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April 2018 – Australia: Drug checking services provide important forensic information for early warning and harm reduction

In a “Global review of drug checking services operating in 2017” the Australian Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) analysed the features of 31 drug checking services operating in 20 countries across Europe, the Americas and Australasia. This report shows that there has been a strong increase in the number of organisations conducting drug checking and that they are employing a breadth of analytic techniques to identify and quantify the contents of drug samples. All drug checking services communicate their forensic results directly to individual service users and more than half also alert the public, health/welfare/outreach, researchers and promoters/event managers of the test results. Alongside the feedback about the drug sample’s content, almost every service provides a brief intervention and most provide harm reduction information. When particularly dangerous drug samples are identified, drug checking services can play a role in issuing early warning alerts and informing specific harm reduction interventions.

Figure: Number of drug checking services operating in 2017 worldwide



For more information, please see

Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) Bulletin – “Global review of drug checking services operating in 2017”
https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/ndarc/resources/Global%20review%20of%20drug%20checking%20services%20operating%20in%202017.pdf 

Profiles of drug checking services in 2017
https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/ndarc/resources/Profiles%20of%20drug%20checking%20services%20in%202017.pdf