Just last week, meth was found to contain fentanyl in Penticton, prompting a warning for overdoses in the community. (File Photo)

Interior Health rolling out take-home fentanyl detecting test strips for drugs

In Penticton, the strips will be available from the SOWINS mobile drug testing

  • Feb. 10, 2020 5:30 p.m.

Interior Health is rolling out take-home strips that can detect whether drugs contain fentanyl.

“Because of the stigma that still surrounds addiction, many people die from overdose alone and at home,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Giving people a simple, convenient way to check if their drugs contain fentanyl may help them avoid an overdose, and reduce the number of lives lost to the unpredictable and toxic drug supply.”

The strips will be available from Interior Health’s drug testing locations, which can be found www.drugchecking.ca.

READ MORE: Fentanyl found in meth prompts overdose alert in Penticton

With a dangerous batch of meth having recently hit the streets, it’s important to know what is in the drugs that people are using.

Interior Health executive director Roger Parsonage, explained for many people, there’s a certain amount of shame associated with their addiction, which makes it challenging for them to access drug-checking services at health care facilities.

“With these take-home drug checking strips, they can now make informed, safer choices – this service has the potential to save lives,” he said.

The take-home strips offer an alternative for those who wish to avoid the stigma or shame associated with going to a drug testing site or service.

According to Jessica Bridgeman, the harm reduction coordinator with Interior Health clients have been asking for take-home test strips

“This is one more tool among other strategies we have implemented to address the ongoing opioid overdose crisis,” said Bridgeman. “Take-home drug checking can be particularly helpful to those in rural and remote communities who may not have access to other overdose prevention services.”

A small amount of a drug is mixed with a few drops of water, the test strip is inserted into the solution, and a positive or negative for fentanyl is revealed within seconds.

Additional sites where the test strips will be available are in Vernon, Kelowna, Kamloops, Merritt, Cranbrook and Nelson.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Drugs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Work begins on new affordable housing building in Nelson

The 39-unit project is expected to be complete by July 2021

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

Morning Start: 180 different bird species exist in Kootenay National Park

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 29

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Join Kootenay family in virtual walk for Ronald McDonald House

“We always described it as our oasis in the middle of the desert,” Brigitte Ady shares.

Most Read