BAONPS project’s main aim was to identify new psychoactive substances by using different kind of drug checking, both in party settings and outside them. This project wanted to improve the awareness and knowledge of drugs and NPS, their risks and effects, among partygoers; furthermore it aimed to understand meanings and consumption patterns concerning NPS and related cross-cultural differences and informed local and national drug service providers about NPS and cultural factors influencing drug consumption patterns. Italy, Germany, Portugal and Slovenia were the countries involved in the project.
In October the final conference was held and data emerged from 2 years of activity in Italy, Slovenia and Portugal and some consideration about the importance of drug checking were presented.
FINAL INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR – LISBON (October, 23rd 2017)
A growing number of new synthetic drugs (from 41 in 2010 to 101 in 2014 and 66 in 2016 – EMCDDA) are produced for the illegal market and they are widely available. Most of these substances are used in clubs and parties; for some people, the use of NPS is a choice, but not for everyone.
So how to identify a new drugs or an adulteration ingredient?
It is only possible by using screening instruments that can analyse the contents of a drug. Drug checking is an integrated service that lets drug users to have their synthetic drugs analysed and receive counselling (TEDI Project 2011).
BAONPS project intended to evaluate and advocate for the relevance of drug checking services for harm reduction in party setting and outside them.
In parallel, the BAONPS project has funded a mixed-methods research, addressed to better understand the NPS phenomena by deepening consumption patterns and cross-cultural differences that may act as protective or as risk factors. The research design included a survey addressed to partygoers in three countries (Italy, Portugal, Slovenia), and a web-based qualitative comparative study.
This seminar disseminated the main results and outputs of the BAONPS project, namely research findings about NPS use in party settings and the content analysis of peer-led surface and dark-net forums.
Read the article here
THE USE OF NEW PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES (NPS) AND THE DRUG CHECKING SERVICE IN SLOVENIA
Psychoactive substances often contain unwanted adulterants and it is also possible that substances are being sold under a different name. In the last years in Slovenia we are noticing an increase in the number of new psychoactive substances and more potent drugs as usual are appearing. This increases the risks for complications and overdoses. One of the responses to the situation is the integrated drug checking service, where the user can get information about the substance and talks about his/her use with a professional. This way, drug checking can present and entry point to counselling or other treatment.
At the Slovenian conference, we talked about the situation regarding NPS in EU and Slovenia, took a look at the results of NPS research, carried out in B.A.O.N.P.S. project, and talked about what an integrated drug checking service even is and why we need it, we also spoke about the opportunities provided by drug checking – like reaching hard-to-reach user groups and influencing the decision (not) to take the drug. Possibilities for drug checking in Slovenia were presented, together with the vision of service development.
Read the article here
ITALIAN NATIONAL CONFERENCE – ROMA (October, 11th 2017)
BAONPS was the first “formal” experience of drug checking in Italy. In the Italian national conference the results of this experience and those of the comparison with other European companies were presented.
Drug checking is an instrument with an enormous potential: first of all it allows the identification of new psychoactive substances and their communication to the National and European Early Warning Systems.
Through this tool, the knowledge and awareness about drug use and NSP consumption can be improved. Furthermore, drug checking allows:
– the communication about risks and effects of drugs;
– the discussion with consumers to understand the meanings underlying the use of NSP;
– to better know NPS and drug consumption patterns;
– to identify any cultural background that may influence the behavior of the use of psychoactive substances;
– to communicate and inform service providers that deal with young people and addictions, both locally and nationally, about the identification of new drugs and about the cultural factors that can influence the NPS use.
Drug checking is a good practice to spread: guidelines for a pilot drug-checking experiences, that can be extended to other European countries where this tool is not used yet, were published as a final output of the project.
Read the article here
PORTUGUESE NATIONAL DISSEMINATION
It is possible to find all the data and their analysis and comment on both web sites:
APDES web site
CHECK-!N web site
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