Drug Checking

Drug checking is a harm reduction strategy that allows for the characterization of drug materials (i.e., pills, powders) based on individual drug components, including active drug ingredient(s), adulterant(s), diluent(s), and other substances. There are various tools and technologies used for drug checking, including in-the-field (e.g., fentanyl test strips, FTIR) and in-the-laboratory (e.g., GC-MS, LC-MS) equipment. Drug checking allows individuals to draw scientifically backed opinions and understand complex drug data based on accurate and reliable testing protocols.

The CFSRE is collaborating with public health agencies to collect up-to-date information regarding the drug supply in various cities and communities across the United States. Our leading team of toxicologists and chemists help acquire data and interpret results based on years of knowledge and experience. For more information about our drug checking initiatives, email our program manager at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
March 2, 2021
Q1 2021
Summary and Key Findings:
  • Reporting period: November 2020 to February 2021
  • All “heroin” samples contained fentanyl cut with xylazine
  • Counterfeit or disguised pills and tablets contained various unexpected synthetic drugs (e.g., NPS)
  • para-Fluorofentanyl is increasing among the drug supply