Fentanyl test strips play a critical role in harm reduction initiatives. Test strips are invaluable tools designed to detect the presence of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, in illicit drugs.
They can be used to check for fentanyl in substances like heroin, cocaine, or other drugs, helping to prevent accidental overdoses and deaths.
Fentanyl test strips allow individuals to make informed decisions about drug use, so they can take necessary precautions if fentanyl is detected. By promoting safer drug use practices, fentanyl test strips can save lives and curb the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic.
Remember, fentanyl test strips are not foolproof and may not detect all forms of fentanyl. Always use caution when handling unknown substances, and never use drugs alone. If you suspect fentanyl or other dangerous substances are present, it’s best to avoid using the substance altogether.
Whether you’re using drugs or care about someone who does, Minnesota has many resources to offer.
Obtain fentanyl test strips from a harm reduction center, pharmacy, or online. Make sure you have the substance you want to test (e.g., powder, pill, or blotter paper), a ½ teaspoon of water, and a clean, flat surface to work on.
Before handling the strips or the substance, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This prevents any contaminants from interfering with the test results.
If you have a pill, crush it into a fine powder, being careful not to inhale any residue. Make sure any powder is evenly distributed for testing. Ensure there are no large clumps or chunks in the sample.
Mix a small portion of the substance you want to test in a ½ teaspoon of water, enough to allow the strip to soak up any potential fentanyl present.
After dipping the strip lay it flat on a clean surface. Wait for the specified amount of time, usually around 2-5 minutes, for the results to appear.
The fentanyl strip will show either one or two lines. The interpretation depends on the manufacturer's instructions, but typically:
One Line: If only one line appears, it means fentanyl is present in the sample. It’s an extremely risky substance, and caution is necessary.
Two Lines: If two lines appear, it indicates that fentanyl is likely not present or is present in very low amounts. The substance is considered safer, but it's not a guarantee.
Once you've finished the test, dispose of the used fentanyl strip properly. You can follow local regulations for disposing of drug paraphernalia.
A quick look at the basics
Fentanyl test strips (FTS) are a low-cost method of helping prevent drug overdoses and reducing harm. FTS are small strips of paper that can detect the presence of fentanyl in all different kinds of drugs (cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, etc.) and drug forms (pills, powder, and injectables). FTS provide people who use drugs and communities with important information about fentanyl in the illicit drug supply so they can take steps to reduce the risk of overdose.
Not at all. The process is simple, but it’s important to carefully follow the instructions.
Fentanyl test strips (FTS) are now legal to possess, carry, and distribute in Minnesota and are an important tool in preventing drug overdose. To learn more about FTS and where you can access them for free in Minnesota, please contact the MDH Drug Overdose Prevention Unit by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fentanyl test strips (FTS) have some known limitations. They can determine whether a pill contains fentanyl, but cannot measure the quantity or potency of fentanyl present in a drug sample.