidst ongoing efforts to tackle opioid-related fatalities in Ohio. While the state saw a 5% decrease in unintentional drug overdose deaths among residents in 2022, totaling 4,915 deaths, fentanyl was implicated in 81% of these fatalities, often in combination with other drugs.

Since April 2023, RecoveryOhio, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, has spearheaded the distribution efforts. Utilizing various channels such as county health departments, harm reduction organizations, colleges, law enforcement, Project DAWN sites, and local outreach programs, the initiative aims to ensure widespread accessibility across the state.

Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) has been instrumental in this endeavor, overseeing opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution programs. By the end of 2023, Project DAWN sites had ordered a total of 795,300 fentanyl test strips.

This distribution initiative aligns with Ohio’s broader strategy, which includes providing broad access to the life-saving drug Naloxone. Naloxone, administered during an opioid overdose, can reverse the effects of opioids and restore breathing.

In 2023, Project DAWN distributed 292,419 naloxone units. Furthermore, the State of Ohio has installed cabinets containing free doses of Naloxone on 48 public and private college and university campuses, as well as more than 130 cabinets at 65 rest areas statewide.

Ohio residents can order free naloxone and fentanyl test strips for home delivery through the website http://www.naloxone.ohio.gov. For additional information on harm reduction resources, individuals can visit recoveryohio.gov.