Matthew’s Law to increase access to potentially lifesaving fentanyl test strips
A new law allows pharmacies to stock a potentially lifesaving tool when it comes to opioid overdose death.
The governor signed Matthew's Law on Friday. It was named after Matthew Horan, a Westchester resident who died three years ago Monday.
His sister said Matthew became addicted to opioids after being prescribed the drug for a reconstructive surgery.
He died at the age of 30 from fentanyl, which can be laced with many drugs unknowingly to users and can lead to accidental poisoning.
"For the past three years, Thanksgiving has been an incredibly hard holiday for us as you can imagine," she said.
Kailey has since advocated for greater access to fentanyl test strips.
"Right now, the only way people can get fentanyl test strips is by working with harm reduction organizations they do heroic work but there are two few of them," said State Sen. Pete Harckham, who sponsored Matthew's Law and represents the 40th Senate District, which includes part of Westchester County.
Beginning Dec. 17, New York residents who obtain a prescription from a doctor can get fentanyl test strips at a pharmacy.
Harckham said the bill is not about enable drug users.
"Nothing can be further than the truth people are inflicted with an illness substance abuse is an illness," he said. "We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to keep people alive until they are ready for treatment.
Kailey Horan said she's turned her grief into purpose and encourages others impacted by drug overdoses to do the same.
"If you lost a loved one or friend to overdose please do not allow shame to prevent you from telling their story," she said. "When you are ready use the pain and the anger to create the change that you wish your loved one or friend had access to."