Find out what’s in your drugs.
Drug checking is a harm reduction service. It helps community members check their drugs for fentanyl and other contaminants and take action to reduce overdose risk and other harms.
There are two different ways to check drugs in our region – fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers and fentanyl test strips.
All drug checking services are free and confidential.
Fourier-transform infrared spectrometers
Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers can identify up to six substances in a drug sample.
Examples include heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, fentanyl, benzodiazepines and various cutting agents.
FTIR spectrometers work by shining infrared light at a sample and measuring how that light is absorbed. Drugs and cutting agents have unique absorption patterns that are identifiable by a trained technician.
The test takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.
A 5mg sample (about the size of a match head) is needed.
Locations offering this service
See SafePoint drug checking poster for details
- Purpose Society – Starship Health Contact Centre
Fentanyl test strips
Fentanyl test strips can detect fentanyl and some fentanyl analogues in a drug sample.
Individuals mix the sample (equal to a few grains of sand) with a small amount of water, place the test strip in the water and a positive or negative result is revealed in minutes.
For more information on drug checking with fentanyl test strips, please see our step-by-step guide:
Location(s) offering this service
Drug checking for all chemicals
The Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) machine can identify multiple ingredients, including cutting agents.
Point of Care Drug checking service is offered at Starship Health Contact Centre Purpose Society from Monday - Thursday 12:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., Fridays 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sundays 3:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Substances can also be dropped-off anytime. Drop-off samples at Purpose Society at 38 Begbie Street from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. After 4:30 p.m., drop-off behind Purpose society on Alexander Street, right across from the New Westminster Skytrain station.
Drug checking service is offered on Wednesdays at SafePoint from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Substances can also be dropped-off anytime. Samples will be run through the FTIR by the technician on Wednesdays and results will be available Wednesday afternoon.
Samples need to be at least 3mg and cannot be returned. Schedules subject to change.