The battle to legalize fentanyl testing strips continues in Austin

Houston Area Representative: “It’s an early warning system,”

HOUSTON – In Austin on Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott announced immediate emergency actions to combat the rising number of fentanyl deaths in Texas. The governor making the announcement at a fentanyl summit consisting of more than 250 people where the governor announced his One Pill Kills campaign.

On Friday morning, KPRC 2 Investigates spoke with State Representative Tom Oliverson on specific legislation targeting the disguising characteristic that fentanyl not only possesses but that also makes it so deadly.

“Greater than 90% of people who succumb to fentanyl, who die of fentanyl did not know they had fentanyl when they took it. They thought they were taking something else,” said Oliverson.

There is a way to eliminate the guessing game through what KPRC 2 first reported on last month, testing strips. The process consists of simple test obtained through kits not legal in Texas, but they are in other states. “It’s an early warning system,” said Oliverson.

Currently the strips are considered as drug paraphernalia in Texas but Oliverson says House Bill 362 – which he and others from both sides of the aisle are sponsoring - can change that.. ‘The testing strips give the person who acquired this drug the ability to test for the presence of fentanyl. It’s highly accurate, it’s highly specific,” said Oliverson.

On Monday KPRC 2 Investigates will be examining more legislation filed this session focused on the fentanyl crisis.

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Journalistic bulldog focused on accountability and how government is spending your dollars. Husband to Wonder Woman, father to a pitcher and two Cavapoos. Prefers queso over salsa.