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New York expands access to drug testing supplies in opioid crisis

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  • Staff Report 

In a significant move to combat the opioid epidemic, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed Matthew’s Law, expanding public access to fentanyl testing supplies and other resources crucial in preventing drug overdoses.

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Named after Matthew Horan, a victim of an accidental fentanyl overdose, the law allows health care professionals and pharmacists to distribute drug testing kits widely, marking a key step in the state’s ongoing efforts to address this public health crisis.

Recent initiatives by the New York State Department of Health and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) have been instrumental in increasing the availability of testing strips and naloxone kits. A new ordering system launched by OASAS earlier this year has already resulted in the distribution of millions of fentanyl and xylazine test strips, along with tens of thousands of naloxone kits. These efforts are further bolstered by Matthew’s Law, ensuring that life-saving resources are more accessible to New Yorkers statewide.

State health officials, including Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, Commissioner of OASAS, and Dr. James McDonald, State Health Commissioner, emphasize the critical role of these resources in mitigating the risk of overdose deaths. The law’s enactment, supported by state legislators and the Governor, is a testament to the state’s commitment to reducing the devastating impact of the overdose epidemic on communities across New York.