Fentanyl test strips now legal in KY: backers say they’ll save lives

WEKU | By John McGary

A new Kentucky law that went into effect Thursday decriminalizes fentanyl test strips. The strips can detect the presence of the deadly opioid that state officials say was responsible for more than 70 percent of the 2,250 Kentucky overdose deaths in 2021. Some county health departments will have the strips available for free. Cassie Prather is the Woodford County Public Health Director.

“Some of the funding that we do receive allows us to buy fentanyl strips. And so between that and the strips that we are given, we try to stretch that out enough to be able to have those available anytime.”

Prather and other public health officials say fentanyl test strips save lives and money, in part because taxpayers won’t have to pay for as many trips to the emergency room for people who’ve overdosed.

“Well, I always go back to you know, we can’t save people. And we can’t rehabilitate them if they’re not here to do so.”

Prather said depending on funding, they’ll try to keep them in stock.

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Photo: Free fentanyl test strips are available at the Woodford County Health Department and many other county health departments. (John McGary, WEKU)

Republished with permission.