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Drug Checking Case Study: NorWest Community Health Centres

Updated: Apr 3

NorWest CHC building
NorWest Community Health Centres

Read a short excerpt from our drug checking case study with NorWest Community Health Centres in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and how Amplifi ID elevated their harm reduction programming:

NorWest Community Health Centre delivers primary health care and health promotion programs to northwestern Ontario communities. Path 525 is a Consumption and Treatment Service (CTS) located at NorWest CHC’s Thunder Bay location. The CTS offers harm reduction education, supplies, overdose response, and drug consumption supervision by experienced CTS staff, including Registered Nurses and harm reduction outreach workers.

The northwestern Ontario drug supply, like most of North America, has grown more toxic over time. New additives like benzodiazepines and xylazine are the primary causes of increased overdoses due to opioid use. In 2022 there were 114 suspected drug-related deaths in Thunder Bay District Health Unit. Over the past few years, alongside drug-related deaths, reported overdoses have also climbed. At Path 525, zero deaths have occurred, a testament to the effectiveness of CTSs.

Prior to using the Amplifi ID, NorWest CHC had limited access to drug checking or information on the local drug supply. Test strips were used and distributed to clients to detect the presence of fentanyl, but the limited information and difficulty with result interpretation quickly led to the program being scaled down. The only access to detailed information on the local drug landscape was the toxicology data from coroner’s reports. These typically were not made available until weeks after a drug-related death and could not confirm if a mix of substances was from a single sample or multiple sources.

This case study is a great example of the drug information Amplifi ID can provide and how insights into sample components can impact client behavior and community engagement. Click the link below to download the full report, and contact us here if you want to learn more.


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