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

How to Test Your Drugs Using Our Benzo 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 location:

Below is a guide on how to use our Benzo 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 Fentanyl testing strips, click here.

About Our Kits

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

About Benzos

When Benzos are used, they have a sedative effect and ease anxiety. They are considered a “depressant”; just like opioids, benzos increase the risk of overdose because they can cause memory blackouts, loss of consciousness, and slowing of breathing.

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 test strips.


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. 


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. Shake up the baggie to help dissolve the substance. 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. This should take about two minutes.
  10. Read the results on the strip. Read them within five 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.

If also testing with Fentanyl test strips…

Use about a pinhead-sized amount of your substance to test. Test with the fentanyl test strip after using your Benzo test strip. If you use a fentanyl strip to test a stimulant like meth or cocaine and get a positive result, dilute the sample with more water and test again.

More you need to know:

These strips do not tell you how much or which Benzo is present in your sample. Even if only one faint red line appears, the test is still valid and positive for a Benzo. 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 a benzo but the other part of your sample might still have a benzo in it.  


Benzo test strips do not guarantee 100% accuracy. False negatives are likely if your drugs aren’t dissolved well or there isn’t enough of the benzo present to react to the strip as positive. False positives are also possible, but research on this is limited.

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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