A bill that would remove fentanyl test strips from being considered paraphernalia has passed unanimously in the Mississippi House of Representatives.
House Bill 722, which was authored by Representative Christopher Bell, states that “‘paraphernalia’ does not include any materials used or intended for use in testing for the presence of fentanyl or a fentanyl analog in a substance.”
The legislation comes as cases of fentanyl overdoses become a rising epidemic not only in the state but across the nation.
In 2022 alone, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released that 107,375 individuals in the U.S. died from drug overdoses, with 67 percent of the deaths relating to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
In some cases, illegal substances are laced with double the lethal dose of 2.5 milligrams of fentanyl, leading to accidental overdoses due to the inability to test for the presence of fentanyl.
Now, if the bill is passed in the Senate, those wishing to test for the presence of fentanyl in substances would be able to use the strips to prevent an overdose resulting in death.