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Background

Overdose deaths from opioids are reaching levels unseen since 2015 due to an increased flow of fentanyl into New Hampshire. It is more important than ever for New Hampshire to adopt evidence-based harm reduction strategies to save lives. 

Harm reduction is rooted in evidence-based practices and incorporates a spectrum of strategies including safer techniques, managed use, and abstinence to promote the dignity and well-being of people who use drugs. In New Hampshire, the Syringe Service Program provides sterile supplies, safe disposal, Narcan, support, and referrals to those in need. 

However, drug testing kits like fentanyl testing strips are illegal to possess in New Hampshire despite being a proven harm reduction tool. Fentanyl test strips are small strips of paper that can detect the presence of fentanyl in all different kinds of drugs (cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, etc.) and drug forms (pills, powder, and injectables). Recent reporting in New Hampshire indicates that fentanyl is routinely mixed with non-opioid drugs.

 

Current Legislation

A 2023 house bill (HB 470) would remove fentanyl testing strips and other drug testing kits from the definition of drug paraphernalia and would legalize the use of drug testing equipment. 

 

Our Position 

New Futures supports HB 470. Drug testing kits such as fentanyl test strips are a proven strategy that can save lives. Testing strips were specifically designed to prevent overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, FTSs “are a low-cost method of helping prevent drug overdoses and reducing harm.

 

Study: Fentanyl test strips as an opioid overdose prevention strategy: Findings from a syringe services program in the Southeastern United States

 

Take Action

HB 470 has a hearing scheduled for Thursday, January 26th at 3:45 pm at the State House in Rep's Hall. 

Take action by: 

HB 470