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Fentanyl testing strips now legal in Alabama

By MOLLEE BRELAND, Alabama Daily News

AUBURN, Ala. – Fentanyl test strips, which detect deadly opioids in other drugs, are no longer illegal in Alabama.

The strips were previously considered drug paraphernalia in Alabama. A law changing that went into effect June 1.

Fentanyl is an extremely deadly opioid that is often added to illegally sold drugs to enhance their effects.

Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, and Rep. Allen Treadaway, R-Morris, sponsored  Senate Bill 168 and said the strips can save lives.

“This was done at the request of the (Jefferson County) Department of Public Health,” McClendon said. He said drug-related deaths are one of the most serious issues facing the state.

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

The Alabama Department of Mental Health has previously said fentanyl can be found in many street drugs, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and counterfeit prescription pills.

“People cannot look at a substance and see the fentanyl in it,” McClendon said. “Some of the victims are even college kids taking (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) drugs to stay awake.”

Strips are now available online.

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