The recent passage of Senate Bill 600 to decriminalize fentanyl test strips is to be commended.
The only way people with substance use disorders can get to treatment is if they are alive. Fentanyl test strips work much like a home pregnancy test or rapid COVID tests. These low-cost strips provide a person deciding to use a substance immediate information about whether or not fentanyl is present. Providing fentanyl test strips to people who are at risk of overdose allows them to make informed choices about their use of any substance. With the prevalence of fentanyl in many substances (opioids, methamphetamine, “fake Adderall” and even cannabis), a single pill can kill.
To all the people who are thinking about trying something “just to feel better for a moment,” please remember that a single pill can kill.
Wisconsin is wise to pave the way to provide resources to help people be safe. Now we need a concerted effort to get fentanyl test strips to first responders and emergency departments.