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The night before my 19-year-old son Tyler died, he was taken to the emergency room and given a standard five panel tox screen. It came out negative for everything. I asked the treating doctor three times if they tested for fentanyl and three times they said yes, their opioid test would detect it. I later found out that the doctor was misinformed and a standard opioid test does not test for a synthetic opioid like fentanyl. Had I known Tyler had fentanyl in his system, we would have sent him to a higher level care facility like a detox center or residential treatment home and not to the sober living facility where he died the next day.


Another example involves a teen who was brought into the emergency room in a very disoriented state. He only tested positive for marijuana, but later died of fentanyl poisoning due to counterfeit pills. After he passed, his mother discovered he had been using the pills, made up of fentanyl and binding agents at the time he was taken to the hospital. 

In another instance, a child was placed on life-support after being found unconscious from a suspected drug overdose. Fentanyl was not included in the toxicology screen upon admittance to the hospital and he was later given fentanyl as standard protocol while being put on a ventilator. The coroner was not able to differentiate if the fentanyl in his system was illicit fentanyl or fentanyl prescribed to him in the hospital.


A positive fentanyl test can save lives. It can:

1. Alert the patient

2. Alert the doctor, provider or parents of the patient

3. Prompt a prescription for naloxone

4. Make the patient dispose of counterfeit pills and alert friends who may be using

5. Connect the patient with drug treatment or motivation to change

6. Help law enforcement in the prosecution of drug dealers



H.R. 6600/S.3519 Tyler’s Law would prevent a scenario such as those mentioned above by requiring HHS to issue guidance to emergency rooms on fentanyl testing. 

Join the many who are endorsing Tyler’s Law or Have your name or your organization added to the list of those endorsing Tyler’s Law.

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