EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — On Thursday Governor Tom wolf approved House Bill 1393, which will decriminalize fentanyl test strips.
The bill amends The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act of 1972 to no longer define fentanyl test strips as drug paraphernalia.
According to the release, these small strips of paper can detect the presence of fentanyl in all different kinds of drugs. Such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and drug forms like pills, powder, and injectables.
Providing people who use drugs and communities with important information about fentanyl in the illicit drug supply, officials stated.
“Fentanyl is undetectable through sight, taste, and smell. Unless a drug is tested with a fentanyl test strip, it is nearly impossible for an individual to know if it has been laced with fentanyl. We continue to encourage all Pennsylvanians to equip themselves with the life-saving drug naloxone, and now with the legalization of fentanyl test strips, individuals have an additional tool to fight the overdose crisis. This legalization is a big win in the harm reduction space, allowing individuals to be more informed given a large amount of fentanyl in our drug supply — this small strip of paper could save their life,” explained Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jen Smith
Pennsylvania Department of Health says 78% of the 5,343 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2021 involved fentanyl. Fentanyl strips are a method to help prevent drug overdoses and reduce harm.