Where can I get my drugs checked in Penticton?

ASK Wellness Society in collaboration with Interior Health is hosting a FTIR Spectroscopy which will be operate five days a week. This means, our community has access to in-depth drug checking as a harm reduction tool. To ensure success of the program and uptake in the community, the FTIR will be available in the community two times a week for in-person testing (using COVID safety measures).

  • Mondays at Victory Shelter (starting Nov 8)
  • Wednesdays at Compass House and Martin St. Outreach Centre (starting Nov 3)
  • Sunday-Thursday Burdock House (for clients only due to COVID)

Sample drop-off locations are also available at Victory shelter, Compass House, Martin St. Outreach Centre, Burdock House and SOWINS Centre.

Drug checking results will be posted weekly to ASK Wellness Society Penticton Facebook page. 

A special thank you to the UBCO HaRT team who supported community based FTIR testing in Penticton over the last year.  The HaRT team will continue to be providing FTIR services to Foundry Penticton on the last Friday of the month. 

FTIR Penticton poster – help spread the word!


Drug Checking Report for Interior Health – September 2021 – BCCSU

Key findings:

The percentage of opioids testing positive for benzodiazepines in the region (41%, 19 of 46 samples) increased from last month, but trends may be hard to infer due to the small number of samples over a large region. Etizolam, the predominant benzodiazepine in expected opioids, may be missed by drug checking technologies. This means that the true rate may be higher than reported here.

Fentanyl was detected in 3 stimulant samples. While these results are concerning, two of the findings can be explained by cross-contamination after purchase.

Read the full report.

ANKORS Nelson – Drug Checking Report – Week of October 4, 2021

This week at ANKORS we tested a large variety of down samples of varying colours. The fentanyl content of these samples was consistent with recent trends, at about 10%. What is more concerning, however, is that all of the down samples tested positive for benzodiazepines using benzodiazepine test strips.

When used with fentanyl or other opioids, benzodiazepines have synergistic effects. Down samples with benzodiazepines or their analogues can increase the chance of overdose, and often cause atypical overdose responses. Benzodiazepines do not respond to naloxone; therefore it is important to give breaths when responding to an atypical overdose. Please continue to encourage people who are using drugs to have their drugs checked, to start slow, and to refrain from using alone.

While drug checking can help reduce the risk of using drugs by allowing users to make better informed decisions, please recognize that the use of FTIR spectrometry and test strips has limitations. Notably, the FTIR cannot detect substances that are present in small amounts or substances that are absent from the reference database. No drug use is completely safe, and checking your drugs does not eliminate all risk.