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Free fentanyl strips distributed across Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Health said it distributed 120,600 test strips.
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Posted at 4:41 PM, Oct 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-14 17:41:24-04

MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced Thursday that more than 120,000 fentanyl test strips have been distributed across the state.

Many organizations received strips in an effort to help prevent drug overdose deaths.

According to DHS, drugs mixed with fentanyl are the leading cause of overdose deaths in Wisconsin.

“Wisconsinites who use drugs are more likely to encounter fentanyl than ever before,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Tragically, many people who use drugs have no idea they are ingesting fentanyl until it’s too late."

The test strips are dipped into drug residue dissolved in water. Within minutes, a person can know whether or not a drug contains fentanyl. The tests can not determine how much fentanyl is present, just whether or not it is.

However, DHS said even a tiny amount of fentanyl, as little as two grains of sale, is enough to kill someone.

The tests are of the utmost importance because fentanyl can not be detected by sight, taste, smell, or touch.

To make things easier for people, DHS created an online map of locations where residents can pick up the test strips. According to the department of health, there's no limit to how may strips someone can receive.

This test strip distribution was funded by $1.25 million from Wisconsin's share of the American Rescue Plan Act and is one of DHS' multiple strategies to reduce the harms of drug use.