On March, 31st the first International Day of Drug Checking was celebrated all around the world.
The International Day of Drug Checking was an initiative hosted by a diverse group of organizations and stakeholders that play an active part in the delivery of harm reduction services.
The initiative aimed to both celebrate and raise awareness of drug checking. The initiative did not only mean to wish to raise awareness regarding testing substance, but it was also meant to wish to remind individuals to test their knowledge regarding drugs and their effects: taking a drug always comes with risks. By raising awareness and sharing knowledge, the initiative hoped to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health and safety.
Many harm reduction organizations and projects joined the initiative from all around the world. Also some partners from the BAONPS project participated to the first International Day of Drug Checking. DrogArt (Slovenia) organized two workshops with partygoers explaining how drug checking can be performed; Coop. Alice (Italy) produced a video showing why Italian harm reduction workers believe that drug checking might be important in Italy; APDES/CHECK!N created a poster containing the sentence “I support Drug Checking in Portugal/Italy/Slovenia” and all the three organisations took pictures with people holding the poster.
On March, 23rd a workshop about the development of drug checking in Italy took place in Florence. The main findings of the BAONPS project collected so far in Italy were presented in the event and a discussion about how to carry out other drug checking projects on the Italian field took place: for the first time social and health professional workers, toxicological laboratories and a lawyer had a setting to discuss strong and critical points about the drug checking implementation.
International Day of Drug Checking – March 31, 2017 – press release / statement
Drug use is a global issue. Many people around the world ingest some kind of substance on a daily basis; from caffeine to alcohol; cocaine to heroin […]Similarly, online pharmacies operate in legal grey zones that raise the risks of unregulated medicines reaching the public.
People who take drugs recreationally or who use pharmaceuticals from less reputable sources are at increased risk of harm through consumption of pills and powders with unexpected or unknown ingredients. While the use of any drug is not entirely risk free, having an awareness of the chemicals contained can help people make informed choices about what they are putting in their bodies.
Evidence suggests that recreational drug users are less likely to engage with medical health messages. Accessing drug checking services not only allows users to find out what is in their drugs but also connects them with further harm reduction information and support services. One of the most effective ways to reduce drug related harm is to offer users professional drug checking while taking time to inform them about health risks, safer ingestion methods, and what to do in the event of an overdose or other emergency.
Drug checking enables better risk management by consumers, creates an opportunity to support people away from problematic consumption patterns and provides timely and valid data about illicit drug markets and products than can be used to improve clinical care and law enforcement.
DrogArt’s Activities on International Drug Checking Day
When DrogArt got the invitation to join the global campaign called International Drug Checking Day, we were happy to collaborate. In the scope of the EU project B.A.O.N.P.S. we are working on the development and upgrade of the drug checking service in Slovenia and we saw the International Drug Checking Day as a great opportunity to promote the service among partygoers, raise awareness and also give them the chance to express their support for the action by taking pictures with our “I support drug checking in Slovenia” board.
We decided to organize two workshops on drug checking for partygoers or others interested in learning what drug checking is, what the possibilities are in Slovenia and how the methods of checking with color reagents works.
Read the article here
People supporting drug checking – GALLERY
APDES/CHECK!N – COOP.ALICE – DROGART
Click here to see the gallery
Drug Checking- Italian development opportunities
On March, 23rd 2017 a workshop focused on drug checking took place in Florence. Health and social professional workers and some Italian toxicological laboratories were involved in the venue. The aim of the workshop was to create a setting in which drug service providers, both from public and private organizations, could meet with toxicological laboratories and discuss how to carry out other drug checking experimentations beside the BAONPS project.
The main findings from the integrated service of drug checking on the Italian field were presented.
A relevant number of public drug-service providers and some health care institutions attended the workshop. Roberta Pacifici from Istituto Superiore di Sanità (National Institute for Health) was interested in the BAONPS project and the service that carries out.
Read the article here
B.A.O.N.P.S. Project – The Italian State of Art
Since February 2016, BAONPS project performed 21 outreach interventions in Italy […]This paper focuses on the data collected on the field by the Italian pilot experience of formal drug checking; 332 samples were analysed and 668 people were provided with group or individual counselling focused on NPS […]1/3 of the users were going to take another substance, different from the one expected, that could have posed a risks to their health.
In Italy the BAONPS project identified 11 different NPS, for a total of 15 times, from February 2016 to February 2017; only four of them were sold as NPSs, with their true names.
Looking at the first Italian report from the field, it is possible to confirm that the drug market presents high risks given by the substances themselves, but also from the fact that users have the probability to take dangerous cutting agents or different drugs than those expected. Reading this paper, it is possible to notice that one user in three takes something different than expected.
At the moment, drug checking can be considered a very good tool to monitor the drug market in depth, capable of allowing a rapid identification of NPSs and dangerous cutting agents inside the drugs.
Read the paper BAONPS Project_Italian State of Art
A coalition of drug safety organizations is hosting the first-ever international drug checking day on March 31 to raise awareness of safer drug use. The initiative is aimed at recreational users, with a particular emphasis on the nightlife community, and aims to promote harm reduction—accepting that people will choose to take drugs, and providing them with tools to minimize the risks.
Addaction is a member of the Young People’s Health Partnership. As part of our work through the partnership we have identified a need to improve the ability of health and social care services to understand and respond to young people’s use of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). We decided that the best way to improve this understanding was to seek young people’s views on the help that they need and the way that it should be provided.
Italian harm reduction and outreach workers shortly explain why they think drug checking is important in party settings and in cities.
Mais de 250 pessoas, diversas entidades e projetos juntaram-se à iniciativa do Check-in Free Mind, APDES no âmbito do International Drug Checking Day! A todos os que hoje mostram a importância de um serviço de Drug Checking em Portugal o nosso Obrigado!
International drug checking day: videos from the world
ECHELE CABEZA : https://youtu.be/7mOO9DtfgeA
YOUTH RISE : https://youtu.be/tJjULtO0-n0
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