Interior Health to provide take-home drug testing kits

A new research project is trying to make illicit drug testing more accessible to users.

Health authorities across the province - including Interior Health - are taking part in the pilot, which will give users the means to test their own drug supply.

"For the last year, people have been able to come into a community site, get their drugs checked, and then take their information and go on their own way" said Harm Reduction Coordinator Jessica Bridgeman.

"Now we'll be training or teaching the individuals to do that test on their own"

The latest numbers from the BC Coroners Service show the majority of overdose deaths occur in the home. Bridgeman is hopeful the take home testing kits will make safe drug use more accessible to people in rural communities.

"I think this gives a good opportunity for people to come in and get five test strips and use them over a period of time that makes sense for them"

The pilot project will run for three months. Those who take part will be encouraged to share their experiences with Interior Health. Researchers will then use that information to determine whether the take-home tests can be used safely by users.