Author: Charles Frank

FAQs What are fentanyl test strips?

how to test for fentanyl in drugs

For more information on how to use Fentanyl safely, check out these Fentanyl Use & Overdose Prevention Tips. It must be introduced into the bloodstream or a mucus membrane in order for someone to feel the effects. While there are fentanyl patches that can be placed on the skin for pain management, this is not the formulation that’s cut into other substances. Get the facts on fentanyl and overdose to protect your loved ones.

how to test for fentanyl in drugs

It’s also often made as a white powder, which can easily be mixed or “cut” with other drugs like heroin to make them stronger, allowing people who sell drugs to make more profit. The powerful opioid fentanyl has been found in everything from methamphetamine and cocaine to marijuana and fake Adderall pills. Nearly 6,000 Californians died from fentanyl overdoses in 2021 alone. Cruelly, about one in every 25 of those deaths was a child 19 or younger, according to the latest data from the California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard. There is no limit on the number of fentanyl test strips that someone can receive through this program. Participating organizations have access to an unlimited supply of packages.

How to use fentanyl test strips

Opioid overdose deaths are increasing at a devastating rate and many point to fentanyl alone as the culprit. Fentanyl, a deadly opioid, is being added to drugs like heroin, cocaine, and pills. Fentanyl test strips can tell you whether there is fentanyl in drugs. Fentanyl may not be the only potentially risky substance present in your drugs. Fentanyl test strips can be helpful but aren’t always enough.

More than 30 years of evidence looking at providing sterile syringes to people who inject drugs shows people will use drugs, whether or not they have access to clean supplies. If they don’t have access to clean syringes, they may reuse or share needles, which increases their risk for HIV, hepatitis C and wounds. Fentanyl is ending up in many different drugs, but many people aren’t aware, so they’re taking substances they’ve taken for years and unexpectedly overdosing. Kids, for example, might get a pill at a party, and it may look legitimate, but it’s not.

  1. In the past, many states didn’t allow people to own — or distribute — drug testing materials.
  2. In 2020, there were 812 overdose deaths in Wisconsin where illegally manufactured fentanyl was considered to be probable or suspected in contributing cause of death.
  3. There’s no clear way to tell by sight, taste or smell that something has fentanyl.
  4. We want to meet people where they’re at today with their drug use so that we can keep them with us and build that trust.
  5. The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) does not provide medical advice.

Anyone can buy a press to make pills that look just like prescription drugs these days. Additional fentanyl test kits and doses of NARCAN® will be purchased and distributed with funds made available from the National Prescription Opiate Litigation settlement funds. Look for information on your state or local health department’s website or ask your healthcare provider for treatment and referral services available in your area. The biggest risk factor is that people are often exposed unintentionally and don’t know to take the proper precautions to use this drug safely. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is about 50 times as potent as heroin.

Use a little bit and wait to see how strong it is. If it feels off, consider not using or taking less. The drugs may still be mixed with fentanyl or something else the strips can’t find. If the drugs test positive for fentanyl, anyone using them should have naloxone with them and should use with someone who isn’t using at the same time.

Fentanyl test strips are not prohibited in California. Still, in some states, they continue to be illegal because they are considered “drug paraphernalia” under older drug laws. One study found high amounts of methamphetamine, MDMA and diphenhydramine (Benadryl), a common cutting agent in heroin, can cause a false positive.

Fentanyl test strips are dipped into drug residue dissolved in water. Within minutes, a person can know whether the drug contains fentanyl. A tiny amount – as little as two grains of salt – is enough to kill someone.

Fentanyl Test Strips

Your seller may not always know what other things could be mixed in your supply. Other drug checking tools like reagent kits can be used, but they can be expensive and legality varies by state (updated as of 2019). In some states like Missouri, they are still considered paraphernalia. Learning about drug myths is just as helpful a harm reduction and overdose prevention tool as fentanyl test strips. Fentanyl is very common in heroin, cocaine, crack, meth, club drugs, and pills from non-medical sources.

how to test for fentanyl in drugs

Always seek the advice of your personal physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or issue. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the content found on the Erie County Department of Health website or this correspondence. In 2019, UCSF funded a successful pilot project to distribute fentanyl test strips to San Francisco veterans at the center. The pilot paved the way for similar projects at other Veteran Affairs’ centers nationwide. Fentanyl and fentanyl analogues (some stronger than fentanyl, some weaker) are not “naloxone resistant.” They are opioids and will respond to naloxone if someone is overdosing. Fentanyl moving through the street market comes in a powder form and can be injected, smoked, or snorted.

A map of pickup locations is available on the DHS website. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) today announced that 120,600 fentanyl test strips have been distributed to organizations across the state to help prevent drug overdose deaths. Drugs mixed with fentanyl are the leading cause of overdose deaths in Wisconsin. Ideally, it’s best to use them every time you use, but it may not be realistic for everyone. In the past, many states didn’t allow people to own — or distribute — drug testing materials.

Where can I get strips?

That way, if there’s an overdose, someone can call 911 and give naloxone. Please note that if you do not use drugs frequently or daily, it is not necessary to request more than a couple test strips from free harm reduction programs. Naloxone works on ALL types of opioids, no matter how strong. You might need more doses if one doesn’t work after 2-3 minutes. Rescue breaths are one of the most important steps you can take while waiting for the person to breath on their own.

Fentanyl has been found in not just heroin, but cocaine, methamphetamine, counterfeit pills, and other street drugs. Testing every time before you use may not be enough, and some drugs like weed don’t need to be tested at all. FTS may result in false positives or false negatives from manufacturing errors or if you do not follow instructions like diluting more when testing for the type of drug you are using. New strips designed for harm reduction purposes have been created, since the original forensics application made this pretty challenging.

Because of the War on Drugs and criminalization of people who use drugs, people often are unaware of the exact composition of the substances they’re using. This makes evidence-based harm reduction strategies such as fentanyl test strips, safety planning, and access to safe supply more vital than ever. No matter the result from using fentanyl test strips, having naloxone nearby is key to saving a life in case an opioid overdose does happen.

Opioids have played a role in the crisis, but the problem runs much deeper than the drugs themselves. Mix the water and the drugs well, and then dip the test strip in water up to the wavy lines. For powder or pills, crush in a bag and add water.

These agencies are receiving fentanyl test strip packages directly from the manufacturer. Each package contains one fentanyl test strip and instructions on how to use it. The participating organizations are handing out the packages at no cost.