Mar. 23, 2022 – Fentanyl testing strips can be used to test drugs, powders and pills for the presence of fentanyl, which is often more potent than other drugs and can be fatal. The strips allow people to take extra steps to protect themselves or to not take the drugs altogether. 

But under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, drug testing equipment is classified as drug paraphernalia which, you guessed it, makes it illegal for people to recreationally test. 

It’s something Rep. Jasmine Crockett, a Democrat from Dallas, tried to change last year in a bill that aimed to remove criminal penalties for the possession of drug paraphernalia. That bill passed committee on a 6-3 vote but ultimately didn’t make it to the chamber. 

That leaves Travis County’s hands tied when it comes to the ability to look into that specific harm reduction solution as its stares down a growing, and fatal, crisis. “It’s something that from what I’ve heard, especially from the harm reduction community, that would save lives,” Brown said. “Absolutely we would like to look into the possibility of making them available to the public if they were allowed by state law.”  The test kits have been discussed by Brown in the growing number of conversations he and commissioners have had about overdoses and overdose deaths here in Central Texas. Health leaders at the table have questioned the effectiveness of the tests in preventing people from continuing to take the laced drugs.


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