Our Story

The BCCSU Drug Checking Program was launched in 2017 to implement and evaluate drug checking in community settings throughout BC, with grants from Health Canada and Vancouver Foundation.

Now funded through BC’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and the Ministry of Health, the BCCSU Drug Checking Program supports a network of drug checking services across BC. In partnerships with BC’s five regional health authorities and harm-reduction organizations across the province, we collaborate with our partners to share data collected from drug checking services with the public, train technicians to operate drug checking technologies and develop operational guidance and standard operating procedures. Meet our team.

Drug checking services in the provincial network use a combination of Fourier-transform infrared spectrometry and test strips for fentanyl and benzodiazepine. Other technologies are also accessed provide further analysis for complex samples.  Learn about these technologies and how they work.

Drug checking services in our network are available in a number of cities and towns across BC. Some services offer outreach or drop-off options for people living in rural and remote areas, and for those who are unable or choose not to access drug checking services in-person. Learn about drug checking locations in BC.

Since our launch, we’ve collected data on thousands of samples at overdose prevention sites, supervised consumption sites, music festivals, and other community settings designated for the service. Results from these drug checks have helped people learn about what is in their drugs so that they can make more informed decisions about their use. Drug checking data has also revealed trends in the drug supply, identified new substances, and contributed to a better understanding of how a toxic drug supply is contributing to the public health emergency in BC.

We share our data freely in our DrugSense Dashboardmonthly summariestechnical reports and published research.