New mail-in drug testing service opens in Canada

BC-based service hopes to reduce stigma and harm associated with drug use

BC-based drug testing project is looking to lessen the stigma associated with drug use. (Submitted)

New drug testing project has launched in Vancouver with the goal of providing all Canadian’s the opportunity to know what is in their substance in order to make informed decisions. Dana Larsen, Canadian author and longtime cannabis activist launched Get Your Drugs Tested to facilitate the analysis of street drugs.

This has been a passion project for Larsen who strongly believes that testing substances before they even touch the hands of consumers would be ideal but this is the next best thing.

“Of course it would be better if people’s drugs were tested before they get them during the manufacturing process and they could buy legally and in a regulated and controlled manner but failing that, testing them before they take them is the next best thing,” Larsen said.

Get Your Drugs Tested is providing testing not only for those in the Lower Mainland but also across Canada. With the option for mail-in testing, Larsen acknowledges that he runs the risk of legal issues associated with trafficking.

“I’m not really too worried about that,” Larsen expressed. “I’m more worried about saving lives, helping people avoid dangerous drugs, making sure they can have knowledge about what they’re taking and I don’t really anticipate any legal issues around this. I would be very surprised.”

To get a sufficient reading, those looking to test their narcotics would only need to send in a small sample. This sample would have to make up a minimum of 10 millegrams; which would later be destroyed after the results were given to the consumer.

Testing is available for most drugs including cocaine, ecstasy and other psychedelic drugs. Larsen also states that their readings can also detect Fentanyl but will test again with a Fentanyl strip since it is known to be dangerously potent at low doses.

Larsen is looking to reduce the stigma associated with drug use and help Canadians make an informed decision with what and how they use. Services such as this are available on select days and hours at Insight Overdose Prevention sites across the province but the stigma is still a barrier.

“I have trouble seeing some kid from Burnaby or Surrey coming down to the Overdose Prevention Site to get their ecstasy tested,” Larsen said. “That’s a real barrier for people to go into a place like that. There’s less stigma involved, it’ll be an alternative option for people.”

As this program grows, Larsen is hopeful to open a storefront to make testing nearly instantaneous. Tests can be completed within an hour of receiving the sample in the mail.

Get Your Drugs Tested is currently asking for a $5 donation to cover the cost of employee wages to run tests.

For more information on how to utilize this service, visit getyourdrugstested.com.

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