Arizona legalizes test strips that detect fentanyl in drugs
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Wednesday signed a bill into law that will legalize test strips that detect the opiate fentanyl in an effort to combat overdoses.
Drug users will be able to purchase the strips to test their drugs for fentanyl before they use them.
“We want everyone who is using drugs to seek professional treatment,” Ducey said in a news release. “But until someone is ready to get help, we need to make sure they have the tools necessary to prevent a lethal overdose.”
The bill, SB 1486, was sponsored by state Sen. Christine Marsh (D) whose 25-year-old son, Landon Marsh, died from an overdose last year.
Marsh described her loss between tears during a committee hearing in February, in which she said that Landon had one night of “being really stupid” where he took what he thought was a prescription pain pill that had actually been laced with fentanyl, according to The Associated Press.
“I contend that a night of stupidity should not result in death,” Marsh said at the time.
She reiterated her stance in a statement on Wednesday.
“No one should have to suffer the loss of their loved one to addiction or accidental overdose,” she said. “Illegal drug use can be extremely dangerous, and with the prevalence of fentanyl being laced into other drugs, it can be deadly. We have to make sure families and young Arizonans have the resources needed to prevent a lethal fentanyl overdose, and this legislation will provide an additional tool.”
The law will go into effect 90 days after the state’s legislative session ends and will no longer consider test strips to be illegal drug paraphernalia, the AP reported.
Nearly 9,368 people in Arizona have reportedly died of opiate overdoses since June 2017.
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