Drug Checking Operational Technician

Work Area: 
Drug Checking
Base Site: 
1045 Howe
Temporary Full Time
End Date: 
Dec 13, 2019
Job Category: 

BCCSU (BC Centre on Substance Use)is a provincially networked organization with a mandate to develop, help implement, and evaluate evidence-based approaches to substance use and addiction. It leads cutting-edge programs related to substance use, including the first provincial drug checking program in Canada. We have recently posted a Temporary Full Time Drug Checking Operational Technician to help provide a potentially life-saving harm reduction intervention in harm reduction settings in Vancouver and at festivals and events across BC. You will have an opportunity to get involved in Canada’s first provincial drug checking harm reduction program. The successful candidate will provide drug checking services in harm reduction settings and at major music festivals and events across BC. We are looking to hire someone who has experience working with addiction (drugs and substance use), a strong understanding of harm reduction, strong empathy, professionalism, and a background in science (preferably chemistry).


Reporting to the Project Manager, Implementation & Partnerships, the Drug Checking Operational Technician is responsible for performing point-of-care drug checking in designated areas within the Lower Mainland using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and fentanyl immunoassay strips. The Technician communicates back the results of point-of-care drug checks to clients in a meaningful and respectful way and positively interacts with clients and site staff and shares harm reduction information as needed. The Technician meticulously tracks data and facilitates the proper storage and transportation of samples to laboratories for additional analysis.


Knowledge and awareness of harm reduction issues.
Demonstrated ability to remain neutral, non-judgmental and professional when interacting with and supporting marginalized client populations.
Demonstrated understanding of the confidentiality and sensitivity of the role.
Demonstrated ability to operate related equipment and the ability to learn new technologies.
Computer literacy including experience in Microsoft Office suite and database applications.
Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
Excellent ability to work and learn independently with minimal supervision and collaborate in a larger team.
Ability to manage multiple competing priorities in a fast-paced environment.
Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain rapport with clients and stakeholders, including strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated professionalism and diplomacy.
Demonstrated ability to analyze and resolve problems.


Minimum of a Bachelor of Science with a major in chemistry, biology, or a related field.
Experience working with people who use drugs and/or other marginalized client populations.
Strong awareness and understanding of harm reduction issues; experience working in a harm reduction setting is an asset.
Knowledge of public health, health services or related fields is an asset.
Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office.
Valid BC Driver’s license, access to a vehicle and be willing to travel around the Lower Mainland.


Operate point-of-care drug checking technologies including fentanyl test strips and Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometers at multiple specified locations in the Lower Mainland and aim to enhance client awareness of harm reduction practices.
Communicate drug checking analysis results to clients at point-of-care and answer any questions related to drug checking methods and outcomes.
Facilitate the proper onsite storage and transportation of samples for laboratory testing.
Support clients by highlighting relevant harm reduction information and liaising with site staff, including informing clients of relevant community services, programs, and organizations as applicable.
Follow proper evaluation, data collection, and device storage/transportation protocols, including meticulously tracking data and information and sending out public health alerts as needed.
Perform other related duties as assigned.