Edmonton substance users can get drugs checked at new downtown testing site

published on August 1, 2023 by Natasha Riebe in CBC News

As overdoses in Edmonton reach record-high levels, users can visit a free drug-checking site that will analyze substances to determine what is in them and whether they’ve been cut with high-potency materials.

The Spectrum drug testing program, which operates Monday and Friday afternoons at 105th Street and Jasper Avenue, uses a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer to analyze stimulants, including cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA, and opioids like heroin and fentanyl.

Spectrum, launched last week by the Queer and Trans Health Collective, is the first physical site in Edmonton to offer a drug-checking service.

“We know that people are going to use substances whether we like it or not,” Jess Murray, the collective’s harm-reduction manager, said in an interview last week.

“We just want to make sure that if they are using substances, they know what’s in the substances, they’re able to get supplies for their substances to use them more safely.” …

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