Media Advisory :The Opioid Crisis: Bringing New Technology to the Front Line

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2018

The emergence of highly toxic fentanyl analogues in the unregulated drug market has escalated Canada’s opioid overdose crisis.

Until now, people have had no reliable way to identify what is in their drugs prior to using them. A new technology, being implemented by research partners from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University will change that, and has the potential to become a new critical tool in improving the safety and health of communities across Canada.

The portable mass spectrometer, the first of its kind, will be able to test trace samples of substances in a rapid manner (less than 20 seconds) and provide detailed results of the contents, including the presence of fentanyl analogues. Clients using the supervised injection service at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre will now be able to know what is in the drugs they purchased. Having information on what is in a drug PRIOR to consumption is the right intervention at the right time.

We invite members of the media to attend a press conference where the research team will explain the project and conduct a demonstration of the instrument in the injection room.

Date: Thursday, May 3, 2018

Where: Sandy Hill Community Health Centre (221 Nelson Street, Ottawa, ON)

8:00 a.m.: Media sign-in

8:30 a.m.: Start of the press conference. Speakers are:

  • Lynne Leonard, lead on the research project, Director, HIV and HCV Prevention Team, Assistant Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa
  • Jeffrey C. Smith, Director of the Carleton Mass Spectrometry Centre, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Institute of Biochemistry at Carleton University
  • Rob Boyd, Director of the Oasis program at the Sandy Hill Community Health Center (SHCHC)
  • Luc Cormier, Nursing Team Lead, Supervised Injection Services, (SHCHC)
  • Christine Lalonde, Member, Community Advisory Committee

9:00 a.m.: Demonstration of how the mass spectrometer works

9:15 a.m.: Questions from the media

RSVP: Karyne Vienneau, 613-762-2908 /

Please note that the press conference and the demonstration will be in two separate rooms

Media Inquiries:

Karyne Vienneau
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa

Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8718


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