Ohio House passes bill to decriminalize fentanyl test strips


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Fentanyl testing strips would be decriminalized under a bill the Ohio House passed Wednesday with overwhelming bipartisan support, advancing a proposal that proponents say would help prevent fatal overdoses and save lives.

The strips, which are used to detect the powerful synthetic opioid often found laced in other drugs, would no longer be classified as illegal drug paraphernalia under the measure.

Democratic sponsor Rep. Kristin Boggs, of Columbus, called that a “critical step.” She said comprehensive drug treatment is the best way to fight the opioid crisis, but that the strips can help prevent fentanyl overdoses.

In earlier supporter testimony, Kelsey Schmuhl of the Ohio Pharmacists Association said the bill would provide a way to “meet people where they are” when it comes to fighting drug addiction, as well as create a path forward in evidence-based strategies for harm reduction.

No one has testified against the bill, which now goes to the Senate.

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