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    Increase access to test strips

    More than 110,500 people are estimated to have died from overdoses in 2022, with nearly 70 percent of these deaths due to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. People may be unaware that the substances they are using contain fentanyl or xylazine because they are increasingly being found in other substances.

    Drug test strips can detect the presence of fentanyl, xylazine, and other adulterants in drugs. Studies have shown that the use of test strips can help people who use drugs inform their decisions and use drugs more safely, including by choosing not to use a particular batch, using less or more slowly, using with other people around who can intervene in case of an overdose, and having naloxone on hand. Test strips can help save lives.

    However, several states criminalize test strips as drug paraphernalia, limiting their availability. Further, while many states have recently decriminalized fentanyl test strips, test strips for other substances (e.g., xylazine) remain illegal. State legislatures are unlikely to be able to keep up with the emergence of new adulterants by decriminalizing test strips one substance at a time as they emerge.

    To ensure that test strips for all substances are permitted in all states, ask your Senators to support the Ensuring Nationwide Access to Test Strips Act. It would allow individuals to obtain, possess, provide, or use test strips designed to detect the presence of fentanyl, xylazine, or other adulterants in all states and would ensure individuals are not subject to criminal prosecution solely for obtaining, possessing, providing, or using test strips.

    Individuals should not be denied access to or fear criminal penalties for using a harm reduction tool that can help reduce the risk for overdose and death.

    Additional Resources on Test Strips and Harm Reduction

    Harm Reduction Position Statement

    Partnership to End Addiction supports the use of harm reduction strategies and interventions for people who use substances, including alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, opioids, and stimulants, among others.

    Learn More
    Harm Reduction: Reducing the risks of substance use

    Harm reduction strategies are a way to reduce the risks associated with substance use. They may be a good first step toward wellness.

    Learn More
    Fentanyl Test Strips

    Fentanyl test strips, in addition to naloxone, are a proven way to help reduce overdoses and death. Using them may save your loved one’s life.

    Learn More