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Public Drug Testing Sites Are Helping Dealers Prevent Overdoses (BCCSU)

BCCSU Public Drug Testing Sites are helping dealers prevent overdoses (Photo credit: Vice)
BCCSU Public Drug Testing Sites are helping dealers prevent overdoses (Photo credit: Vice)

Street-level dealers in Vancouver are accessing free drug checking services at overdose prevention sites around the city. In doing so, they’re keeping folks in their community—their clients—safe.

James*, a dealer and user who accesses testing services at an overdose prevention site in Surrey, British Columbia for roughly a year, and says that more and more street-level dealers are using the service.

The British Columbia Centre On Substance Use (BCCSU) offers checking services at five locations in Vancouver and the surrounding area. The testing is a combination of two technologies: fentanyl test strips, which specifically detect fentanyl in samples, and the Fourier-Transform Infrared [FT-IR] Spectrometer, a portable machine that can detect components in a sample that are present above about 5 percent. BCCSU drug check technician Sam Tobias trains volunteers and workers on the FT-IR system, and performs drug checking a few days each week in Vancouver. He calls the service “point of care drug checking” that takes around 10 minutes and doesn’t damage the client’s sample.

Click here to read the full story in Vice.

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