The United States has been struggling with a drug problem for decades now – and it seems like every time that the authorities manage to put a kink in the pipeline that’s putting one type of drug on the streets, something else emerges.

It was LSD in the 60s, heroin in the 70s, cocaine in the 80s and so on – and all of those seem to pale in comparison to the devastation caused by the opioid epidemic. Now, fentanyl, which is many times stronger than morphine, is one of the scariest illicit drugs in popular use, and it’s being mixed in with other drugs to give them an added “kick,” with fatal results. It would make sense then, for addicts and recreational users to test their drugs for traces of fentanyl before they use them – but the test strips are actually illegal in Texas.

Testing for fentanyl is, essentially, breaking the law

Essentially, the problem is that the Texas Controlled Substances Act considers all drug testing equipment to be drug paraphernalia, which is illegal. While the strips are sold openly on internet sites (some of which will even ship to Texas) and available in drug stores in many other states, having a box of them – or even a single test strip – in your possession here is a crime.

If you feel like this doesn’t make a lot of sense, given the fact that people are dying simply because they’re in the grip of their addictions, you aren’t alone. There are several bills in the works that aim to make these test strips legal. Opponents say that doing so would simply encourage people to use more drugs by making them feel safer – but the reality is that addicts are going to take risks if they have no other choice.

Drug addiction is a disease, but not everybody sees it that way. If your drug addiction has led to criminal charges, it may be time to seek compassionate counsel about your legal options.