PENNSYLVANIA, (WHTM) – It’s been seven months since Pennsylvania passed a new law that makes buying and carrying fentanyl test strips legal.

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol says Fentanyl is the leading substance in overdose deaths. In 2021, 78% of overdoses were related to Fentanyl.

“And Xylazine also contributed to 760 deaths in 39 counties during 2022. And this amount increased more than, you know, the amount increased more than 1,000% since 2018,” Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Dr. Latika Davis-Jones said.

Lori Mishler whose daughter is Sara Mishler struggled with substance use disorder for about four years and died from an accidental overdose when she was 25 years old.

“She died of a pure fentanyl overdose. Had she had that, I would have gladly given her the test strips to carry with herself,” Lori said.

In an effort to save more lives and prevent drug overdoses, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol is creating an online portal where you can go and order fentanyl test strips.

“It’s all about overdose prevention. We’re trying to prevent overdose deaths. Whether, you know, someone is actively engaged in using drugs, we feel it’s important that they can make a form, an informed decision. It’s really about reducing harm, harm reduction is the focus,” Dr. Latika Davis-Jones said.

The online portal is still in the works, but Dr. Davis-Jones says they hope to have the portal up and running by the end of the summer, or early fall.

Lori wants to share a message for people struggling with this illness.

“To the person struggling with substance use disorder, take the step and get the help because your life is worth living and it has meaning and purpose,” Lori said.

The ‘Get Help Now Hotline’ is a 24/7 free hotline to help those struggling with a substance use disorder find immediate help: 1-800-662-HELP.