NEW ORLEANS - Today, Council President Helena Moreno advanced her legislation to decriminalize fentanyl testing strips, a widely supported harm reduction measure to save lives in New Orleans. Fentanyl-laced drugs are one of the leading causes of overdoses in New Orleans and throughout the country. Testing strips to determine the presence of fentanyl are currently banned by the City Code.
"Saving lives has got to come first. The opioid epidemic rages on, but fentanyl is a uniquely dangerous and often invisible accelerate to the damage wrought. This simple harm reduction measure helps give our health department and nonprofit advocates an essential tool in preventing overdoses in our community," said Council President Helena Moreno.
Dr. Jennifer Avegno, head of the City's Health Department, applauded Moreno's legislation, saying, "Modifying the City code to allow the legal possession of rapid fentanyl test strips could save the lives of New Orleanians."
If approved by the full Council, the legislation would pave the way for the Health Department and other advocates to purchase and distribute testing strips to the City's most vulnerable communities.
Chief of Staff, Office of Helena Moreno