In response to the increasing rate of drug overdoses across BC, UBC Okanagan Campus Health established a Harm Reduction Team (HaRT) to engage the campus community in discussions about the opioid epidemic and substance use, and to build on existing strategies to strengthen harm reduction services. Working in partnership with Interior Health, HaRT launched a confidential drug checking service in December 2020 to provide detailed information about what is in substances and support informed decision making. In addition, the team provides guidance on lower-risk use, overdose prevention, and mental health support.
HaRT’s harm reduction services, including drug checking, are open to everyone – not just UBCO students, staff and faculty. HaRT uses a Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy machine to analyze drug samples alongside fentanyl and benzodiazepine test strips. The team also provides naloxone training and distribution, take-home fentanyl test strips, referrals to support services, sterile supplies, substance use education, and more. For more information, go to www.hartok.ca.