More than 87,000 Americans have died as a result of drug overdose between September 2019 and September 2020. That’s more than any yearly total since the 1990s when the opioid epidemic began.
Overdose from the synthetic opioid fentanyl, in particular, has also increased significantly in the past few years. The danger of fentanyl is that it presents a very high risk of overdose and is often manufactured illegally.
So, what can the average person do to minimize the risk of fentanyl overdose?
Evidence shows that fentanyl test strips are useful for preventing fatal overdoses. They can detect whether fentanyl is present in other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, pills, and MDMA.
But how effective are fentanyl test strips exactly? Keep reading to learn more about why fentanyl test strips have the potential to save lives.
How Do Fentanyl Test Strips Work?
Fentanyl test strips are a form of harm reduction. They are able to test whether a drug has been laced with fentanyl.
This is important because fentanyl is extremely dangerous. The Center for Disease Control says fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
It is fortunate that in many cases, people who use fentanyl test strips to test their drugs are able to change their habits and reduce their risk of overdose in the future.
Keep in mind that while fentanyl test strips are an effective way to test for fentanyl, they are not 100 percent effective. They also do not prevent overdose from other drugs.
If you or someone you care for are at risk of any kind of drug overdose, it’s a good idea to talk to someone who can help right away.
Why Are Fentanyl Drug Test Strips Effective?
Studies have found that using fentanyl test strips is effective in the prevention of fentanyl-related drug overdose. Many people who use them decide to change their drug habits.
Here we’ll discuss a few of the reasons why fentanyl drug test strips are effective.
They Reduce the Risk of Overdose
In a study conducted at Brown University, 93 young adults at risk of drug overdose received sets of 10 fentanyl test strips.
Half of the participants who used the strips found fentanyl in their drugs.
We can hope that those who found fentanyl in their drugs refrained from taking those drugs. But did using the fentanyl strips change their drug consumption in any significant way?
Of the participants who used the strips, 45 percent reported using smaller doses of drugs. Others reported changing their habits in the sense of taking better precautions against overdose.
Thirty-nine percent, for example, reported that they stopped doing drugs alone and started using drugs only when they had a buddy with them to help out in case they overdosed.
They’re Easy To Use
The way you use a fentanyl test strip depends on what type of drug you want to test. We’ve broken it down for you here:
Injectables. Prepare your shot first. Then, add ten drops of water to your cooker. Stir it well.
Snortables. Take the empty baggie your drugs came in and add ten drops of water. Then mix it up.
Pills. Crush one pill into an empty baggie. Then dump out the powder. Next, add ten drops of water into the baggie and mix well.
Once you’ve mixed your solutions, dip the fentanyl test strip into the water. Submerge the strip all the way up to the wavy lines. Wait fifteen seconds before taking the strip out of the liquid.
The results take a minute or two to appear.
One red line in the middle of the test means your drugs have tested positive for fentanyl. Two red lines in the middle of the test mean your drugs tested negative. Look closely because the second line can be lighter.
Keep in mind that even if your drugs test negative for fentanyl they could still be laced with other drugs. Take it slow and try a small amount at a time to see what happens.
Fortunately, fentanyl test strips are very affordable. Fentanyl test strips can cost as little as $1 per strip when purchased in bulk.
It is important that the cost of fentanyl test strips remains low so it is affordable across many economic demographics and reaches as many people as possible.
People Share Them With Fellow Drug Users
Let’s return to the Brown University study for a moment.
The study found that 77 percent of the participants used the fentanyl test strips. Of those, 12 percent used all 10 strips. Half of those who used the strips gave them away to friends who also use drugs.
The fact that so many of the participants felt compelled to share their test strips with friends is positive.
It shows that if people who use drugs have access to fentanyl drug test strips, they are likely to use them and share them with others who need them.
Why Are Fentanyl Test Strips Necessary?
Not everyone who uses fentanyl gets it from a reputable source, like a hospital or pharmacy.
Most recent cases of fentanyl-related overdose and death in the United States are caused by fentanyl that is made illegally. It is sold over the internet at very cheap prices and is easy to find.
Illicit fentanyl is often mixed with heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or MDMA to increase its euphoric effects or act as a filler. The mixing can be done with or without the user’s knowledge. This can have significant consequences like overdose and death.
Drug users who have fentanyl test strips on them can use them to test their drugs to see whether they contain illicit fentanyl.
Knowing whether or not your drugs contain this deadly opioid can mean the difference between an overdose and no overdose.
Where To Find Fentanyl Test Strips For Sale
Fentanyl drug test strips are available for purchase from a variety of retailers online.
The CDC recently announced that it is now possible to purchase rapid fentanyl test strips (FTS) with federal funding. It is one step forward in the effort to slow the increase in deaths by drug overdose in the United States.
For more information on fentanyl test strips and other forms of harm reduction, check out the National Harm Reduction Coalition’s fentanyl resources.
Get Help For Fentanyl Addiction
Now you have a better understanding of how to use fentanyl test strips as an effective method to prevent drug overdose. For some, the risk of overdose remains high and addiction to fentanyl is more than they can handle alone.
If you are concerned that you or someone you love is at risk of a drug overdose, it is important that you get help right away.
Sober Partners drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment center in Huntington Beach offers 24/7 immediate assistance and can answer all of your questions.