ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Activists are encouraging people to use test strips on drugs as the number of fentanyl overdose deaths rises in Minnesota.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that the strips offer a simple way for people to tell whether there’s potentially dangerous fentanyl in the drugs they’re about to take.

Fentanyl is considered more powerful than heroin. The synthetic opioid is often mixed with other drugs to increase their strength. It’s difficult to tell how strong fentanyl is in a doctored drug, so there’s a high risk for overdoses.

Activists distributing the strips in the Twin Cities say it’s a way to reach people who may overdose but won’t seek help for fear of criminal charges or social stigma.

Activist Brit Culp says volunteers like her cover the cost of the $1 strips.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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