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.