“If you have to drink water every day and you don’t know whether the glass you’re about to drink is going to kill you or not, you will be pretty aware of the need to test that substance.”
Drugs sold on the streets today are often cut with fentanyl, and are killing users right now. Awareness campaigns haven’t worked, political options take years of debate and legislating to arrive on the front lines, and meanwhile…people keep dying. We’ve already seen the impact that having users inject in a safe space can have on overdoses, so what if we offered to test the drugs for them before they injected.
A new program that’s part of a massive focus on urban health through Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital is going to make that offer and see where it leads, as part of a seven-city trial that is taking a new approach to halting overdose deaths. Will it work? And, in this case, what would success look like?
GUEST: Dr. Dan Werb, addictions epidemiologist, St. Michael’s Hospital, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions