NYC restaurant offers free fentanyl test strips
Viva Birria is a buzzing taco spot in the Lower East Side of Manhattan serving up fish tacos, chips and now free fentanyl testing strips.
Owner Marcus Tirado is part of a growing number of bars and restaurants now offering diners fentanyl test strips. Experts say the strips can test any substance with fentanyl that can be broken down into powdered form.
Release Recovery founder and fentanyl expert Zac Clark says these strips are essential with fentanyl deaths on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of October 2022, more than 100,000 had died from drug overdoses in 2022 - with many of those deaths being linked to fentanyl.
"A bar or club is more likely to see an overdose from drugs than a fire, so if they are going to have fire extinguishers on site, they need to have testing strips," said Clark.
Fentanyl testing strips are still illegal in almost half of the United States because of old drug paraphernalia laws. However, New Yorkers can pick them up from Amazon or nonprofit organizations.