What Are Fentanyl Test Strips?

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Fentanyl test strips can identify the presence of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, in unregulated drugs. They can be used to test injectable drugs, powders, and pills. Being aware if fentanyl is present allows people to implement appropriate harm reduction strategies to reduce the risk of an overdose.

How to Use Fentanyl Test Strips

The CDC recommends following these five steps to test your drugs for fentanyl using Fentanyl Test Strips. Note: Depending on the types of drugs you’re testing, the steps may be slightly different.

  • Step 1: Put a small amount, at least 10mg, of your drugs aside in a clean, dry container.
  • Step 2: Add water to the container and mix. For most drugs, you need ½ teaspoon of water.
  • Step 3: Place the wavy end of the test strip down in the water and let it absorb for about 15 seconds.
  • Step 4: Take the strip out of the water and place it on a flat surface for 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Step 5: Read results. 

Positive Results

A single pink line on the left-hand side indicates that fentanyl or a fentanyl analog has been detected in your drugs. If you receive a positive result, it is much safer to discard the batch. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is extremely potent and can be deadly.

Negative Results

Two pink lines indicate that fentanyl has not been detected in your drugs. Remember that no test is 100% accurate and your drugs may still contain fentanyl even if you receive a negative result.

Invalid Results

A single pink line on the right-hand side or no lines at all, indicates an invalid test. If you get an invalid result, test your drugs again using a new strip.

Where Can You Get Test Strips?

Fentanyl Test Strips became decriminalized and more accessible in early 2023 after state lawmakers passed House Bill 353. They are available to the community at our Addiction Services facilities and through community organizations such as the Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition and the Louisville Recovery Community Connection. Learn more about Seven Counties Services’ substance use programs and services by visiting our getting started page. 

Reviewed by Cory Moneymaker, LCSW, LCADC, the Division Director of Addiction Recovery for Seven Counties Services.  

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