– State Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) today introduced harm prevention legislation that will help reduce overdose deaths in Pennsylvania.
“Fentanyl is one of the leading causes of overdose deaths,” Struzzi said. “This bill will help identify its presence and hopefully help to prevent these tragedies from occurring.”
Struzzi’s House Bill 1393
would legalize fentanyl test strips for personal use only in the Commonwealth. Under current law, test strips to detect fentanyl are defined as “drug paraphernalia” which are prohibited and carry serious penalties. To be clear, test strips which are possessed by those dealing in fentanyl would still be illegal. This legislation will allow the possession of test strips only for personal use to avoid deadly overdoses. By allowing those who are in the grip of addiction to possess and use test strips to assure their own safety, this will help to prevent overdoses.
“We need to help people with recovery and return to normal, productive lives,” Struzzi said. “We can’t do that if they are victims of unintentional overdoses caused by substances unknowingly containing deadly amounts of fentanyl. As the opioid epidemic reaches catastrophic levels in Pennsylvania, we must continue to make laws and policies that work to save lives.”
Struzzi developed this legislation in cooperation with the Armstrong Indiana Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission.
“The legalization of these strips will help to decrease the number of overdoses that we have been experiencing in Indiana County by allowing people who are using drugs to test them first for fentanyl,” said Commission Executive Director Kami Anderson. “We are seeing individuals overdose now on drugs other than heroin and other opiates, as dealers are now adding fentanyl to cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana. These very inexpensive strips are a tool for anyone using any illegal drugs, and the Drug and Alcohol Commission applauds Rep. Struzzi for his efforts to get this bill passed in Pennsylvania and save many lives in our area.”
Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Struzzi’s Indiana office at 724-465-0221.