A pharmacy in Victoria catering to the city’s drug-using population and a university professor are hoping to take fentanyl detection to the next level.
STS Pain Pharmacy CEO Alain Vincent says the device uses a laser beam to identify what’s in a drug sample.
“Like a sophisticated microscope where you send a beam of laser to the powder, the drug sample, and there’s a reflection, and that reflection is read and fed into the computer which analyzes the information and classifies it into quantity and quality. It tells you what is in the product and how much is in the product.”
Vincent and University of Victoria Professor Dennis Hore secured a $25,000 grant from the federal government for the project.
“We want to build a database of fentanyl because this is the area that seems to cause the most problems and carfentanil. The device will be very versatile, which means you can build a database regardless of the substance,” says Vincent.
The pair hope to pilot the device at the pharmacy by May, first focusing on fentanyl detection and eventually identifying other drugs.