Fentanyl strips seen as key to preventing fatal overdoses

Fentanyl testing strip
Fentanyl testing strip(Steve Rummler Network)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 12:37 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (25News Now) - More than 3,000 Illinoisians died from opioid overdoses in 2021, with fentanyl the leading cause.

That’s why lawmakers in the Illinois House want to make it easier to get fentanyl testing strips, which are currently considered drug paraphernalia.

A bill proposed by House Republican Leader Tony McCombie would allow pharmacists and retailers to sell them.

The test strips give people the ability to see if the drugs they have contain fentanyl.

This issue is personal for State Rep. Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore). His cousin died from a fentanyl overdose.

“I don’t want to have any parent, cousin, brother or sister (to deal) with that tragedy again,” said Keicher.

“It’s why the bills that Leader McCombie has presented today are critical to the protection of our people on the front end, before we have death, before we have tragedy,” Keicher said.

The bill passed out of committee with bipartisan support last week, and is waiting for debate on the House floor.