Fentanyl testing strips now legal in Florida after being classified as ‘drug paraphernalia’

Fentanyl test strips are now legal in the state of Florida after a bill signing this week formally decriminalizing the strips.

Advocates have tried for years to make this happen, but until this week, fentanyl test strips had been classified as “drug paraphernalia” in Florida.

On Amazon, they cost up to $10, and advocates say they’re nearly 100% effective in detecting fentanyl-laced drugs.

Fentanyl test strips are endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and studies have shown they can reduce the risk of overdose.

More than 6,100 people in Florida died in 2020 from overdoses involving fentanyl, according to the Department of Health. That number fell in 2021, but advocates say we can do better.

The steps on how to use the test strips can vary depending on the types of drugs you’re testing, and for that reason, you must follow the exact directions.

The CDC offers a general overview of how to use them:

  • Step 1: Put a small amount—at least 10 milligrams of the drugs in a clean, dry container.
  • Step 2: Add water to the container and mix together.
  • 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. Then you can read the results.

Florida is now among more than 30 states to decriminalize these test strips.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.