Image on the Rapid Response Fentanyl test strip package with test strip. Text reads "How To Test Your Drugs Using Fentanyl Test Strips."

How to Test Your Drugs Using Fentanyl Test Strips

Alisha OstbergBlog, drug use, testing

Need to test your drugs? SafeLink Alberta provides fentanyl and benzo testing strips and kits. To get your kits, please visit our Calgary office:

Below is a guide on how to use our fentanyl testing strips. It is meant as a companion to instructions given to you by our staff. If you have another kit or type of testing strip from another provider, follow the instructions given to you in that test kit.

To read the blog on how to use Benzo testing strips, click here.

About Our Kits

Our strips were initially created to test for the presence of fentanyl in a urine sample. However, they can be used to test your drugs themselves. Don’t test your pee! 

Our strips are black but work the same as the ones pictured. Don’t dip above the black wavy lines on the strips you receive. These test strips are a harm-reduction tool and will indicate the presence of fentanyl in your sample. However, it is possible your supply could contain a type (like carfentanil) that these strips won’t pick up. 

What is in my testing kit?

  1. You need test strips.
  2. You need a clean container of water to test drugs in.
  3. You need some baggies to keep the substances and water in.
  4. You need finely crushed and mixed drugs to test.

The kits we provide at SafeLink Alberta include all of these things.

How do I use my kit?

There are two ways to use fentanyl test strips.

Dissolving all of your substance.

The best way to test your drugs using the strips is to dissolve your full supply in sterile water and stir it up to mix your drugs evenly. Afterward, after testing, you can inject or drink the mixture to use your substance. You can also wait for the water to evaporate and use your substance afterward. Depending on heat and humidity, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. 

Just remember, fentanyl test strips do not guarantee 100% accuracy. False positives are possible if your drug isn’t diluted properly, or if there is too much of the drug and too little water used – this happens especially with meth, MDMA, and cocaine. False negatives are possible if not enough of the drug is dissolved. Check out the limitations section below.

Using Substance Residue.

If you can’t dissolve your whole supply before testing, the next best way (although possibly less accurate) is to test the residue inside your baggie. To do this, crush all of your substances in one bag. Then, remove the substances from that bag and place them in another. You can use the residue from the first bag to test and still have most of your substance left over.


♬ original sound – SafeLink Alberta

Step-by-Step Guide:

An illustration of substances in plastic bags. Left shows the substance evenly crushed with a green checkmark. Right shows the substance unevenly crushed with large and small chunks with a red x.
Make sure your substance is finely crushed.
  1. Put your substance into one of the two provided baggies. You may also have a bag in which your substances came.
  2. Crush the substance into a fine powder.
  3. Give it a shake/mix to make sure the substance is all mixed.
  4. Pour your substance into another bag. If you wish to dissolve all of your substance into the sterile water, skip this step.
  5. Take your sterile water and pour it into the bag with the substances. Only use an amount equal to the amount in your bag. (See more information on dilution below).
  6. Make sure the substance is fully dissolved in the water.
  7. Dip your test strip into the water, making sure not to go past the wavy lines on the strip. Holding it there, you should see the mixture start to absorb into the strip.
  8. Hold the test strip in the water for 30 seconds.
  9. Lay the strip to dry while the lines appear.
  10. Read the results on the strip. Read them within 5 minutes of doing your test.

A positive test has one red line, a negative test has two red lines, and an invalid test has no lines.

Fentanyl test strips. Top shows fentanyl positive test with one red line. Bottom shows negative fentanyl test strips with two red lines.

More you need to know:

The strips do not tell you how much fentanyl is present or how strong it is. They also don’t tell you what kind of fentanyl analogue is in your sample or if there are any other cuts mixed into it. Even if only one faint red line appears, the test is still valid and positive for fentanyl. If no lines appear, do another test! 

If you don’t test your whole supply, there is a possibility of the Chocolate Chip Cookie Effect, which means the sample you tested might not test positive for fentanyl, but the other part of your sample might still have fentanyl in it.  


Fentanyl test strips do not guarantee 100% accuracy. False positives are possible if your drug isn’t diluted properly, or if there is too much of the drug and too little water used – this happens especially with meth, MDMA, and cocaine. False negatives are possible if not enough of the drug is dissolved. 

Remember: A POINT = 0.1 G = 100 MG 

For Meth and Cocaine 

For every 10mg of the drug, dilute it with 5ml of water (approximately 2 blue sterile waters). 


For MDMA, use 30ml of water to the pin head size of the substance, and if there is a positive, dilute even further and test again. 

For All Other Drugs 

For every 50mg, dilute it with 5ml of water (a standard plastic bottle cap is a bit larger than a teaspoon/5ml). 

Need testing strips? Give us a call.

Calgary Main Office: (403) 508-2500

Calgary Harm Reduction Outreach: (403) 813-5933

Need more help or want an in-person demonstration? Come to our Calgary office:

Want more instructions? Check out these additional guides and resources:

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