Harm Reduction

Harm Reduction Research

Our harm reduction portfolio of research seeks to mitigate harms associated with drug use, especially as it relates to the overdose crisis. We conduct mixed-methods research related to overdose prevention, drug checking, and treatment outcomes both in and out of clinical settings. Through our harm reduction research, we hope to advance policy and other efforts to benefit the health of people who use drugs.

A recent study explored distribution of fentanyl test strips in the emergency department. The presence of fentanyl in the illicit drug supply has led to an increase in fatal overdose among people who use drugs. Fentanyl test strips are an easy way to test a drug before use to learn if it has fentanyl in it. 

The two videos below were created by Jefferson Health and made possible through grant funding from Vital Strategies through funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies. For more information on harm reduction and fentanyl test strips, you can visit https://harmreduction.org/.

Fentanyl Test Strip Demo

This video shows how to use a fentanyl test strip on different drugs: a pill like a benzodiazepine (e.g., Xanax or Klonopin), powder cocaine, and heroin. You’ll learn best practices and different techniques to test these substances for the presence of fentanyl using a fentanyl test strip. 

Fentanyl Test Strips & Emergency Care

Jefferson Health has been distributing fentanyl test strips in the Emergency Department to patients who use drugs since June 2021. This video shows two physicians and a nurse from Jefferson Health talking about why they distribute fentanyl test strips and some best practices they’ve learned along the way. We hope that other clinical settings can incorporate fentanyl test strips into care for patients who use drugs after watching this video.