Fact Sheet Harm Reduction Legal ProjectMechanisms for Advancing Public Health
Legality of Drug Checking Equipment in Illinois
June 1, 2022
In 2021, nearly two thirds of overdose deaths in the U.S. involved a synthetic opioid, most commonly fentanyl. Fentanyl is more potent than many other opioids and because it’s difficult for people who use heroin and other street opioids to know or control the amount of fentanyl present in an opioid, they are at a heightened risk for overdose. Because no safe supply of many drugs is readily available, helping people who use drugs determine what is in those drugs can reduce overdose morbidity and mortality. This fact sheet examines the legality of distributing drug checking equipment in Illinois, equipment that can provide detailed analysis of the substances present in a drug sample.