Kenosha County Public Health is now supplying fentanyl test strips to people who receive Narcan training, Health Officer Dr. Jen Freiheit announced today.
The county this week accepted delivery of a supply of 2,000 test strips that it ordered recently, after they were made legal in Wisconsin under a state law change that took effect in March.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that can cause a deadly overdose for those who use even a very small amount. As of late, its presence has been detected in many illegal drugs, including counterfeit prescription pills, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
In 2021, 40 of the 53 toxicity deaths in Kenosha County involved the presence of fentanyl or a fentanyl analog, according to the Kenosha County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“Fentanyl is popping up in many places, and we know it has been a factor in many overdose deaths in recent years,” Freiheit said. “For people who are struggling with drug use, the test strips provide a layer of protection, so that users can at least understand what’s in what they’re using.”
Freiheit said five test strips will be offered to anyone who receives Narcan training from Kenosha County Public Health. People who receive training receive a free supply of Narcan, a life-saving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
Since 2017, Kenosha County Public Health has trained 3,864 people and has provided 4,629 doses of Narcan.
Kenosha County Public Health will offer Narcan training and fentanyl test strips this Saturday, at five local events being held for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
The events will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at these locations:
- Kenosha Human Development Services, 3536 52nd St., Kenosha
- Tallent Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 900 Wood Road, Somers
- Pleasant Prairie Police Department, 8600 Green Bay Road, Pleasant Prairie
- Twin Lakes Police Department, 920 Lance Drive, Twin Lakes
- Kenosha County Center, 19600 75th St., Bristol
“These events offer a great opportunity to safely dispose of medications that you no longer need in your house, and to get trained on Narcan and learn about other behavioral health resources available in the community,” Freiheit said.
Narcan training is also available via a video available on the Kenosha County Narcan Program website, at kenoshacounty.org/1916/Narcan-Distribution-Program. After watching the video, trainees can pick up their free Narcan and fentanyl test strips at the Kenosha County Public Health Job Center Clinic, 8600 Sheridan Road, Kenosha.
Those who have questions about the Narcan program are encouraged to call 262-605-6741 or send an email to [email protected].
Fentanyl test strips are also available locally from Vivent Health-Kenosha. For more information, call 262-657-6644 or visit viventhealth.org/locations/kenosha.