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

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.