fentanyl test strips.

fentanyl test strips.
fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that causes fatal overdoses. fentanyl test strips are a cheap and easy way to test recreational drugs for fentanyl contamination, yet their distribution is illegal in 42 states. the cato institute says that’s a mistake
  • an increasing number of illicit drugs are being contaminated w/ fentanyl. most recreational drug users have no idea they’re ingesting the potentially fatal substance
  • most states have fentanyl test strips listed under drug paraphernalia, making them illegal
  • in 2021, fatal overdoses from synthetic opioids went up 22% from the previous year
several lawmakers have proposed decriminalizing the test strips. one example: mississippi, where a house committee put forth a decriminalization bill in january 2023
  • state officials said the tests don’t encourage drug use -- they’re harm-reduction tools meant to save lives
  • one official compared it to a seat belt: seat belts don’t encourage bad driving, they’re just there for us if we make a mistake
cnn explains that some people are hesitant to decriminalize the test strips bc it sorta enables recreational drug use. plus, the test isn’t 100% accurate
  • ppl could use the test strips to intentionally seek out drugs laced w/ fentanyl
  • the test doesn’t identify all forms of fentanyl, doesn’t tell you how much fentanyl is in the sample, and can produce false negatives
the nyt notes that there isn’t a whole lotta evidence proving test strips actually change drug users’ behavior. in a few studies, most ppl didn’t take any harm reduction measures even after their drugs tested positive for fentanyl
  • some critics thinks test strips are actually more harmful than other harm reduction measures (think clean needles/syringes) bc they don’t do anything to prevent future drug use or disease transmission
  • in a 2021 baltimore study, only 23% of participants took precautionary measures after receiving a positive fentanyl result
  • but in the same study in delaware, 69% took further precautions after getting a positive result
civil beat disagrees. a fentanyl test isn’t gonna get a user addicted to drugs, but it just might save their life
  • users tend to be unaware they’re taking drugs containing fentanyl, so they rarely have life-saving meds like narcan at the ready
  • if anything, accidentally taking drugs laced w/ fentanyl could get someone addicted to the substance bc of how high the drug potency is
some states, including florida, blocked the decriminalization of drug testing strips back in 2022. in 2023 fl lawmakers proposed a new bill, this time making it specific to just fentanyl test strips, but the bill has yet to pass
  • the 2022 bill was blocked 18 hours after six students on spring break overdosed on fentanyl-laced cocaine
  • the 2023 bill is intentionally ultra-specific
  • a proponent said the more specific the bill, the better chance it has of passing
one twitter user wasn’t having it, writing that florida can’t complain about opioid deaths if it’s not willing to legalize fentanyl testing strips. view their tweet here
    texas tribune: some republicans are warming to the idea of decriminalizing strips, tho. texas governor greg abbott came out in support of fentanyl testing strips, saying more needs to be done to curb the increase of opioid deaths
    • abbot historically opposed the tests, but said he now has a better understanding that more needs to be done by the state
    • abbot also said it should be considered murder when someone knowingly sells fentanyl-laced pills to a buyer and it results in a fatality
    the wsj writes that fentanyl test strips should be an essential when planning a night out. recreational drugs are increasingly being tainted with fentanyl, so drug testing is very important
    • demand for fentanyl test strips has grown 430% since 2019
    • bringing fentanyl test strips to a club should be second nature -- just like bringing lipstick or a wallet
    wanna see how it’s done? nyc health published a how-to guide on using fentanyl test strips. check it out here
      and if you’re more of a visual learner, check out this guide on tiktok