Fentanyl test strips could help save lives. In many states, they’re still illegal

Nothing has made the nation’s addiction epidemic more deadly than fentanyl’s infiltration of the drug supply. Yet in more than a dozen states, tools used to detect the ultra-potent synthetic opioid are still classified as drug paraphernalia — making it a crime to possess or distribute them.

The practice of “drug-checking” — essentially, testing illicit drugs to see if they contain unknown toxins — has remained controversial even as the crisis of fentanyl deaths has attracted national attention. And while some states have moved to broaden access to drug-checking tools, others, including Texas and Florida, have maintained a hardline stance, arguing that they only serve to facilitate drug use.

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