Article012 N29Update

Here’s a quick guide on how to check for fentanyl in powders and pills using test strips.

Fentanyl is a drug that is often used medically to relieve pain. Only extremely small doses are needed to have an effect and a few micrograms extra can cause an overdose. This is why, if you’re not expecting fentanyl, you might unexpectedly overdose.

Here's a quick guide from our mates at The Level on how to check for fentanyl by using fentanyl test strips:


How to check for fentanyl

This video shows you how to check for fentanyl using testing strips

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In New Zealand you can order fentanyl test strips online through the Hempstore or the NZ Needle Exchange.


1. Crush and shake to create an even mix

2. Get a clean container and fill it with 5ml of water

This is about one teaspoon or bottle cap.

3. Put about 10mg of the sample in the water

This is about the size of a matchstick head and a microscoop can help.

4. Stir until dissolved

5. Hold the dark blue end of the fentanyl test strip and put it the other end into the liquid, no higher than the blue line

Wait 15 seconds to allow the liquid to travel up the strip.

6. Remove the strip and put it on a flat surface

In about three minutes the results will show.

7. Find out what you have

Two red lines indicate that fentanyl is not present.

One red line indicates that fentanyl is present.

No red lines indicates that the test did not work. Do it again with a new strip.

Please let us know if you get a positive result using a fentanyl test strip. Tell us what region you're in and what you thought the substance was. This helps us understand how widespread this issue is. It's completely anonymous.


Drug checking clinics can also give you more detailed information about what’s in a substance. You can find a calendar of upcoming clinics here at The Level.

If you have any concerns about your own drinking or drug taking, get in touch with the Alcohol Drug Helpline Call 0800 787 797, or text 8681, to speak with a trained counsellor – they’ll be able to provide you with helpful information, insight and support. They’re available 24/7, all calls are free and confidential. You can also chat with the team through the website.