Fentanyl is a Schedule II prescription opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine in treating severe pain. This prescription drug is odorless and tasteless. Because it is a cheap, illegal drug, sellers use it to lace other drugs like heroin or cocaine. Since only a minuscule amount of fentanyl can cause overdose, one can die without ever knowing that they had taken it. This has caused a rise in fentanyl-related harm and overdose deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that fentanyl, along with other opioids, were the primary causes of 107,622 overdose deaths in the US (2021). This is an increase of 15% from the 2020 figure of 93,655.
This is why screening for fentanyl is necessary as it can help reduce overdose deaths.
2 types of fentanyl:
- Pharmaceutical fentanyl is what doctors prescribe to manage severe pain for patients with advanced-stage cancer or those who had just undergone surgery.
- Illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) is manufactured in foreign secret labs, smuggled, distributed, and illegally sold as powders and liquids.
- In its liquid form, IMF is present in the following:
- nasal sprays
- eye drops
- small candies
Drug dealers mix powdered fentanyl with other drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. The mixture is packaged as pills that look like other prescription opioids. People buy them, unaware that these drugs have non-pharmaceutical fentanyl or fentanyl analogs. It’s because it is difficult to tell if something has fentanyl or someone is positive for its use unless tested.
What are Fentanyl Test Strips (FTS)?
FTS is an inexpensive and straightforward way to check fentanyl or fentanyl analog’s presence in the following:
Fentanyl Drug Testing varies depending on the drug samples.
Here are steps to test your drugs for fentanyl using FTS.
- Put a sample of at least 10mg in a container.
- Mix it with ½ tsp of water. (Use 1 tsp when testing methamphetamines).
- Dip the test strip into the water for 2-5 mins.
- Check the results.
How to read the results?
- A positive result shows a single pink line on the left. It indicates that a fentanyl or fentanyl analog is present in your sample.
- Two pink lines indicate the absence of fentanyl or fentanyl analog.
- The invalid result shows a single pink line on the right-hand side or no lines.
The tests also check for many variations of fentanyl, known as analogs.
Getting a test result will help you lower the risk of overdose.
Using Fentanyl Test Strips: What are the benefits?
Fentanyl continues to be present in the illicit drug chain, most of the time as an additive to other drugs. FTS will be very crucial in mitigating fentanyl overdose.
Fentanyl Test Strips deliver the following benefits:
- First, it empowers people and saves lives. By using FTS, individuals will be empowered to make informed choices about their drugs, helping them prevent accidental overdoses.
- Second, people who use drugs (PWUD) use FTS to determine if their drugs have fentanyl and help them avoid a dangerous overdose.
- Third, Fentanyl testing is a way to engage with people who use drugs (PWUD). It presents an opportunity to educate them about services and ease of distribution so they can use FTS independently. The result will eventually lead them to decide on the next best thing to do.
- Fourth, FTS is a cheap, fast, easy-to-use, highly accurate drug-checking tool with results available in five minutes. An individual can easily decide on using it because it is cheap, dependable, safe, precise, and easy to use.
- Fifth, PWUDs can use FTS in private without fear of the legal Implications and the judgment of other people. You can use FTS in the comfort of your home anywhere and anytime without anyone’s intervention.
- Sixth, if tested positive for fentanyl, users feel motivated to engage in the following, resulting in a win situation:
- Harm reduction exercises using smaller doses
- Being ready with Naloxone nearby
- Having someone else around
- Choosing not to use it at all
Therefore, screening for fentanyl is practical and helpful to prevent harm or death from overdose. FTS is a great tool to change people’s lives by allowing them to test, recover, and extend life-saving services.
Are you looking to buy Fentanyl Test Strips?
Fentanyl Test Strips that are 99% accurate, CLIA-waived, and FDA-approved are available at the OVUS Medical website.