Cooper Noriega seemed to be living the dream. At just 19 years old, the social media influencer had amassed millions of followers on TikTok, along with hundreds of thousands more on other social platforms. Not stopping there, he ventured into modeling and had ambitious plans to launch a clothing line focusing on mental health awareness.

“In the world of modeling and advertising and brand representation, the world was shifting towards that social media model versus the $20 million a year supermodels, walking the ramp, etc,” Harold Noriega told Emily’s Hope founder Angela Kennecke during a Grieving Out Loud podcast. “He got involved with that, and he resonated with others, and he just skyrocketed to having a lot of success.”

However, Cooper died at just 19 years old from taking a pill he thought was Xanax. 

“He never made it out of the parking lot where he met the individual to buy what he thought was one Xanax,” Harold said.

Unfortunately, Cooper’s story is becoming all too common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out an alert earlier this year about a rise in deadly overdoses involving fake prescription pills–those overdoses doubled from July 2019 to December 2021.

Because of the danger, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expedited clearance of the first over-the-counter urine test for fentanyl. Alltest Fentanyl Urine Test Cassette offers a simple and quick testing process. Users apply three drops of fresh urine to a cassette containing a fentanyl test strip, and the test result appears within five minutes.

“Opioid abuse, misuse and addiction is one of the most profound public health crises facing the U.S. today,” said Jeff Shuren, M.D., J.D., Director, FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. 

The CDC reports that over the past year, more than 111,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses and fentanyl poisonings. It has become the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

“It is also a very personal issue for many people, impacting individual lives and families,” Shuren said.

The FDA’s expedited review of the fentanyl urine test resulted in a decision within a remarkably short 16-day period from the date of submission. However, it’s important to note that this test provides only preliminary results. A more specific alternative chemical method, known as confirmation testing, is required to obtain a confirmed test result.

Additionally, it’s crucial to be aware that certain foods or dietary supplements may produce a false positive test result. 

“FDA Cleared” is a less stringent standard than “FDA Approved,” which signifies that a specific product has undergone comprehensive testing for both safety and effectiveness.