Drug checking as a harm reduction intervention

Kerr, Th; Tupper, K;
British Columbia Centre on Substance Use


This report reviews a) Drug Checking Technologies, b) Existing Drug Checking Services in other countries Overall conclusion: More research is needed to ascertain the effect of drug checking services on the drug use intentions and behaviours of service users, particularly people who use opioids regularly. However, the evidence currently available suggests that drug checking has been effective in monitoring the rapidly changing market of psychoactive drugs. This feature may be beneficial to people who use drugs regularly or occasionally. Given the alarming influx of high potency and adulterated drugs in the market in British Columbia in recent years, and the corresponding increase in overdose deaths, real-time, consumer-derived, street level generated data regarding trends in the illegal drug supply may be instrumental in appropriately allocating federal, provincial, and regional harm-reduction resources, and in providing potentially life-saving information to people who use illegal drugs.