THE USE OF NEW PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES (NPS) AND THE DRUG CHECKING SERVICE IN SLOVENIA
Psychoactive substances often contain unwanted adulterants. Some of them can be extremely dangerous and it is also possible that substances are being sold under a different name. In the last years we are noticing an increase in number of new psychoactive substances and more potent drugs as usual are appearing, which 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 conference, we talked about the situation regarding NPS in EU and Slovenia, thought about drug use as a reflection of zeitgeist and took a look at the results of NPS research, carried out in B.A.O.N.P.S. project. We also talked about what an integrated drug checking service even is and why we need it, and focused on 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. In the afternoon, people had the chance to attend a workshop on short counselling interventions with people who use drugs (with elements of motivational interview). In parallel, a meeting of the expert group for the development of drug checking service took place.
Guest experts from Austria and Spain participated at the conference.