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Missouri lawmakers legalized fentanyl test strips to try to curb overdoses

A fentanyl test strip is used to detect fentanyl in a drug sample. Such test strips cost about $1 apiece.
Jesse Costa
/
WBUR
A fentanyl test strip is used to detect fentanyl in a drug sample. Such test strips cost about $1 apiece.

Republican state Sen. Holly Thompson of Scott City sponsored legislation to decriminalize the harm reduction tool. She hopes this will help lower opioid overdoses.

A new law signed by Gov. Mike Parson has decriminalized fentanyl test strips, which supporters hope will reduce opioid-related drug overdoses.

"I grew up in sexual violence, drug addiction [and] got married at 15... I understand what addiction looks like," state Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder, a Republican from Sikeston who introduced legislation, told KCUR.

Rehder said the tests are a necessary harm reduction tool. "We need to be helping people stay alive and get them healthy and get them back to a good life."

Kansas legalized fentanyl test strips earlier this year.

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Claudia Brancart is an Up To Date producer for KCUR 89.3. She graduated from Pitzer College in Los Angeles where she majored in World Literature and Studio Art. You can reach her at claudiab@kcur.org.
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