The Drug-Checking sub-study is focused on the design and implementation of a drug-checking intervention in a community-based setting (Health Initiative for Men) for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM). The aim of the drug-checking intervention is to provide information on the chemical composition of substances, including the presence of harmful adulterants such as fentanyl. This is achieved through the use of a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer and supplemented with fentanyl test strips, which can detect the presence of fentanyl below 5% (the minimum concentration a FTIR spectrometer can detect).

Major research questions

  1. What are the factors (e.g., micro, meso, macro) that led to the development of HiM’s drug-checking intervention located within a service that is focused on the health needs of gbMSM?
  2. What were the challenges that arose in developing and implementing HiM’s drug-checking intervention for gbMSM, and how were those challenges overcome?
  3. What are the lessons learned for other community-based organizations that have had the opportunity to implement a drug-checking intervention?


The objectives of the sub-study are to:

  1. Describe the implementation process of a drug-checking intervention for gbMSM;
  2. Identify ‘lessons-learned’ from HiM’s drug-checking intervention; and
  3. Inform other community-based settings on setting up drug-checking interventions using HiM’s experience as an example.


  • Community-Based Research Centre
  • Health Initiative for Men (HiM)


Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Interested in finding out more about the Drug-Checking Study?

Please contact Research Manager Cathy Chabot at [email protected].

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