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‘Worth the test?’ Pragmatism, pill testing and drug policy in Australia

Andrew Groves

Harm Reduction Journal 2018, 15:12, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0216-z

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-018-0216-z

Frankfurt/Main. Im Frankfurter Heroin ist kaum Heroin

Wenn Drogenabhängige sich ihren Schuss setzen, ist im Heroin kaum noch Heroin - es wurde von Dealer zu Dealer immer weiter gestreckt. Das geht aus einer nach Angaben der Stadt Frankfurt bundesweit einmaligen Studie hervor, die heute vorgestellt worden ist.

Mit Video: So funktioniert die Methadon-Substitution im Bahnhofsviertel (03:50) und Die Fegerflotte (02:43). (FNP – Frankfurter Neue Presse, 19.03.2018)

http://www.fnp.de/rhein-main/Im-Frankfurter-Heroin-ist-kaum-Heroin;art1491,2938395

USA. Fentanyl Overdose. Reduction Checking Analysis Study - FORECAST

(...) To explore the viability of a public health response to the fentanyl crisis, the Bloomberg American Health Initiative awarded funding to support the Fentanyl Overdose Reduction Checking Analysis Study (FORECAST). This study aimed to examine the accuracy of three technologies in identifying the presence of fentanyl in samples of illicit drugs. It also aimed to gauge whether people who use drugs and other stakeholders would be interested in using such technology as part of harm reduction programs. (John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Bloomberg American Health Initiative, Februar 2018)

http://americanhealth.jhu.edu/assets/pdfs/FORECAST__Summary_Report.pdf

Expanding harm reduction to include fentanyl urine testing: results from a pilot in rural British Columbia

Silvina C. Mema, Chloe Sage, Serge Popoff, Jessica Bridgeman, Deanne Taylor and Trevor Corneil

Harm Reduction Journal2018, 15:19, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0224-z

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-018-0224-z

Neuseeland. This summer’s crap drug: n-ethylpentylone

If it isn’t MDMA, then it’s very likely to be a new drug called n-ethylpentylone, testing by KnowYourStuffNZ has revealed. (KnowYourStuffNZ, Neuseeland, 07.02.2018)

https://knowyourstuff.nz/2018/02/07/this-summers-crap-drug-n-ethylpentylone/

Clubszene - "Professionelle Begleitung während des Drogenkonsums wird immer gefragter"

Daniel Graubaum kämpft als "Drugscout" für mehr Sicherheit im Nachtleben. Er ist gegen Moralpredigten und für Wirkstoff-Tests. (sueddeutsche.de, 04.04.2018)

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/interview-am-morgen-clubszene-professionelle-begleitung-waehrend-des-drogenkonsums-wird-immer-gefragter-1.3929343

USA. California To Drug Users: We’ll Pay For You To Test Your Dope

(...) The deadly fentanyl wave sweeping the East Coast and the Midwest has arrived in California. The number of deaths from fentanyl in the state, though still a fraction of those seen in some other states, has spiked in recent years. And state health officials have responded with a proactive but experimental policy: Since last May, they have supplied needle exchanges with rapid-response test strips that allow drug users to determine if their next high is contaminated with the potentially fatal opioid. (californiahealthline.org, 02.02.2018)

https://californiahealthline.org/news/california-to-drug-users-well-pay-for-you-to-test-your-dope

Berlin. Studie zu Drogenkonsum: Berliner Partygänger wünschen sich mehr Aufklärung über Drogenwirkung

In den Clubs wird getrunken, geraucht, gekifft, geschluckt und durch die Nase gezogen. Die Konsumenten wünschen sich aber auch mehr Aufklärung und Drug-Checking. (Der Tagesspiegel, 08.02.2018)

https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/studie-zu-drogenkonsum-berliner-partygaenger-wuenschen-sich-mehr-aufklaerung-ueber-drogenwirkung/20936430.html

Australien. Revellers ready for festival drug checks, study finds

A study of the attitudes and behaviours of young people at music festivals found that a majority were in favour of drug checking, and would reconsider taking a drug if they were aware of its contents.

The study was conducted by researchers from Western Sydney University and the University Centre for Rural Health North Coast (UCRH), in collaboration with the North Coast Positive Adolescent Sexual Health Consortium (PASH) & the North Coast HIV & Related Programs Unit (HARP). (medicalxpress.com, 19.01.2018)

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-01-revellers-ready-festival-drug.html

Berlin. Debatte um Drogentote: Wie Berliner Clubs mit Drogen umgehen könnten

Cannabis, Amphetamine, Kokain: Drogen sind im Nachtleben weitverbreitet. Betreiber, Politiker und Feiernde fordern nun Qualitätskontrollen. Die Polizei sagt: interessanter Ansatz. (Der Tagesspiegel, 23.03.2018)

https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/debatte-um-drogentote-wie-berliner-clubs-mit-drogen-umgehen-koennten/21104616.html

UK. "I wish I still had the luxury of being a parent." (Video)

Powerful interview with Anne-Marie Cockburn - who lost her daughter to ecstasy - on why she wants all drugs legalised. (BBC-Newsnight, 23.03.2017, Video, 02:14)

https://www.facebook.com/bbcnewsnight/videos/10154394448871200/

Profiles of drug checking services in 2017

The following profiles are an accompaniment to DPMP Bulletin No. 24 ‘Global review of drug checking services operating in 2017’, intended to provide further information on the services that participated in our survey in narrative form.

The profiles were constructed based on the data provided by the participating drug checking services. We sent the profiles to the services for content revision and approval prior to publication and received feedback on 28 of the 29 profiles. (NATIONAL DRUG AND ALCOHOL RESEARCH CENTRE, Australien, 2018)

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

KnowYourStuffNZ is a community organisation of volunteers operating in collaboration with the New Zealand Drug Foundation to provide drug related harm reduction services at events around New Zealand, including drug checking, free of charge.

https://knowyourstuff.nz/

Global review of drug checking services operating in 2017

Introduction

Drug checking services invite members of the public to anonymously submit psychoactive drug samples for forensic analysis and then provide individualised feedback of results and counselling as appropriate. These services are known under many names, including: drug checking (services), street drug analysis, pill testing, adulterant screening, multi-agency safety testing, and drug safety testing. Here, we use the term ‘drug checking services’, while acknowledging that a lack of agreement about terminology persists.

The rationale for the operation of these services is to inform people who decide to use currently illegal drugs or new psychoactive substances (NPS) about the content and purity of the products, so they can make a more informed decision about whether to use them or how to use them (Brunt et al., 2017). These services also monitor drug market changes and when particularly dangerous drug samples are identified, they can issue tailored public alerts and inform specific harm reduction interventions (Vidal Giné et al., 2017). (NATIONAL DRUG AND ALCOHOL RESEARCH CENTRE, Australien, 2018)

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

UK. Boomtown: Harm Reduction 2017 (Video)

We have put together a short Harm Reduction film covering the measures we put in place this year to keep people safe, as well as spread some much needed awareness on the dangers that can be associated with taking drugs. As we enter the festive party season, it is even more important to be fully aware of the risks associated with what you're putting into your body. Please give yourself 15 minutes to watch this; education and awareness can be a lifesaver. (Boomtown Fair, 20.12.2017, Video, 16:08)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxkO1qrkz9U

Frankfurt/Main. Stefan Majer präsentiert bundesweit einmaliges Drogen-Monitoring in Frankfurter Konsumräumen

Die Stadt Frankfurt hat ein systematisches Drogen-Monitoring in den drei Konsumräumen in Frankfurt gestartet.
In einem bundesweit einmaligen Projekt werden Rückstände aus Drogenverpackungen und Spritzenfiltern regelmäßig von Wissenschaftlern der Uni Freiburg auf Reinheitsgehalt, Beimischungen und sonstige Auffälligkeiten hin analysiert. Unter großer Medienaufmerksamkeit stellte Stefan Majer, Dezernent für Gesundheit und Personal, am Montag, 19. März, gemeinsam mit Professor Volker Auwärter, Forensischer Toxikologe am Institut für Rechtsmedizin der Uni Freiburg, und Regina Ernst, Leiterin des Drogenreferates, das bundesweit einmalige Monitoring und die Ergebnisse aus den bislang mehr als 400 Analysen vor.

(...) Auffallend war, dass mit durchschnittlich 9 Prozent der Reinheitsgehalt bei Heroin deutlich geringer ist als erwartet, während bei Kokain vom Frankfurter Straßenhandel mit durchschnittlich 70 Prozent der Reinheitsgehalt über dem europäischen Durchschnitt liegt.

Aufhorchen ließ, dass an zwei Verpackungen Anhaftungen des synthetischen Opioids Fentanyl gefunden wurden, wie Regina Ernst betont: „Fentanyl spielte 2017 bei mindestens drei Frankfurter Drogentoten eine Rolle. Fentanyl sei so unberechenbar und damit gefährlich, da es 120 mal stärker sei als Heroin und sich deshalb nur schwer dosieren lasse. (frankfurt.de, 20.03.2018)

http://www.frankfurt.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=3003&_ffmpar[_id_inhalt]=33624218

Australien. Pill testing in the community?

The debate about pill testing needs to expand beyond just music festivals, says the ACT’s Greens leader – and community pharmacy could be one place to run such programs

And Australian ecstasy has the highest rate in the world of unexpected ingredients, says drug law reform proponent Shane Rattenbury. (ajp.com.au, Australien, 15.12.2017)

https://ajp.com.au/news/pill-testing-community/

UK. The UK's radical club drug safety experiment is working – and now it's going high-tech

In the last two years, UK festivals have started to offer people the chance to check out what's really in their drugs. Now, advances in this emerging field could save even more lives. (wired, UK, 19.03.2018)

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/drug-testing-safety-uk-festivals

Evaluation of Drug Checking service - A Portuguese case study

Helena Valente, Lisbon Addictions 2017, Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, Lissabon, 24.-26.10.2017

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/attachments/6950/14H30_5_Helena Valente.pptx

Wales. WEDINOS tests substances to give individual users and others rapid and accurate information to reduce harms.

(Public Health Wales, 2017)

http://www.wedinos.org/

The integrated drug checking service and its importance for different types of users

Simona Šabić, Lisbon Addictions 2017, Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, Lissabon, 24.-26.10.2017

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/attachments/7135/12H45_3_Simona Sabic.ppt

High willingness to use rapid fentanyl test strips among young adults who use drugs

Maxwell S. Krieger, Jesse L. Yedinak, Jane A. Buxton, Mark Lysyshyn, Edward Bernstein, Josiah D. Rich, Traci C. Green, Scott E. Hadland and Brandon D. L. Marshall

Harm Reduction Journal2018, 15:7, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0213-2

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-018-0213-2