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UK. Drug-testing service in Durham highlights dangers of the illegal trade

Durham's Police, Crime and Victims Commissioner has praised a drug testing service which highlighted the dangers of the illegal trade. (Chronicle live, UK, 11.01.2019)


USA. Drug users can now test if fentanyl is in the drugs they are using, before injection

INDIANAPOLIS — A new tool is emerging to battle the scour of overdose deaths that lead directly to the powerful synthetic drug, fentanyl.

Drug users can now test to see whether the drug they are about to inject is in fact fentanyl. (Theindychannel, USA, 02.01.2019)


Cognitive and neuroanatomical impairments associated with chronic exposure to levamisole-contaminated cocaine

Matthias Vonmoos, Sarah Hirsiger, Katrin H. Preller, Lea M. Hulka, Daniel Allemann, Marcus Herdener, Markus R. Baumgartner & Boris B. Quednow 

Translational Psychiatry volume 8, Article number: 235 (2018) 


Australien. Six reasons Australia should pilot ‘pill testing’ party drugs

The death of 19-year-old Georgina Bartter at a music festival on the weekend from a suspected ecstasy overdose could possibly have been avoided with a simple harm-minimisation intervention. Pill testing, or drug checking as it’s known in Europe, provides feedback to users on the content of illegal drugs, allowing them to make informed choices. (Prof. Alison Ritter in: NDARC – National Drug & Alcohol Research Center, Australien, Blog, 03.07.2018)


USA. Toxicology Case Studies - ACMT

NDEWS and the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) are collaborating to develop a capability to identify emerging drugs and drug trends encountered by medical toxicologists during patient consultations and toxicology evaluations. Using data from the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC), ACMT will highlight cases involving novel and emerging exposures in approximately 35 sites across the U.S. (USA. NDEWS – National Drug Emergency Warning System, Center for Substance Abuse Research, University of Maryland, Oktober 2018)


Australien. Show some courage on pill testing and save young lives

Five deaths at music festivals in less than five months. And, if I listen to some critics, the one thing stopping pill testing is that it is seen as people like me giving the green light to drug use.

I need to get my head around this. Me – a 33-year police practitioner and former federal police commissioner – giving the green light to drug use? (The Age, Australien, 02.01.2019)


Kokainstreckmittel steht im Verdacht, Hirnschäden zu verursachen

Wer regelmässig Kokain konsumiert, das mit dem Tierentwurmungsmittel Levamisol gestreckt wurde, zeigt schlechtere kognitive Leistungen und verfügt über eine dünnere Hirnrinde. Dies geht aus zwei aktuellen Studien der Universität Zürich hervor. Die Forschenden schliessen daraus, dass Levamisol neurotoxisch wirken könnte und plädieren für den Ausbau sogenannter Drug-Checking-Programme. (Universität Zürich, 31.10.2018)


Australien. 'Dangerous orange pill' prompts Australia festival warning

Music festival-goers across Australia have been warned about a "dangerous orange pill", after a young man died of a suspected drug overdose. (BBC, 31.12.2018)


Australien. NSW to introduce tougher drug penalties, but no pill testing, after festival deaths 

Gladys Berejiklian announces on-the-spot fines for drug possession but pill-testing won’t be considered. 

"...recommended by an expert-panel..." ... "The government-established panel was asked to give advice on how to improve safety at festivals but not to consider the merits of pill-testing." ... "The police commissioner, Mick Fuller, a member of the panel, said the belief that pill-testing was going to save lives in NSW was a “myth”." (The Guardian, Australien, 23.10.2018)


UK. Fake Percocet tablets containing fentanyl in circulation

The Metropolitan Police have issued an alert regarding the seizure of ’significant’ quantities of fake Percocet tablets that contained fentanyl and no other psychoactive drug. (changegrowlive.org, UK, 12.12.2018)


Australien. Australian Medical Association would like to see pill-testing at festivals

Dr Bartone (President of the Australian Medical Association , Anm.) called for pill testing trials after two young people died and three more were hospitalisedfollowing suspected drug overdoses at a recent Sydney music festival.

Dr Bartone said innovative approaches, under controlled circumstances, are needed to prevent future tragedies.

“We can’t continue to just use a law enforcement solution.” (AMA - Australian Medical Association, 27.09.2018)


How Harm Reduction Services Are Keeping Festivalgoers Safer

(...) As a regular festivalgoer I’ve long observed an unsettling relationship some people can have with psychedelics. Drug experiences can be particularly risky at events which have zero-tolerance policies, where organizers seem to care little about the safety of people who unintentionally find themselves on a bad high. (Filter, USA, 07.12.2018)


UK. BBC Inside Out South - Festival Drugs (Video)

Loop drug checking at Boomtown Festival 2018. (BBC, oD, Video, 10:18)


Drug safety testing, disposals and dealing in an English field: Exploring the operational and behavioural outcomes of the UK’s first onsite ‘drug checking’ service,

Fiona Catherine Measham

International Journal of Drug Policy, 2018, in press, doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.11.001.


Australien. Doctors body calls for pill testing trial

The peak body for Australian doctors has called for clinical trials on pill testing after two people died of suspected overdoses at a Sydney music festival. (Special Broadcasting Service Corporation, Australien, 17.09.2018)


Standards Drug Checking - Modul Beratung

Das Beratungsgespräch ist ein zentrales Element von Drug-Checking-Angeboten. Was die Ziele dieses Gesprächs sind, welche Instrumente dabei zum Einsatz kommen und welche Kompetenzen Fachleute dafür mitbringen müssen, erfahren Sie im Modul Beratung der Standards Drug Checking. (Infodrog, Schweiz,  2018)


Irland. Drug-testing roll out at music festivals and nightclubs to be examined by expert group - Drug-testing is available in a number of other European countries. 

A WORKING GROUP will examine if drug-testing at music festivals could work in Ireland. (thejournal.ie, Irland, 25.09.2018)


Berlin. Modellprojekt zum Drug Checking gestartet

Nach jahrelangen Überlegungen will Berlin Testmöglichkeiten für Drogen wie Ecstasy-Pillen schaffen. Ein Modellprojekt zum sogenannten Drug Checking starte am Donnerstag, teilte ein Sprecher der Gesundheitsverwaltung auf Anfrage der Deutschen Presse-Agentur mit. (PZ – Pharmazeutische Zeitung, 01.11.2018)


Evaluation of a fentanyl drug checking service for clients of a supervised injection facility, Vancouver, Canada.

Karamouzian M, Dohoo C, Forsting S, McNeil R, Kerr T, Lysyshyn M.

Harm Reduct J. 2018 Sep 10;15(1):46. doi: 10.1186/s12954-018-0252-8.


Europa. Monitoring drug use in recreational settings across Europe: conceptual challenges and methodological innovations


This report explores how data on drug use are captured through surveys of targeted populations in recreational settings. The benefits and challenges of monitoring drug use in recreational settings are identified, as are emergent data sources and methodological innovations. The report draws on cutting-edge debates within social research, sociology and critical drug studies to encourage dialogue between researchers and with monitoring agencies. (EMCDDA,Lissabon,November 2018)


Schweiz. Jede dritte Ecstasy-Pille ist riskant dosiert

Die Drogentests an der Street Parade haben ein erschreckendes Resultat ergeben. Hintergrund sind laut Polizei «knallharte marktwirtschaftliche Überlegungen». (Tagesanzeiger, Schweiz, 13.08.2018)


UK. Pill-testing: budget office finds it would cost $16m to put services in major cities 

Greens say hardline drugs policy ‘has destroyed thousands of lives and wasted billions of dollars’. (The Guardian, UK, 08.11.2018)


USA. DOTS - The Drug Outbreak Testing Service (DOTS) pilot study

The Drug Outbreak Testing Service (DOTS) pilot study supports local experts and public health agencies experiencing a drug outbreak to identify the drug(s) behind the outbreak by providing free urinalyses of specimens already obtained from affected persons. Information about the DOTS methodology and previous DOTS Bulletins are available on the NDEWS website. (National Drug Early Warning System, USA, 04.09.2018)


Schweiz. Pilotprojekt zum stationären Drug Checking in Basel-Stadt

Die Einnahme von psychoaktiven Substanzen mit unklarer Herkunft stellt ein hohes Gesundheitsrisiko dar. Im Sinne der Prävention und Schadensminderung lanciert der Regierungsrat deshalb ein dreijähriges Pilotprojekt mit einem stationären Drug Checking-Angebot. Ein entsprechender Anzug von Otto Schmid (SP) soll stehen gelassen werden. (Gesundheitsdepartement des Kantons Basel-Stadt , 16.10.2018)


UK. 'My day with the drug testing squad…'

Drug-related deaths are on the rise. We go behind the scenes with the volunteers offering to test your festival drugs. (BBC, 31.08.2018)


Drug-Checking: Berlin will Einrichtung zum Test von Drogen schaffen 

Ecstasy, Amphetamine oder Cannabis sind Bestandteil des Berliner Partylebens. Die Stadt will es Konsumenten nun ermöglichen, Drogen auf ihre Wirkstoffe prüfen zu lassen. (Zeit online, 01.11.2018)


The Clubs Drugs Wheel

This is a collaborative project with The Loop as part of their #Time to Test crowdfunding campaign. This will help them to purchase equipment to expand their pop-up testing labs so they can operate around the UK in city centres and offer Multi Agency Safety Testing to many more people. 

The Club Drugs Wheel was designed as a large display poster (for printing 1.5+ metres high) for festivals. Two display sizes are available here, along with a simplified A4 version and a Powerpoint introduction. Please feel free to print these files for your purposes, in line with our licencing. International/translated versions can also be arranged via the Contact page. (thedrugswheel.com, UK, August 2018)


Fentanyl test strips as an opioid overdose prevention strategy: Findings from a syringe services program in the Southeastern United States.

Peiper NC, Clarke SD, Vincent LB, Ciccarone D, Kral AH, Zibbell JE.

Int J Drug Policy. 2018 Sep 28. pii: S0955-3959(18)30213-5. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.08.007.


UK. How to detect pentylone and N-ethylpentylone sold as MDMA/ecstasy pills 

N-ethyl-pentylone (aka BK-EBDP or Ephylone) has caused problems before where it has been sold as MDMA due to the identical visual appearance but this year has seen an increase in the number of cases detected and more alerts have been issued. (Reagents Test UK, UK, 13.08.2018)


Berlin. „Drug-Checking“: Vorbereitungen für Drogentest-Projekt laufen an

Nach jahrelangen Überlegungen will das Land Berlin Testmöglichkeiten für Drogen wie Ecstasypillen schaffen. Ein Modellprojekt zum Drug-Checking starte heute, teilte ein Sprecher der Gesundheitsverwaltung auf Anfrage mit. (aerzteblatt.de, 01.11.2018)