Formal drug-checking in Italy: first feedbacks from the field
Lorenzo Camoletto – BAONPS Project Manager
On 27th February 2016 for the first time the BAONPS project formally proposed drug-checking to partygoers during a psy-trance party near Turin. This was an opportunity to check the level of satisfaction obtained by the offer among partygoers/substance users, field test synergies among the professionals involved (health professionals, psychologists, educators, volunteers…) and the effectiveness of “RAMAN” technique in the proposed setting.
Alerts from drug checking on field – Italy
Elisa Fornero – BAONPS Project Italian Coordinator
Since the BAONPS Project started, two alerts were spread among Italian local networks and published on the project website:
⇒ WARNING!!!!! 4-FA INSTEAD OF SPEED (amphetamine)
On 16th April 2016 a client of the drug-checking service near Turin submitted a sample for examination, initially thinking it was 85% pure amphetamine (speed) but after the RAMAN Spectometry analysis it turned out to be 4-FA.
⇒ WARNING!!!!! METHYLONE AND 4-FA INSTEAD OF SPEED (amphetamine)
On 27th March 2016, during a free party, a client of the drug-checking service near Turin submitted a sample for examination, initially thinking it was amphetamine (speed) but after RAMAN Spectometry and GC-MS analysis it turned out to be METHYLONE and 4-FA
RAMAN Spectometry: first feedbacks from its use on field
Alberto Salomone – CAD Laboratory Supervisor
The RAMAN has proved incredibly efficient for NPS identification, especially in terms of fast response and specificity of results. The analysis happens through water, glass, plastic bags so the operator
avoids direct contact with the substance. Unfortunately, the biggest limitation seems the sensitivity. We need to do more tests but at the moment it seems that RAMAN does not work for samples when the component concentration is < 5/10 %.
Drug testing in Europe: monitoring results of the Trans European Drug Information (TEDI) project
Tibor M. Brunt, Constanze Nagy, Alexander Bücheli, Daniel Martins, Miren Ugarte, Cécile Beduwe and Mireia Ventura Vilamala
Drug testing is a harm reduction strategy that has been adopted by certain countries in Europe. Drug users are able to hand in their drugs voluntarily for chemical analysis of composition and dose. Drug users will be alerted about dangerous test results by the drug testing systems directly and through warning campaigns. An international collaborative effort was launched to combine data of drug testing systems, called the Trans European Drug Information (TEDI) project.
- Drugs tested covertly at a NZ festival: 57 per cent not what partygoers expected
A secret drug-testing operation has allowed more than 60 people to test their recreational drugs at a recent festival. Over the course of the evet, special teams tested 63 samples. Of those, 57 percent were not what the festival-goers thought they had. Of 22 samples taken of LSD, only six were real; a lot of people that said “I know this is MDMA, I tried it” were astonished discovering the result.
- Infrared and Raman screening of seized novel psychoactive substances: a large scale study of >200 samples
The potential of IR absorption and Raman spectroscopy for rapid identification of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) has been tested using a set of 221 unsorted seized samples suspected of containing NPS. Both IR and Raman spectra showed large variation between the different sub-classifications of NPS and smaller, but still distinguishable, differences between closely related compounds within the same class. The limiting factor in the identification was the large number of active compounds in the seized samples for which no reference vibrational data were available in the libraries rather than poor spectral quality. This study demonstrates that this approach of detecting non-matching samples and then identifying them using standard analytical methods has considerable potential in NPS screening since it allows rapid identification of the constituents of the majority of street quality samples.
- The Unexpected Effect of Decriminalizing Drugs in Portugal, Fifteen Years Later
Despite the dire predictions of policy makers, Portugal is an excellent example of what happens when drugs use is treated as a health issue not a criminal one.
- Hellman, M., Berridge, V., Duke, K. & Mold, A. (eds.) (2016) “Concepts of Addictive Substances and Behaviours across Time and Place” Oxford University Press.
Vigna-Taglianti, F. D., Burroni, P., Mathis, F., Versino, E., Beccaria, F., Rotelli, M., Garneri, M., Picciolini, A., Bargagli, A. M. (2016). “Gender Differences in Heroin Addiction and Treatment: Results from the VEdeTTE Cohort”. Substance Use & Misuse, 51(3):295-309
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