More states to legalize drug test strips amid fentanyl epidemic

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Among fentanyl epidemic in the countrymore states legalize drug test strips, but not without controversy.

In more than half of the country, fentanyl test strips are considered illegal drug paraphernalia. Possession of test strips can result in a fine or jail time in many states, although enforcement varies.

Ohio legislators law is now being considered to decriminalize fentanyl test strips.

May 19 state. Christine Boggs testified before the House Criminal Justice Committee in support of House Bill 456, which she first introduced in October 2021.

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Fentanyl test strips

Fentanyl test strips
(Stephen Goin/Fox News)

If bill becomes law, Ohio will join growing list of states decriminalizing using fentanyl test strips as the drug continues to wreak havoc.

The governors of New Mexico and Wisconsin signed bills this year to allow the use of test strips in those states, and the legislatures of Tennessee and Alabama recently passed similar legislation.

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Many public health and drug experts are promoting rapid testing devices as a “harm reduction” tactic to help prevent overdose. deaths from illegal drugs which users may not know contain fentanyl.

Test strips are inexpensive, costing about $1. The drug user may take a small amount of the substance, add water, and briefly dip the strip into the solution. If a single red line appears on the strip, fentanyl is present; two bars mean none of these drugs were found.

The disadvantage is that the test strips do not measure the amount of fentanyl in the preparation.

In Cincinnati, this vending machine dispenses test strips for narcan and fentanyl.

In Cincinnati, this vending machine dispenses test strips for narcan and fentanyl.
(Fox News)

However, according to Brown University epidemiologist Brandon Marshall, the strips are effective at detecting “very small amounts of fentanyl.”

Although there is evidence that fentanyl test strips can lead to safe behavior with drugs, there are still barriers to access. In particular, there is confusion about where the tests are legal.

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According to a recent legal review published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Addiction, it is perfectly legal to have fentanyl test strips in 22 states. The review found that in 14 states where drug testing equipment is not explicitly legal, it is legal when the equipment is obtained through a syringe program.

April 2021 Biden administration restrictions on the use of federal grant funds to purchase fentanyl test strips have been lifted.