While street drug testing is new to Saskatchewan, in B.C. it’s helped prevent overdoses for years

published on August 5, 2021 by Miriam Valdes-Carletti in CTV News Saskatoon

SASKATOON — On Tuesday the provincial government announced it would be funding drug testing strips to detect two potentially deadly substances sometimes found in street drugs.

While the drug testing strips are new to Saskatchewan, other jurisdictions such as B.C. have incorporated them into their harm reduction strategies for years.

Medical health officer Dr. Mark Lysyshyn with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) says the authority looked into drug testing strips in 2016 and felt if people could identify contaminants, people might make different decisions about how and where they use drugs.

“We first looked at this at (supervised drug use centre) Insite because it was sort of a controlled environment where we could see people using the strips, we could see what they did with the result and then we could see if they overdosed,” Lysyshyn told CTV News…

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