From February 2016 to August 2017, the BAONPS project performed 33 outreach interventions and in 27 of them partygoers were provided with a drug checking facility.
Drug checking is performed by using the TruNarc – RAMAN Spectroscopy. The instrument can identify the main substance contained in a sample by analysing the RAMAN spectra produced by the substance. The identification of the drug is due to the comparison of that RAMAN Spectra with those contained in the TruNarc internal library.
A total of 472 samples, mostly powders, crystals and pills, was analyzed. Illicit substances were detected in 304 samples (64.4%). Finding included MDMA (106 samples), ketamine (87 samples), cocaine (51 samples), amphetamine (47 samples), methamphetamine (2 samples), heroin (2 samples) and NPS (9 samples).
Drug checking users were provided with counselling, following the models of other European drug-checking services, especially Apdes/Check!n and DrogArt, as best practices. The 28% (1 case in 4) of the samples analyzed turned out to be something not expected by the user: many people decided to avoid to take the drug (37%) while other were very surprised of the result and this brought them to reflect about the possibility to avoid taking the substance (14%).