Local Libertarian Party leader giving out fentanyl testing strips

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 July 2021 at 10:09 am

Provided photo: The chairwoman of the Libertarian Party in Orleans County is giving away fentanyl testing strips to help protect people from potential overdoses.

The leader of the Libertarian Party in Orleans County is giving away fentanyl testing strips free of charge. Chase Tkach, chairwoman of the local Libertarian Party, said the goal of the effort is “to assist in ending the war on drugs and keeping our community safe from potential overdoses.”

She collected donations from the Libertarian community to purchase fentanyl testing strips. So far she has given out 120 of the testing strips. Tkach said her daughter’s father passed away from an accidental fentanyl overdose last August 27th.

“Nearing the anniversary of his passing one year ago, I decided to collect donations for these fentanyl testing strips in an attempt to save lives, and avoid seeing another family go through what my family and my daughter, more importantly, experienced,” she said. “My goal is to allow people in my community to feel safe asking me for these necessities, without fear of judgement or legal consequences.”

Tkach also has been handing out handmade bags of brand name, free condoms in the surrounding cities to help with the STD crisis and avoid unwanted pregnancies before they happen, as well as to sex workers in need.

“These are both things I’ve been doing all on my own and aim to continue to do until I no longer receive donations to do so, but I’ve been handing out a lot and I hope it’s helping,” she said.

Tkach doesn’t have a specific location for distributing the items. She said she reaches out to people who are known drug users and people who may be sexually active.

“I approach people without judgement, just wanting them to be safe,” she said. “My goal is to save lives, not judge people for their addictions, career choices, or choice to be sexually active. Having these resources available for all, judgement free, funded by community donations, can save countless lives. I started by just handing out condoms to sex workers in marginalized communities. I then expanded to handing them out to all who asked for them.”