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Bill would make fentanyl test strips legal for personal use

A bill that would make fentanyl test strips legal for personal use is pending in the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 1393 would amend the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act to legalize the test strips for personal use by drug addicts.

Fentanyl test strips are small strips of paper used to detect the presence of fentanyl. They originally were used in urine drug tests, but some drug abusers use them to test the presence of fentanyl in their drugs before injection.

Current law defines the test strips as illegal drug paraphernalia and makes people found in possession of them subject to serious penalties, said Rep. James B. Struzzi II, R-62nd, who sponsored the bill.

“Fentanyl is being added to heroin to increase its potency – often without the knowledge of those who use it – leading to additional overdose deaths. By allowing those who are in the grip of addiction to possess and use test strips to assure their own safety, we will be able to prevent overdoses,” Struzzi wrote in a memo attached to the bill. “To be clear, test strips which are possessed by those dealing in fentanyl would still be illegal. My legislation will allow the possession of test strips only for personal use to avoid deadly overdoses.”

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