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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 3, 2019 08:51 AM
From: Representative James B. Struzzi, II
To: All House members
Subject: Help Protect First Responders - Fentanyl Test Strips
Emergency first responders are on the front lines facing uncertainty every time they answer the call for an overdose situation. The place themselves in harm’s way not knowing what dangerous substances may be present including potentially deadly fentanyl. We must give them the proper tools to ensure their safety in these situations.

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation which will legalize test strips which can detect fentanyl for first responders in the Commonwealth.

As the opioid epidemic reaches catastrophic levels in Pennsylvania, we must continue to make laws and policies that work to end the problem. Fentanyl is being added to heroin to increase its potency leading to additional overdose deaths.

Under current law, test strips to detect fentanyl are defined as “drug paraphernalia” which are prohibited and carry serious penalties. My legislation will correct our statute to allow first responders to use these test strips to detect the presence of fentanyl. As a substance that can be fatal to the touch, we must protect our first responders by allowing them to carry this vital tool.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation which will protect our first responders.