Drug checking is an evidence-informed harm reduction measure that allows people to check what’s in their drugs.
Many drugs bought on the street do not contain the substances people expect and may be contain harmful and even deadly contaminants, such as fentanyl.
In partnership with regional health authorities, local community agencies, and various levels of government, the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) is offering anonymous, free drug checking at select locations across British Columbia.
This service can test a range of substances, including opioids, stimulants, and other psychoactive drugs such as MDMA. Results are usually available in fewer than 10 minutes.
HOW IT WORKS
Drug checking through the BCCSU pairs the use of a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer with fentanyl immunoassay strip testing. The FTIR can rapidly and accurately identify a wide range of compounds present in a sample, and the immunoassay strips are able to detect even trace amounts of fentanyl and some analogues.
Clients also have the option to submit a small sample for laboratory-based testing. Samples will be transferred to one of a laboratory partner to provide confirmatory testing to ensure the accuracy of results. The results will be posted here on a regular basis.
Read more about drug checking and drug checking technologies here: Drug Checking Evidence Review Report
TIMES & LOCATIONS
Insite (139 East Hastings)
Monday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Please note: Drug checking is not available at Insite on holiday Mondays
Molson Overdose Prevention Site (166 E Hastings)
Tuesday 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Overdose Prevention Society Overdose Prevention Site (58 E Hastings)
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
St. Paul's Hospital Overdose Prevention Site
Wednesday 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
SafePoint (2-10681 135A St)
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
ANKORS (101 Baker St)
Monday 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. + 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. + 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. + 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
ASK Wellness (433 Tranquille Rd)
Wednesday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Kipp-Mallery Pharmacy (207-775 McGill Rd)
Friday 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Kipp-Mallery Pharmacy (273 Victoria St)
Friday 2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
BCCSU is evaluating how this service may help people make informed decisions about substance use while providing valuable drug surveillance data to increase the public awareness about what’s in the drug supply.
This work is made possible through funding from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addiction Program, the City of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Foundation.
To learn more about drug checking, please contact us.
Karen McCrae, Program Manager