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Irland. New drug testing regime to be rolled out at festivals 

A drug testing regime, introduced at Electric Picnic in September, will be rolled out to different types of festivals this year, according to the HSE's National Clinical Lead for Addiction Services. (RTE – Radio Television Eire, Irland, 22.05.2023)


Synthetische Opioide in Deutschland - Bundesmodellprojekt RAFT (Präsentation)

Rapid Fentanyl Tests in Drogenkonsumräumen (12/22-11/23)

Projektleitung: Maria Kuban

Projektbegleitung: Dirk Schäffer

(Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, Gefördert durch Bundesministerium für Gesundheit)

Bundesmodellprojekt RaFT

Rapid Analysis of Drugs: A Pilot Surveillance System To Detect Changes in the Illicit Drug Supply To Guide Timely Harm Reduction Responses - Eight Syringe Services Programs, Maryland, November 2021-August 2022. 

Russell E, Sisco E, Thomson A, Lopes J, Rybak M, Burnett M, Heilman D, Appley MG, Gladden RM. 

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023 Apr 28;72(17):458-462. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7217a2. PMID: 37104171.


Mindzone. Quartals-Updates

Jeweils zum Ende des Quartals werden zusätzlich zu den Warnmeldungen und Trendspotter-Berichten kurze Quartals-Updates veröffentlicht. Zum Beispiel findet ihr darin die Ergebnisse aller Substanzprobenanalysen (auch, wenn keine Warnmeldung erfolgt ist), die Auswertung unserer Fragebögen und alles andere, was in der Zeit sonst noch NEWS-relevantes los war. (Mindzone, 01.04.2023)


Differences in drug use behaviors that impact overdose risk among individuals who do and do not use fentanyl test strips for drug checking. 

Tilhou AS, Zaborek J, Baltes A, Salisbury-Afshar E, Malicki J, Brown R. 

Harm Reduct J. 2023 Mar 28;20(1):41. doi: 10.1186/s12954-023-00767-0. PMID: 36978170; PMCID: PMC10053743.


Point-of-care community drug checking technologies: an insider look at the scientific principles and practical considerations. 

Gozdzialski L, Wallace B, Hore D. 

Harm Reduct J. 2023 Mar 25;20(1):39. doi: 10.1186/s12954-023-00764-3. PMID: 36966319; PMCID: PMC10039693.


Welcome to TEDI - Trans European Drug Information network (TEDI)

TEDI developed a database that collects, monitors and analyses the evolution of various European drug trends in recreational settings. This system continues to operate allowing information about drug trends to be easily compared across Europe. (TEDI 2023)


Substances from unregulated drug markets - A retrospective data analysis of customer-provided samples from a decade of drug checking service in Zurich (Switzerland). 

Magnolini R, Schneider M, Schori D, Trachsel D, Bruggmann P.

Int J Drug Policy. 2023 Feb 23;114:103972. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2023.103972. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36841217.


Fentanyl, Heroin, and Methamphetamine-Based Counterfeit Pills Sold at Tourist-Oriented Pharmacies in Mexico: An Ethnographic and Drug Checking Study. 

Friedman J, Godvin M, Molina C, Romero R, Borquez A, Avra T, Goodman-Meza D, Strathdee S, Bourgois P, Shover CL. 

medRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Jan 28:2023.01.27.23285123. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.27.23285123. PMID: 36747647; PMCID: PMC9901047.


Warnmeldung: Heroin in Bremen mit ungewöhnlich starker Wirkung

NEWS National EarlyNational Early WarningWarning System.System. (IFT-München, 01.03.2023)


Perspectives of people in Philadelphia who use fentanyl/heroin adulterated with the animal tranquilizer xylazine; Making a case for xylazine test strips. 

Reed MK, Imperato NS, Bowles JM, Salcedo VJ, Guth A, Rising KL. 

Drug Alcohol Depend Rep. 2022 Jun 30;4:100074. doi: 10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100074. PMID: 36846574; PMCID: PMC9949306.


Australien. Pill testing is coming to Queensland. Here’s what can we learn from programs overseas

Queensland will become the second Australian jurisdiction to offer pill testing. While the timeline is yet to be announced, once up and running, Queenslanders who use illicit drugs can have them checked to see what they actually contain before taking them. 

This is likely to reduce the risk of people overdosing on both unexpected and high potency substances, as well as reducing illness and death from harmful additives and mixtures. (The Conversation, UK, 28.02.2023)


Regional analysis of the provision of drug checking services in the CEECA region

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) presents „Regional analysis of the provision of drug checking services in the Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia region“. (Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), 16.02.2023)


Kostenfreie Drogentests: „Drug Checking“ demnächst in Berlin

Berlin – Nach jahrelangen Diskussionen und Planungen soll das Drug-Checking, das Testen von Drogen auf Verunreinigungen, in Kürze in Berlin beginnen. „Das Projekt ist bereits mit wichtigen Vorarbeiten gestartet und befindet sich in der Umsetzung“, teilte die Senatsgesundheitsverwaltung gestern mit. (aerzteblatt.de, 07.02.2023)


Schweiz. Luzerner Drogenkontrolle

Ab sofort können Konsumierende jeden Montagabend Drogen im Drug Checking Dilu testen lassen. Ausgebaut werden soll auch das mobile Checking an Partys oder Festivals. (20min.ch, Schweiz, 05.01.2023)


Feasibility Study of Using Mobile Phone-Based Experience Sampling to Assess Drug Checking by Opioid Street Drug Users. 

Swartz JA, Mackesy-Amiti ME, Jimenez AD, -Taylor LDR, Prete E. 

Res Sq [Preprint]. 2023 Jan 13:rs.3.rs-2472117. doi: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-2472117/v1. PMID: 36711637; PMCID: PMC9882685.


Drug Checking - From guerrilla to government agent: the full spectrum of drug checking services

The aim of the special issue is twofold. On the one hand, it capitalises on the momentum generated by the growing scientific and political interest in drug checking to present some of the latest insights and models of drug checking to a diverse audience of academics, policymakers and professionals. On the other hand, it explores some of the limitations of the scientific literature to date (for recent reviews, see Giulini et al., 2022; Maghsoudi et al., 2021; Palamar et al., 2021), which has tended to focus on micro-level variables (e.g. evaluations of technologies or individual behavioural change; e.g. Harper et al., 2017), to the neglect of variables located at the meso-level (including impact at community or event level; but see, e.g. Wallace et al., 2021), or macro-level analyses (such as the effects of drug checking on international drug markets or public health indicators such as national mortality and morbidity) [1]. Additionally, to date, the vast majority of studies on drug checking have been carried out in the Western European context (Maghsoudi et al., 2021) and therefore additional efforts were made by the guest editorial team to directly support submissions to this special issue from other parts of the world such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and Oceania. (The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), UK, Januar 2023)


Substance Use Stigma and Community Drug Checking: A Qualitative Study Examining Barriers and Possible Responses. 

Davis S, Wallace B, Van Roode T, Hore D. 

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Nov 30;19(23):15978. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192315978. PMID: 36498052; PMCID: PMC9740784.


Everywhere and for everyone: proportionate universalism as a framework for equitable access to community drug checking. 

Wallace B, van Roode T, Burek P, Hore D, Pauly B. 

Harm Reduct J. 2022 Dec 20;19(1):143. doi: 10.1186/s12954-022-00727-0. PMID: 36539747; PMCID: PMC9763810.


Substanzproben einschicken?

Im NEWS-Projekt ist es möglich und sogar wünschenswert, wenn Substanzproben eingeschickt werden. Diese werden anschließend vom IFT anonymisiert und dann an das EU-Projekt ADEBAR plus zur Analyse geschickt. Die Ergebnisse werden daraufhin an das NEWS-Netzwerk übermittelt. (mindzone (IFT), München, Dezember 2022)


Schnelltests gegen Notfälle durch illegales Fentanyl

Illegal hergestelltes Fentanyl taucht auch in Deutschland als lebensgefährliche Beimengung zu Straßenheroin auf. Ein Modellprojekt der Deutschen Aidshilfe mit Fentanyl-Schnelltests soll Drogengebraucher*innen schützen.

Am 1. Dezember 2022 ist das Bundesmodellprojekt „Rapid Fentanyl Tests in Drogenkonsumräumen“ (RAFT) gestartet, das erste Projekt zur Feststellung von Fentanyl-Beimischungen in Straßenheroin in Europa. RAFT wird vom Bundesgesundheitsministerium gefördert, von der Deutschen Aidshilfe geleitetet und in zehn Drogenkonsumräumen im Bundesgebiet umgesetzt. (Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, 09.12.2022)


Who uses drug checking services? Assessing uptake and outcomes at English festivals in 2018

Fiona Measham and Henry Simmons

DRUGS, HABITS AND SOCIAL POLICY, VOL. 23 NO. 3 2022, DOI 10.1108/DHS-02-2022-0008


A distributed model to expand the reach of drug checking

Bruce Wallace, Lea Gozdzialski, Abdelhakim Qbaich, Azam Shafiul, Piotr Burek, Abby Hutchison, Taylor Teal, Rebecca Louw, Collin Kielty, Derek Robinson, Belaid Moa, Margaret-Anne Storey, Chris Gill and Dennis Hore

DRUGS, HABITS AND SOCIAL POLICY, VOL. 23 NO. 3 2022, DOI 10.1108/DHS-01-2022-0005


Substance residue analysis as an alternative to drug checking? Traces from drug paraphernalia as a source for laboratory analysis

Teemu Kaskela, Ronja Järvelin, Janne Nahkuri, Teemu Gunnar, Aino Kankaanpää, Anna Pelander and Miina Kajos

DRUGS, HABITS AND SOCIAL POLICY, VOL. 23 NO. 3 2022, DOI 10.1108/DHS-12-2021-0063


USA. NYC launches drug checking program to spot fentanyl before people overdose

Tammy Hogan said she was grateful for OnPoint NYC when her husband began to overdose in the Bronx. She dragged him onto the subway down to Harlem, where she ran into the overdose prevention center to alert staff. Trained health specialists quickly leaped into action, rushing through the crowded lounge. Outside, they found the 65-year-old still conscious, but holding onto a streetlight and struggling to move.

They got him inside and settled in a comfortable chair with an oxygen mask. Hogan, still visibly shaken, lamented the state of the drug supply. She said her husband had been “doing dope since he was a kid,” implying that he had some tolerance for opioids.

Hogan wanted to know exactly what her husband had taken — and how much. Thanks to a sophisticated new drug checking program the city health department is piloting at OnPoint NYC and other centers that serve drug users, that was easy to find out. (The Gothamist, USA, 07.12.2022)


UK. Bristol drug-checking service gains charity status

The UK's first Home Office licensed drug-checking service has been granted charity status.

The Loop, which run pop-up sites, including at music festivals, plans to launch a regular testing site in Bristol in January.

Its new chief executive, Katy Porter, said the recognition as a charity would help more people reach its services and "important" information.

That will "greatly assist in reducing drug-related harm", she added. (BBC, 18.11.2022)


Beyond co-production: The construction of drug checking knowledge in a Canadian supervised injection facility. 

Betsos A, Valleriani J, Boyd J, McNeil R. 

Soc Sci Med. 2022 Jul 21;314:115229. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.115229. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36274456.



UK. Drug checking services make festivals safer, research shows

New research has found that drug checking services at festivals reduce the possibility of drug-related harm, provide opportunities for targeted health interventions amongst higher risk drug users and, on balance, do not result in increased quantities of drugs being consumed.

Research published in a special issue of the journal Drugs, Habits and Social Policy focused on drug checking, analysed the provision of drug checking services available to hundreds of thousands of festival-goers over three years (2016-2018).

The study was the first of its kind that assessed both the positive and negative impact of providing drug checking across a three-year period. (University of Liverpool, UK, 08.11.2022)


Drug-Checking - Regulierungs- und Förderbedarfe

Das Positionspapier entstand im Zusammenhang mit dem Fachtag Drug-Checking am 15.06.2022 in Frankfurt/Main, der vom Bundesministerium für Gesundheit gefördert wurde.

Herausgeber: akzept e.V. - Bundesverband für akzeptierende Drogenarbeit und humane Drogenpolitik & Deutsche Aidshilfe e.V.


Law Enforcement and Community Provision of Fentanyl Test Strips to People Who Use Drugs for Engagement and Referral to Services. 

Olson R, Case P, Palacios WR, Hunter A, Lopes-McCoy V, Green TC. 

J Public Health Manag Pract. 2022 Nov-Dec 01;28(Suppl 6):S343-S346. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000001576. PMID: 36194804; PMCID: PMC9531966.