OTTAWA, June 22, 2018 /CNW/ - With the growing availability of fentanyl test strips on store shelves and online, Health Canadawould like to remind Canadians of the potential limitations when using fentanyl test strips to detect fentanyl or other deadly substances in street drugs before consuming them.
No fentanyl test strips are specifically designed to check street drugs before consumption.
Health Canada is reminding Canadians that to help prevent a fatal overdose, it is important to treat all street drugs as though they are potentially contaminated with unknown deadly substances.
Use every precaution, even if you or your friends use fentanyl test strips:
Find out more about how to reduce the risks of drugs and alcohol, particularly at summer festivals.
Limitations of fentanyl test stripsIn December 2017, Health Canada advised Canadians about the potential limitations of fentanyl test strips when used to check street drugs before consumption. A preliminary study by the Department of a fentanyl test strip product indicated that false negatives could occur. A false negative result means that the test strip did not detect a targeted drug even though the drug was present in the sample. A false negative could lead to a false sense of security, which may result in drug use that could lead to overdose or death.
Health Canada has undertaken additional assessments of the same fentanyl test strip and found that while the product detected fentanyl every time, it was not reliable for detecting some fentanyl analogs. This includes carfentanil, a drug that is far more toxic than fentanyl.
Test strips may not always detect a drug, even ones they are designed to target. There are many reasons for this:
Health Canada is working with companies to include warnings on the packages of test strips that detect the presence of fentanyl and/or its analogs, to better inform consumers about the risks of unreliable results when using the fentanyl test strips to check street drugs they plan to consume.
For more information:
SOURCE Health Canada
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