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Fentanyl test strip bill gets final passage

The Alabama House on Wednesday gave final passage to a bill that makes fentanyl testing strips legal.

Current law makes the strips illegal drug paraphernalia. Supporters of Senate Bill 168, sponsored by Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, and Rep. Allen Treadaway, R-Morris, say allowing people to test for deadly fentanyl, an opioid often combined with other drugs, will save lives.

On the House floor, Treadaway, a retired assistant police chief, said fentanyl is showing up in more overdose deaths and sometimes people don’t know it’s in the illicit drugs they’re taking.

According to Alabama Department of Public Health statistics provided to Alabama Daily News, 1,027 Alabamians died from overdoses in 2020, and 614 of those involved the use of opioids.

The strips that detect fentanyl can be bought online or over-the-counter and cost about $1 each.

The bill now goes to the governor.

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