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New drug-checking tool available in Port Hardy

Port Hardy is getting a new tool to help protect people from toxic street drugs.

Island Health is bringing a Fourier-Transform Infra-red spectrometer to Port Hardy. It will be installed at the mental health and substance use office on Shorncliffe Avenue.

The device will screen for contaminants, helping people find out what is in their drugs and avoid potentially lethal substances.

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Island Health board chair Leah Hollins says it’s critical that harm reduction tools are accessible to everyone.

“This is the first enhanced drug checking service within the area of Mount Waddington Regional District,” said Hollins. “As part of Island Health’s priorities to increasing access to life-saving services, it demonstrates our commitment to providing more equitable overdose response.”

They say that when you go to the office, you can have a sample checked and get results within 20 minutes. If it’s after-hours, Island Health adds that you can drop off the samples through a secure mail slot and get results on the next business day.

This service is free and available Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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