Fentanyl and Xylazine Test Strips

What are Fentanyl Test Strips?

Fentanyl test strips are small strips that can detect whether fentanyl is present in a drug sample before using it. These strips are one way to help prevent drug overdose and reduce harm.

How to Use a Fentanyl Test Strip

What Do I Need?

  • 1 shot glass, half-filled with water
    1. You can use any small container. Little ketchup cups work well! Whatever container you use, only use about a half (1/2) a shot glass of water (15mL).
    2. If you are testing a stimulant (like meth, cocaine, or MDMA) use a full shot glass of water instead.
  • Fentanyl test strip
  • Very small amount of powder to test, about the size of a match head or half a grain of rice

How to Use the Strip

  1. Put the powder in the glass of water and swirl it until it is completely dissolved. (If you want to test something that isn’t a powder, crush it first.)
  2. Hold the solid blue and of the test strip and dip the other end in the water.
  3. Hold the strip in the water for about ten seconds. Keep the water below the line on the strip.
    1. You will know it’s ready because the water will be sucked up into the white part of the strip.
  4. Take the strip out of the water and wait sixty (60) seconds.
  5. Use a bright light to look at the strip and count how many red lines there are. Even very light red lines count. Note: No drug is completely safe. Make sure someone is with you who can give naloxone (Narcan) or call for help if you need it.
    1. Two red lines means: No, there is no fentanyl
    2. One red line means: Yes, there is fentanyl
  6. Make sure you check the strip within ten minutes of doing the test. Throw the strip away when you are done.

Source: Cook County Department of Public Health

Fentanyl Test Strip Instruction

What is Xylazine?

 Xylazine, also known as “Tranq,” is a powerful tranquilizer that is made for veterinary use.  It is not an opioid, but is increasingly being found in the illegal drug supply. Fentanyl mixed with xylazine has been declared an emerging threat by the White House’s Office of National Dug Control Policy.

How to Use Xylazine Test Strips

  1. Prepare
    1. Take a 5 mg scoop of the substance. Tip: 10 mg = enough to cover the hair of Abraham Lincoln’s head on a penny.
    2. Add substance to 5 mL of sterile water in a clean, dry container (a cooker, bottle cap, o baggie the substance came in)
  2. Open the test strip
    1. Hold the solid red end of the test strip
    2. Dip the test strip in the water for 15 seconds. No water should go above the bottom red line.
    3. Remove the strip from water and place on a flat surface for 2-4 minutes.
  3. Read results
    1. After 2-4 minutes read results
      1. Positive for Xylazine: One red line
      2. Negative for Xylazine: Two red lines. The second line can be faint. This still means negative.

Xylazine Test Strip Instructions

Illinois Xylazine Best Practices for Health Care Providers

Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Human Services have developed a guide with xylazine best practices for health care providers.