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Australien. When the coroner looked at how to cut drug deaths at music festivals, the evidence won. But what happens next? 

If NSW takes on the coroner’s recommendations, it will be among the most innovative and evidence-based states in Australia on drug policy. 

The much-awaited NSW coroner’s report into music festival deaths was released today.

In the report, Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame recommends pill testing, a ban on sniffer dogs and a reduction in the number of strip searches, among other measures to prevent deaths. (The Conversation, UK, 08.11.2019)

https://theconversation.com/when-the-coroner-looked-at-how-to-cut-drug-deaths-at-music-festivals-the-evidence-won-but-what-happens-next-126669

Public Health Association of Australia: Policy-at-a-glance – Pill Testing Policy Position

Key message:

Taking illicit drugs, especially ecstasy, is becoming more common among young people in Australia.

70% of pills taken by young people in a 12 month period were taken at clubs, festivals and dance parties.

The growth in new psychoactive substances and evolving chemical composition of illicit drugs means users have no way of knowing what they are taking and the potential risks involved.

Testing of pills by appropriately trained health professionals can inform users about the content and thereby minimise the risk of injury or death.

Evidence from several European countries indicates pill testing may reduce use, and health-related harms including deaths.

(Public Health Association of Australia, Oktober 2019)

https://idpc.net/alerts/2019/10/public-health-association-of-australia-policy-at-a-glance-pill-testing-policy-position

EMCDDA. Drug Checking

Overview

Drug-checking services enable individual drug users to have their drugs chemically analysed, providing information on the content of the samples as well as advice, and, in some cases, counselling or brief interventions. Service aims vary, ranging from information collection to harm reduction by informing and warning users about the drugs on the market. (EMCDDA, Oktober 2019)

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/topics/drug-checking

These are the 10 strongest pills tested by The Loop at festivals this summer

The Loop have issued an autumn update to their list of the strongest pills tested at festivals this summer, saying: “with university, clubbing & party seasons just around the corner, please take care of yourselves & each other.”

Lilac-coloured Donald Trump pills, tested at Lost Village last month and found to contain over 300mg of MDMA, have been added to the list. Red and white ‘iPhone X’ pills with around 280mg of MDMA have also been added. (thefestivals.uk, UK, 06.09.2019)

https://thefestivals.uk/strongest-pills-summer-2019/

Drug Use by Music Festival Attendees: A Novel Triangulation Approach Using Self-Reported Data and Test Results of Oral Fluid and Pooled Urine Samples.

Gjerde H, Gjersing L, Baz-Lomba JA, Bijlsma L, Salgueiro-González N, Furuhaugen H, Bretteville-Jensen AL, Hernández F, Castiglioni S, Johanna Amundsen E, Zuccato E.

Subst Use Misuse. 2019 Aug 9:1-11. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2019.1646285. 

Abstract

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31398072

Evaluation of a drug checking service at a large scale electronic music festival in Portugal.

Valente H, Martins D, Carvalho H, Pires CV, Carvalho MC, Pinto M, Barratt MJ.

Int J Drug Policy. 2019 Aug 6;73:88-95. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.07.007. 

Abstract

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31398488

Australien. Pill Testing Australia Have Released The Findings From Their Second Pilot At Groovin The Moo 2019
After deeming it an “overwhelming success”, Pill Testing Australia have released a detailed report which illustrates their findings conducted at the second pill testing trial at Groovin The Moo in Canberra back in April, which aimed to “provide a health service to reduce the harms associated with drugs and to broadly diminish the health, social and economic costs of drug use.” (musicfeeds.com, Australien, 26.08.2019)

https://musicfeeds.com.au/news/pill-testing-australia-findings-second-pilot-groovin-the-moo/

USA. Take the Coke Challenge – This simple taste test could save your life

The Coke Challenge was created by The Garden in partnership with DanceSafe for International Overdose Awareness Day (Aug 31) to highlight practical, harm reduction solutions to the opioid crisis. 

Approximately 5,000 people in the US and Canada die each year from fentanyl-laced cocaine.

Casual cocaine users are most at risk because they have little to no opioid tolerance and are largely unaware that fentnayl is being cut into their drugs.

Our test strips can detect fentanyl and its analogs in cocaine and other drugs. Just mix your powder in water and dip the strip into the liquid. (DanceSafe, USA, 2019, Video, 02:11)

https://dancesafe.org/cokechallenge/

Report on the 2ndCanberra GTM Pill Testing Service

Vumbaca, G., Tzanetis, S., McLeod, M., Caldicott, D. 

Harm Reduction Australia, 2019  

https://pilltestingaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Report-on-the-2nd-ACT-GTM-Pill-Testing-Pilot.pdf

Neuseeland. How Kiwis' drugs are being tested before they have the chance to do harm

The summer festival season may be a faint glimmer in the future but for those behind drug testing outfit KnowYourStuffNZ, minimising the potential for drug harm is becoming a year-round job. (stuff.co.nz, 23.08.2019)

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/115218017/how-kiwis-drugs-are-being-tested-before-they-have-the-chance-to-do-harm

Irland. Talks underway between HSE and labs that could carry out drug-testing at festivals 

A senior HSE doctor has outlined a number of ways drug-testing could be introduced in Ireland. (The Journal, Irland, 13.08.2019)

https://www.thejournal.ie/drugs-testing-at-festivals-4762492-Aug2019/

Australien. Toxicologists throw support behind pill testing ahead of major festival weekend

Australia’s forensic and clinical toxicologists say testing could save lives at music festivals. (The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), 19.07.2019)

https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/professional/toxicologists-throw-support-behind-pill-testing-ah

Neuseeland. Drug checking – beyond the festival season

For some time now, KnowYourStuff NZ and the NZ Drug Foundation have been checking drugs at music festivals and handing out potentially lifesaving advice. (Know Your Stuff, Neuseeland, 11.07.2019)

https://knowyourstuff.nz/2019/07/11/drug-checking-beyond-the-festival-season/

Schweiz. Jahresrückblick Saferparty.ch 2018 – Was wurde getestet

(Saferparty, Schweiz, 03.07.2019)

https://www.saferparty.ch/aktuelles.html

Australien. Testing festival goers’ pills isn’t the only way to reduce overdoses. Here’s what else works

The NSW (New South Walse, Anm.) inquest into recent drug deaths at music festivals is due to start this week. So focus is turning to how to make music festivals safer by reducing drug-related incidents. 

We know that prohibition doesn’t work to reduce either harms or drug use. But what does? (The Conversation, Australien, 08.07.2019)

https://theconversation.com/testing-festival-goers-pills-isnt-the-only-way-to-reduce-overdoses-heres-what-else-works-118827

Berlin. Drug-Checking in Berlin soll bald an den Start gehen

Berlin – Konsumenten sollen verbotene Drogen, die auf vielen Partys in Berlin kursieren, auf ihre Reinheit und Dosierung testen lassen können: Das Vorhaben der rot-rot-grünen Landesregierung von Berlin, eine offizielle Drogen-Check-Stelle einzurichten, hat weitere Hürden genommen. „Wir haben auch für 2020/2021 Mittel im neuen Doppelhaushalt für das Projekt eingestellt, so dass das Projekt an den Start gehen kann“, teilte eine Sprecherin der Senatsverwaltung für Gesundheit auf Anfrage mit. (aerzteblatt.de, 24.06.2019)

https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/104100/Drug-Checking-in-Berlin-soll-bald-an-den-Start-gehen

Kanada. Get yor Drugs tested! - Testing office coming soon 

Right now we are only offering our drug-testing service by mail. But stay tuned! We will be opening a fixed location in Vancouver soon. Our plan is to be open seven a days a week for in-person testing as well as mail-order.

You can also get your drugs tested for free by Vancouver Coastal Health at any Overdose Prevention Site or Supervised Injection Site. (getyourdrugstested.com, Kanada, 25.04.2019)

https://getyourdrugstested.com/

USA. Drug Testing Kits No Longer Considered Paraphernalia in Colorado

DanceSafe pushed to enact another forward-thinking legislation in Colorado. (edm.com – Electronic Dance Music, USA, 27.05.2019)

https://edm.com/news/dancesafe-testing-kits-paraphernalia-colorado

Berlin. Drugchecking: "Wir vergeben kein Gütesiegel für sorglosen Drogengebrauch" 

Drugchecking – das Prüfen von Drogen wie Ecstasy – soll in Berlin starten. Der Pharmazeut Tibor Harrach betreut das Projekt. Ist das Förderung für Dealer oder Prävention? (Zeit online, 17.05.2019)

https://www.zeit.de/wissen/gesundheit/2019-05/drugchecking-tibor-harrach-pharmazeut-praevention-berliner-senat

Niederlande. Factsheet on drug checking in the Netherlands

Is drug checking a valuable tool to reduce the harm of drug use? In many countries this is still an ongoing debate, one often hampered by lack of empirical evidence and practical experience. In the Netherlands, government-licensed drug checking has occured for over the past two decades and has grown from a small scale project into a nationwide scientific monitor. (Trimbos instituut, Niederlande, April 2019)

https://www.trimbos.nl/docs/cd3e9e11-9555-4f8c-b851-1806dfb47fd7.pdf

Acceptability of implementing community-based drug checking services for people who use drugs in three United States cities: Baltimore, Boston and Providence.

Sherman SG, Morales KB, Park JN, McKenzie M, Marshall BDL, Green TC.

Int J Drug Policy. 2019 Apr 13;68:46-53. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.03.003.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395919300568

Rate of Fentanyl Positivity Among Urine Drug Test Results Positive for Cocaine or Methamphetamine.

LaRue L, Twillman RK, Dawson E, et al. 

JAMA Netw Open.2019;2(4):e192851. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.2851

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2731684

Niederlande. How the World’s Oldest Drug Checking Service Makes High-Risk Pills “Unsellable”

Don’t sit on your day job,” Daan van der Gouwe advised people who operate drug checking services. By which he meant, getting information out there greatly amplifies the public health benefit of what you’re doing.

The Drugs Monitoring and Information System (DIMS) in the Netherlands can proudly claim to be the oldest drug checking service in the world. It began unauthorized operations back in 1989, a time when use of “club drugs” was increasing in the country, and was formalized in 1992. (Filter, USA, 01.05.2019)

https://filtermag.org/2019/05/01/how-the-worlds-oldest-drug-checking-service-can-make-high-risk-pills-unsellable/

Variability in content and dissolution profiles of MDMA tablets collected in the UK between 2001 and 2018 – a potential risk to users?.

Couchman, L, Frinculescu, A, Sobreira, CC, et al. 

Drug Test Anal. 2019. doi.org/10.1002/dta.2605

Abstract

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/dta.2605

MDMA: Why it's 'impossible' to know how the drug affects you

It's impossible to predict how MDMA affects users even with on-site testing at festivals, researchers are warning. (BBC, 01.05.2019)

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-48120198

Australien. Pill testing at Groovin the Moo festival potentially saves seven lives, organisers say 

Festivalgoers discard drugs after testing alerts them that pills contain dangerous ingredients. (The Guardian, UK, 29.04.2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/29/pill-testing-at-groovin-the-moo-festival-potentially-saves-seven-lives-organisers-say

Australien. Canberra’s Second Pill Testing Trial Hailed a Resounding Success

Despite initial hurdles, it can now be said that two government-sanctioned pill testing trials have taken place in the ACT. And by all accounts, the second, held last Sunday, was a resounding success. Not only did it prove that the first was no one off, but it showed that services are set to improve. (Sydney Criminal Lawyers, 01.05.2019)

https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/canberras-second-pill-testing-trial-hailed-a-resounding-success/

Testing of illicit drugs in the Netherlands could be a model for the UK 

Sheldon Tony

BMJ 2019; 365 :l1784 

Abstract

https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l1784

GHB. Xantus-drinkcheck-Armband

Warum ein Armband? Wir haben uns aus drei Gründen für ein Armband entschieden:

Präventiver Schutz: Allein durch das Tragen schützt man sich präventiv, da Täter im Vorfeld abgeschreckt werden. Es wird signalisierst, dass man bewusst mit seiner Gesundheit umgeht und K.O. Tropfen keine Chance haben.

Partytauglichkeit: Kein Drankdenken, kein Vergessen, keine Handtasche mehr

Erinnerungs-Funktion: Jeder kennt es: Die Eltern sagen, dass man immer aufpassen soll. Auf der Party ist das schnell mal vergessen. Ein kurzer Blick auf´s Handgelenk genügt und man erinnert sich daran, achtsam zu sein.

Wie funktioniert das Armband?

Armband am Handgelenk anbringen

Getränk umrühren

Flüsskeit auf ein Testfeld tupfen

2 Minuten warten

Bei Blau - K.O. Tropfen (GHB) im Getränk

(xantus-drinkcheck.de, 2019)

https://xantus-drinkcheck.de/

Schweiz. Standards Drug Checking: Modul Risikoeinschätzung, Kommunikation und Publikation der Daten

Infodrog, Schweiz, 2019

https://www.infodrog.ch/files/content/nightlife/de/standards-drugchecking-risikoeinschaetzung_de_infodrog-2019.pdf