What's in Toronto's drug supply?

Toronto’s drug checking service offers people who use drugs timely and detailed information on the contents of their drugs, helping them to make more informed decisions.

This service also shares information on Toronto’s unregulated drug supply with harm reduction workers and clinicians to help them tailor the care they provide to people who use drugs, while informing research and policy.

Every other week, results from samples checked by Toronto’s drug checking service are combined and presented using the graphs below. Sign up to be notified when new data is available.

Checked samples by sample type

Two types of samples are accepted by this drug checking service: substances and used paraphernalia. This graph shows how many samples have been checked since the launch of Toronto’s drug checking service – in total and by sample type.

Substances could be a small amount of powder, crystals, or rocks, a crushed bit of a pill, blotter, or a small amount of liquid.

Used paraphernalia could be a used cooker or filter, or leftover liquid from a syringe.

Checked samples by expected drug

When a sample is submitted to be checked, the drug that sample was bought or got as is recorded (and is known as the “expected drug”). This graph shows which drugs were expected for samples checked. It can be filtered by sample type and the time period during which a sample was checked.

Other expected drugs since the launch of this service include: 3-MeO-PCP, 4-AcO-DET, 4-AcO-DMT, 4-AcO-MET, 4-FA, 4-HO-MET, 4-HO-MiPT, 4-MPM, 5-APB/6-APB, 5-MeO-DiPT, 5-MeO-DMT, 5-MeO-MiPT, AMT, codeine, DiPT, DMT, DOM, down, DPT, etaqualone, GHB, hydromorphone, MDA, mescaline, methylone, MiPLA, naloxone, O-DSMT, O-PCE, opium, OxyContin, Percocet, and Z-drugs.

Unknown includes substances that did not have a recorded expected drug.

Polysubstance includes substances that had two or more expected drugs (e.g., fentanyl and methamphetamine).

Presence of the expected drug

This graph shows whether the expected drug was found in substances checked and, if it was, whether it was the only drug found or if it was found with other drugs. It can be filtered by the expected drug and the time period during which a substance was checked. Note that this graph does not include used paraphernalia.

Other drugs found

This graph shows the other drugs most commonly found in addition to the expected drug in substances checked, along with all unexpected noteworthy drugs found. It can be filtered by the expected drug and the time period during which a substance was checked. Note that this graph does not include used paraphernalia.

! Unexpected noteworthy drug: “Noteworthy drugs” are drugs that (i) are linked to overdose or other adverse effects, (ii) are highly potent or related to highly potent drugs, or (iii) may not be desired by some clients. Noteworthy drugs are flagged when they are unexpectedly found in checked samples.

Amount of drugs found

This table shows the amount of certain drugs found as a proportion of the total substance submitted each month. It can be filtered by the expected drug and the drug found. The unit of measurement can be changed from % of the total substance submitted to mg of a standard 10 mg substance. Note: this visualization is updated every other week despite the data being communicated monthly.

Average* amount found: Represents the median amount of the drug found in the specified # of substances.

Quantity-based information is only available for powder substances samples or crushed bits of a pill. At this time, carfentanil, fentanyl, cocaine, etizolam, and caffeine are the only drugs quantity-based information is available for.

Note: While Toronto’s drug checking service checks both substances and used paraphernalia, most graphs include findings from substances only. Paraphernalia, like cookers, are often re-used. The mass spectrometry technologies used for this drug checking service are so sensitive that very trace amounts of drugs may be found. This means that when paraphernalia is re-used, drugs from past use may present in the results for the sample that is being checked. This can interfere with up-to-date drug supply monitoring and, for that reason, used paraphernalia has been excluded from these graphs.