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Neuseeland. NZ government green-lights pill testing study with $59k grant 

In sheer contrast to the official stance of most of Australia’s national, state and territory governments, the New Zealand government is giving NZ$59,000 (about A$62,000) to research into pill-testing at music festivals as a means of increasing safety for fans.

The study will be conducted by a criminology team from the Victoria University of Wellington. (The Music Network, 20.12.2019)


Drogenbeauftragte will Drug-Checking von Partydrogen auch in Deutschland

Düsseldorf – Die Drogenbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, Daniela Ludwig (CSU), hat sich für eine als Drug-Checking bekannte Analyse von Partydrogen auch in Deutschland aus­ge­sprochen. „Damit können Konsumenten erreicht werden, die von der klassischen Sucht­beratung nicht angesprochen werden“, sagte Ludwig heute der Rheinischen Post. (aerzteblatt.de, 10.01.2020)


Australien. ACT Pill Testing Trial 2019: Program Evaluation. 

Olsen A, Wong G, McDonald D. (2019). 

Australian National University: Canberra ACT. 


Schweiz. Drug Checking in der Schweiz

Drug Checking hat sich in der Praxis als wirksames Instrument zur Schadensminderung bei Freizeitdrogenkonsumierenden in einigen Städten der Schweiz etabliert. Der niederschwellige Ansatz bietet einen exklusiven Zugang zu einer Gruppe von Konsumierenden, die beim Konsum potentiell hohe Risiken eingehen und einen hohen Bedarf an Beratung und Aufkl.rung haben, von anderen Angeboten der Suchthilfe aber kaum erreicht werden. Für eine breitere Akzeptanz dieses Angebots ist es entscheidend, die Wirksamkeit von Drug Checking künftig verst.rkt wissenschaftlich zu untersuchen. Gleichzeitig sollte der Ansatz auf weitere Regionen und Settings ausgeweitet werden. (SuchtMagazin, Schweiz, 2019-6, Jg. 45, S. 10-14)


Neuseeland. Ministry of Health gives $59,000 for research into drug testing at festivals

The Ministry of Health has given $59,000 to a study on the affect of drug testing at festivals.

A criminology team from Victoria University of Wellington would be looking to see if drug checking programmes at music festivals kept people safe and reduced harm. (stuff.co, Neuseeland, 18.12.2019)


Australien. Renewed push for pill-testing in more Australian states following latest festival death

A year-long parliamentary inquiry in Western Australia has recommended that pill-testing be introduced in the state and sniffer dogs be dispensed with.

It follows a similar call in New South Wales in spring and current pushes in Victoria and Tasmania.

This weekend marked serious alarm as summer kicked off with one death and numerous overdoses in festivals along the East Coast. (The Music Network, Australien, 01.12.2019)


Starttermin von geplantem Drug-Checking in Berlin weiter offen

Berlin – Die von Rot-Rot-Grün geplante offizielle Stelle, bei der Konsumenten ihre Partydrogen überprüfen lassen können, lässt weiter auf sich warten. Ein Starttermin für das sogenannte Drug-Checking könne noch nicht genannt werden, teilte ein Sprecher der Senatsverwaltung für Gesundheit auf Anfrage mit. „Derzeit laufen vor allem Absprachen mit möglichen Testlaboren.“ (aerzteblatt.de, 06.12.2019)


What works. Testing drugs for harm reduction. 

The recent deaths of 6 young people at music festivals in Australia connected to MDMA has led to local calls for the introduction of drug checking services (sometimes called ‘pill testing’ in Australia and drug safety testing in the UK) to assist people who use drugs to make safer decisions about the drugs they intend to consume. (360Edge 2019, Australien)


Making drug policy in summer—drug checking in Australia as providing more heat than light.

Ritter, A. (2019), 

Drug Alcohol Rev.. doi:10.1111/dar.13018


Begleitung und Evaluation des Drug Checkings bei Besuchenden der Kontakt- und Anlaufstellen – Evaluationsbericht. 

Spiess, Manuela; Dvorak, Andreas (2019). socialdesign ag, im Auftrag des Bundesamtes für Ge-sundheit (BAG), August 2019, Bern.


Drogenbeauftragte offen für genauere Prüfung von Partydrogen-Checks

Berlin/Innsbruck – Die Bundesdrogenbeauftragte Daniela Ludwig hat sich offen dafür gezeigt, Checks von Partydrogen als mögliches Instrument der Suchtpolitik in Deutschland zu prüfen. „Drug-Checking ist eine Möglichkeit der Schadensminimierung und des Gesundheitsschutzes, die wir genauer in den Fokus nehmen müssen“, sagte die CSU-Politikerin gestern nach einem Besuch bei einem Projekt in Innsbruck (Österreich). (aerzteblatt.de, 05.11.2019)


UK. 'Drug Checking Is Just One Piece Of The Jigsaw': Q's With Professor of Criminology Fiona Measham 

The UK Festival Awards will present this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award to Professor Fiona Measham, Chair in Criminology at the University OF Liverpool, academic, author, yoga teacher, salsa dancer, qualified door supervisor, avid club-goer, and founder of The Loop, a non-profit NGO dedicated to reducing the harm caused by drug use at music events and beyond.

The UK Festival Awards jury selected Measham for "her lifelong commitment to equality and social justice causes. Amongst her achievements, she has served on the Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, David Nutt's Drugs Science Committee, as well as the Lib Dems’ expert panel on cannabis regulation, and also acted as the key expert witness in the fight to keep Fabric nightclub open." (Pollstar, UK, 26.11.2019)


25 Jahre Drogeninfostände in Berliner Clubs

Drogeninfostände sind Treffpunkte für erfahrene Psychonauten wie auch für Novizen und dienen dem Erfahrungsaustausch. (taz-blog, 21.10.2019)


Drug checking services at music festivals and events in a Canadian setting.

McCrae K, Tobias S, Tupper K, Arredondo J, Henry B, Mema S, Wood E, Ti L.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 Oct 4;205:107589. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107589. 



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)


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)


EMCDDA. Drug Checking


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)


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)


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. 



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. 



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)


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)


Report on the 2ndCanberra GTM Pill Testing Service

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

Harm Reduction Australia, 2019  


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)


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)


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)


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)


Schweiz. Jahresrückblick Saferparty.ch 2018 – Was wurde getestet

(Saferparty, Schweiz, 03.07.2019)


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)


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)