Kansas Decriminalizes Fentanyl Test Strips

Kansas is no longer among the handful of states that has yet to legalize fentanyl test strips. Fentanyl test strips have been decriminalized in Kansas.

Governor Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 174 last week, a bipartisan bill that decriminalizes fentanyl test strips. According to the Governor’s office, Decriminalizing test strips, which can detect the presence of fentanyl in other substances, will help prevent overdose deaths in Kansas.

Here’s what they’re saying:

“The signing of SB 174 was a great first step for Kansas. Illicit fentanyl is the deadly drug threat our state has ever faced and I am grateful our legislators recognized the gravity of the situation and acted. The availability of this proactive harm reduction tool will save countless lives.”
– Libby Davis,
Parent of Cooper,
a 16-year-old who died from fentanyl poisoning in 2021

“It did not come soon enough to save my son. If this saves one mom from getting THAT phone call, one family from all this gut wrenching grief. Our effort and time has been well spent.” 
– Brandy Harris,
Parent of Sebastain,
a 21-year-old who died from fentanyl poisoning in 2022

“The fentanyl epidemic is devastating our communities. Senate Bill 174 represents our first steps in working together to fight this terrible drug. I am proud to stand with Governor Kelly as we continue to work together to save lives.”
 Rep. Stephen Owens (R),
District 74

“With the signing of Senate Bill 174, Kansas is putting into action the values of kindness, compassion, and love for our neighbors. By decriminalizing fentanyl testing strips, we are helping Kansans protect themselves from a deadly poison that has taken far too many lives – including the tragic and profoundly painful loss of far too many teenagers and young adults in our state.”
 Rep. Jason Probst (D),
District 102

“I am proud of the bipartisan effort that brought Senate Bill 174 to fruition.  Decriminalizing fentanyl test strips will save lives and enable our fellow citizens to access substance abuse treatment instead of possible death from these deadly poisons. We face a new epidemic—the opioid epidemic—and harm reduction tools like fentanyl  test strips will help us win this battle.”
– Rep. Bill Clifford (R),
District 122

“The more our communities are familiar and comfortable with risk mitigation strategies and resources, the better we’ll be able to address addiction and help more Kansans live full, healthy lives. Fentanyl test strips save lives, and I’m so grateful that Kansans will have legal access to this tool to prevent addiction and overdose deaths.”
– Senator Dinah Sykes,
Senate Minority Leader

“This of course couldn’t have happened without Governor Kelly, Representatives Probst and Owens, Libby Davis, Brandy Harris, organizations like the Kansas Recovery Network for their grassroots work and advocacy and all of the others that have been tirelessly advocating for this not just on the days of testimony but in their everyday lives. I hope this stands as an example for all of us to not just look at party affiliation but rather at the important things like what will save lives and allow us to continue to make interventions and offer education to individuals. This is a win but the work is never ending ahead of us. We need to continue to work together for solutions to these issues that really matter in order to make sure we are giving our most vulnerable populations the tools, resources, and compassion they need to live the lives that all Kansans deserve.”
– Seth Dewey,
Reno County Health Department

“With the signing of SB 174, people in Kansas will now have access to fentanyl test strips, which offer an easy-to-use method to protect themselves and the people they care about. Community members in Wyandotte County will greatly benefit from access to fentanyl test strips. It will directly address our rise of overdoses due to counterfeit pills and fentanyl contamination of our drug supply. It is such an important tool to save lives.”
– Erika Holliday, 
Substance Use Coordinator, Wyandotte County Health Department

“This bill is an important step toward the prevention, treatment and recovery efforts across the state of Kansas. We have all heard of the crippling effects that fentanyl is having across the nation, as well as here in our own community.  As overdose deaths and poisonings continue to rise across the state of Kansas, we owe it to all Kansans to utilize every tool in our toolbox to combat this deadly drug.”
– Kevin Kufeldt,
Director of Addiction and Residential Services,
Johnson County Mental Health Center

“Safe Streets Wichita is encouraged by the legalization of fentanyl test strips.  Supporting and accelerating public health approaches to reduce substance -related harms positions Kansas to better respond to the rising number of opioid overdose deaths. Echoing the sentiments of State law enforcement agencies, Kansas ‘can not continue to arrest our way of this overdose crisis.’ The passing of Senate Bill 174 decriminalizes substance use disorders and promotes prevention approaches that remove barriers, increase access to harm reduction and treatment, reduce racial and regional inequities in how people who use drugs are treated.”
– Aonya Kendrick Barnett,
Program Director, Safe Streets Wichita

“With the influx of fentanyl in the illicit drug supply, DCCCA is grateful to see fentanyl test strips decriminalized. Excluding fentanyl test strips from being identified as drug paraphernalia will help reduce unintentional ingestion and save lives. One life saved from an overdose death is an opportunity to help an individual get treatment and seek recovery.”
– Chrissy Mayer,
Chief Community-Based Services Officer, DCCCA Inc