MSHP changes drug testing protocol among fentanyl concerns

(KFVS) - The fear of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs leads to changes for the Missouri state Highway Patrol.

"With the fentanyl you can actually inhale the powder or it can go through your eyes and that kind of thing," said Mark McClendon with SEMO Drug Task Force.

He said they're finding fentanyl in everything from pain pills to heroin.  That's why the Missouri State Highway Patrol is no longer testing substances in the field.

Under the new policy, troopers and task force officers will have to send the substances to a lab where they can be tested without risk of injury.

"The lab is backed up months," said Stoddard County prosecuting attorney Russell Oliver, and without field testing, he said his job becomes more difficult.

In a statement the Missouri state highway patrol said protocols are in place for limited rapid testing when necessary.

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