Senator Laura EllmanSPRINGFIELD – As the number of overdoses continues to rise in Illinois and people fall victim to fentanyl-laced drugs, State Senator Laura Ellman is working to mitigate this critical issue with legislation that allows for free distribution of fentanyl test strips to the public.

“Fentanyl overdoses and fentanyl-laced drugs have been a longstanding issue across Illinois residents and families,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “This legislation will help organizations make life-saving fentanyl testing available to all residents so they can avoid accidentally consuming fentanyl-laced substances.”

Currently, non-medical persons are authorized to administer naloxone to someone experiencing an opioid overdose under the Drug Overdose Prevention Program established by the Illinois Department of Human Services. Previous legislation permits pharmacists and retailers to sell fentanyl test strips over-the-counter and county health departments are able to distribute test strips to the public for no fee. Additionally, pharmacists, physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants or their designee may distribute drug adulterant testing supplies to any person without being prosecuted.

Under Senate Bill 3350, IDHS would establish or authorize programs to distribute fentanyl test strips to promote harm reduction efforts and prevent overdoses.

“If this legislation encourages one person to get the test they need before something fatal occurs, then it has done its job to protect our residents,” said Ellman. “I look forward to advancing this bill to expand public safety resources for all Illinois residents.”

Senate Bill 3350 passed Senate Public Health Committee on Tuesday and heads to the full Senate for consideration.