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 6:30 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

Just Posted

Hospital’s Chief of Staff asks residents for help containing COVID-19

Invermere & District Hospital Chief of Staff says COVID-19 cases here, caution and care needed

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

Burning restrictions to lower risk for COVID-19

Province issues burning restrictions to help everyone breathe easier

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read