Drug checking services in Toronto, Ontario

This project is part of the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation.

In Progress

Substance Use, Harm Reduction and Addictions

Project Overview

As illicit fentanyl sweeps the country and fuels an enormous surge in overdose deaths, the federal government has declared a national public health crisis and allocated $116 million to an emergency response. Part of this response is a pilot project to implement of drug-checking services in Toronto, coordinated by the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation at MAP.

An innovative solution to protect people who rely on the street opioid supply.

Drug checking is an innovative harm-reduction solution that has been available in Europe since the 1990s. Drug checking allows people to test substances and/or used drug paraphernalia to find out their composition. Clients get their results along with harm reduction strategies to help them make educated choices about their drug use, and to help them avoid taking deadly amounts of toxic substances.

We are introducing drug-checking services to three supervised-consumption sites across Toronto’s west end and evaluating how well they work to reduce and prevent overdose. We will also aggregate the analysis results and share them broadly on a regular basis.

As a component of the Toronto Overdose Action Plan, Toronto Public Health will assist in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the project. Toronto Paramedic Services and the Chief Coroner of Ontario will share data to support the evaluation. Public Health Ontario, Health Canada’s Drug Analysis Service Laboratories, Ontario Harm Reduction Network, Street Health, and Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance will play an advisory role in the execution of this pilot project.

Learn more about the project.

Substance Use, Harm Reduction and Addictions

Dr. Dan Werb

A sought-after source of expertise on addictions and drug policy, Dr. Werb has devoted his career to the development of effective solutions to protect health and human rights among communities affected by drug use.

Investigators

Staff

  • Karen McDonald, Operations Manager
  • Nazlee Maghsoudi, Knowledge Translation Manager
  • Laura Orozco, Administrative and Communications Assistant

Funders

  • Health Canada
  • St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation

Collaborators

  • Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre
  • South Riverdale Community Health Centre
  • The Works at Toronto Public Health
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Contact Info

Karen McDonald

Operations Manager